The best chicken afritada I've ever had! Made with bone-in, skin-on chicken, fresh tomatoes, carrots, and potatoes cooked slowly until tender and delicious. This is a simple and hearty chicken stew. Perfect for lunch, dinner, and even special occasions.
Chicken Afritada Recipe
This requires a little bit of effort to cook but it's so worth it! Nothing complicated, just simple cooking techniques that will make your favorite classic Filipino chicken stew amazingly delicious!
Here's what you need to make chicken afritada:
- Chicken - the best part of the chicken for afritada is bone-in and skin-on chicken thighs and drumsticks. You can also use a whole chicken cut into pieces.
- Fresh Tomatoes – there’s just something about it that makes stews even more delicious.
- Tomato Sauce - or tomato puree. I recommend using the Italian tomato sauce as they are sweeter and less acidic.
- Soy Sauce – adds depth of flavor and deeper reddish color to the stew.
- Fish Sauce (patis) - one of the secret ingredients to making a delicious sauce for afritada.
- Sugar - balances the overall flavor of the dish i.e. makes the tomato sauce less sour
- Vegetables – basic vegetables are carrots, potatoes, and red bell peppers or green.
- Spices - garlic, onion, bay leaves (bay leaf), and black pepper.
- Chicken Stock – or chicken bouillon cube the low-sodium kind.
How to make the best Chicken Afritada
Learn the easiest techniques to make your favorite "afritadang manok".
Let's start, shall we?
- Cook the chicken on both sides until golden brown. Do it in batches if the cooking pot is not big enough. This step is crucial in building the best chicken stew flavor.
- Cook onion, garlic, and tomatoes until fragrant and translucent. Add the seasonings scraping up browned bits from the bottom of the pan. This will amplify all flavors even more.
- Add back the chicken and gently stir and coat with all the flavors.
- Cover with lid and cook until tender over medium heat. This could take 20 to 40 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken.
- Add the green and red bell peppers including the green peas if used.
More cooking tips
- Brightly colored vegetables: Sear the vegetables in hot oil (before searing chicken) to make the color brighter. I do this if you whenever I have extra time.
- Cooking time: Adjust cooking time if using smaller pieces of chicken. Test doneness after 20 minutes, remove the lid to thicken the sauce just a bit.
- For a thicker sauce: Simmer without a lid in the last 10 minutes of cooking.
- Soy sauce - substitute with light soy sauce, or tamari soy sauce.
- Fresh tomatoes - can be substituted with canned chopped tomatoes.
- Tomato sauce - substitute with 2 tablespoons tomato paste. Add together with chicken broth to dissolve.
How to Serve
Chicken afritada is always served as a main dish with a side of a warm cup of rice and vegetables. It's a complete meal in itself and is often served for lunch or dinner.
Making this popular Filipino dish for special occasions, Christmas, New Year, or family gatherings? Add these optional ingredients:
- Green Peas - use frozen or canned. Add 5 minutes before the stew finishes cooking.
- Green Beans - trimmed and cut in half. Add 7 minutes before the stew finishes cooking.
- Black Olives - e.g. kalamata. Use whole pitted olives or sliced. Add 10 minutes before the stew finishes cooking.
- Sliced Hot dogs - to make it a bit more fun for the kids.
- Liver Spread - will give the stew a different flavor profile similar to beef caldereta.
- Pineapple chunks - for a touch of tanginess.
Storage and Shelf-life
Store leftovers in an airtight container. It should last in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Love Filipino food? Here are more recipes for you!
- Easy Kare Kare Recipe
- Sweet and Spicy Beef Tapa
- Bicol Express
- Filipino Chicken Curry
- Tender Pork Humba
- Pork Afritada with Fresh Tomatoes
- Beef Mechado (Mechadong Baka)
- Lechon Paksiw
Watch how to make It
More chicken recipes you might like...
Filipino Chicken Afritada
- 1 kg chicken thighs (bone-in, skin-on) (see note 1)
- 2 tablespoon canola oil (or any vegetable oil)
- 1 whole onion (sliced)
- 4 cloves garlic (minced)
- 3 med-size tomatoes (diced)
- 2 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce (add more if preferred)
- 1 ½ teaspoon paprika
- 2 cups chicken broth (see note 5)
- 1 cup tomato sauce (or puree)
- 1 teaspoon sugar (add more if preferred)
- 2 pcs bay leaf
- 1 carrot (sliced)
- 2 potatoes ( quartered)
- 1 cup red and green bell pepper (deseeded, sliced)
- salt and pepper (to taste)
- Heat oil in a large pot over high heat. Brown the chicken on both sides, season with salt and pepper. Do this in batches if the pot is not big enough. Transfer the chicken pieces to a plate.
- Add onion and garlic. Saute until translucent. Add chopped tomatoes. Cook until softened. Set heat to medium. Pour soy sauce and fish sauce. Stir, scraping the bottom of the pot. Add back the chicken and coat with seasonings. Simmer for 2 minutes until fragrant.
- Pour tomato sauce and chicken broth, bay leaf, and sugar. Gently stir. Cover with a lid and cook until tender. This could take 30 to 40 minutes depending on the size of the chicken. If liquid evaporates too quickly, just add a litte water about ¼ cup or as needed.
- Add the carrots and potatoes. Cook until tender. For a thicker sauce consistency, cook without a lid.
- Add the green and red bell peppers. Taste sauce and adjust salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Serve with rice and enjoy!
Recipe Notes and Tips:
- Chicken - you can also use 1 whole chicken cut into 10 to 12 pieces.
- To brighten the colors of the vegetables - sear in hot oil before cooking the chicken. Set aside then add back again halfway through cooking.
- Cooking time: Adjust cooking time if using smaller pieces of chicken.
- Substitutes: substitute soy sauce with light soy sauce.
- Chicken broth - you can also use 1 pc chicken bouillon dissolve in 2 cups hot water.
- Other add-ins: green peas, green beans, black and green olives can also be added.
Originally published May 2020. Updated August 2021 with new photos, video, and a streamlined recipe after further testing to improve the recipe!
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I love this recipe! Using fresh tomatoes really make the difference rather than just using canned tomato sauce alone. I added a bit more sugar as I want it to be on the sweet-ish side. Sooo sarap! This is a favourite in my household. Panalo! Thanks Mella.