chicken kare kare on FMITK

Chicken Kare Kare (Kare Kareng Manok)

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chicken kare kare on FMITK

Kare kare is a traditional Filipino stew with that is rich with peanut butter, oxtails and a whole bunch of fresh veggies.  I’ve been craving kare kare forever, but unfortunately I have had ZERO patience to cook oxtails for 3 hours. I know I could just throw them in a pressure cooker and they’d be done in a quarter of the time, but pressure cookers also scare the crap out of me, so there’s that.

I also wanted to attempt to make it a little bit healthier, so I decided to use chicken thighs in place of the oxtails. This is a great alternative to the traditional version – in less than half the time!

If you’ve never had kare kare, don’t let the peanut butter scare you. This isn’t a sweet dish, but the peanut butter is definitely a prominent flavor. You can find both the annatto seeds or annatto seed powder and the toasted ground rice at your neighborhood Asian market (San Diego: I found both at Seafood City and 99 Ranch).  If you absolutely cannot find toasted ground rice, you can use one of these handy dandy Mama Sita’s Kare Kare Mix Packets, which is what I usually use. This time around I was going for #TeamNoPacket / #TeamNoMamaSita. If you do use the Mama Sita’s Kare Kare Mix, omit the toasted ground rice, annatto seeds / powder and half of the peanut butter.

chicken kare kare on FMITK

You’ll need natural peanut butter (no sugar added), coconut milk, annatto seeds (or powder), chicken thighs, toasted ground rice, chicken broth, onions, garlic, ginger, bok choy, Chinese long beans and eggplant.

chicken kare kare on FMITK

Crush the entire head of garlic to slip the peel off and give it a rough chop. Slice the onions into half moons and the ginger into strips.

chicken kare kare on FMITK

Prep all of the veggies – remove the ends off of the long beans and cut into 2″ pieces. Cut the eggplant in 3-4 pieces and chop of the ends of the bok choy to separate and clean between the leaves. Nobody likes gritty bok choy!

chicken kare kare on FMITK

Heat vegetable oil in a large pot and brown chicken on both sides. Don’t overcrowd the pan and add all of the chicken at once or nothing will get brown – do this in batches. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside. I like to multi-task and prep all the veggies while the chickens are browning.

chicken kare kare on FMITK

Add the ginger, onion and garlic to the pot and saute until onions begin to soften, about 5 minutes. You see all those little delicious brown bits? That’s all flavor!

chicken kare kare on FMITK

Add in the chicken broth and deglaze the pan by scraping up all those little brown bits at the bottom. Add in the annatto seed powder (or annatto water) and peanut butter. Stir to thoroughly combine. Add in the ground rice and stir.

chicken kare kare on FMITK

You should have something thick and delicious that looks a bit like this.

chicken kare kare on FMITK

Add the chicken and any juices collected at the bottom of the dish back to the pot. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add in the eggplant and the long beans and cook an additional 15-25 minutes, until eggplant is cooked through. Add in the coconut milk. Stir to combine.

chicken kare kare on FMITK

Taste it. Does it need anything? Salt? Pepper?

chicken kare kare on FMITK

I think it needed patis, so I added a couple tablespoons. Add to your desired taste – start with 1 tablespoon.

chicken kare kare on FMITK

Add in the bok choy and stir to incorporate. Cook an additional 10 minutes until bok choy is cooked through.

chicken kare kare on FMITK

Yay! Savory peanutty, chocked-full-of-veggies goodness! I love love love bok choy so I used a bit extra.

chicken kare kare on FMITK

yas!

chicken kare kare on FMITK

I like to garnish with a little bit more coconut milk.

chicken kare kare on FMITK

It’s great with a fresh hot pot of sticky white rice! I had leftover brown rice so that’s what I used – and it was also delicious!

 

Chicken Kare Kare (Kare Kareng Manok)

makes 6-8 servings

Ingredients

1 tbsp annatto seed powder OR 1 tbsp annatto seed + 2 tbsp hot water
3 tbsp vegetable oil
2lbs chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
4 strips of ginger
1 onion, sliced
1 head garlic, crushed
4 cups chicken broth or stock
1 cup natural peanut butter
1/2 cup toasted ground rice (see notes below for substitutions)
4 medium size eggplants, cut on the bias in ~2″ pieces
1 bunch (1/2 lb) long beans, cut 2 inches pieces
1 can coconut milk
1 tbsp patis, more to taste
8 pieces baby bok choy
bagoong to garnish (optional)

Directions

If using annatto seeds, place them in a small bowl along with 2 tbsp of hot water and let steep for 10 minutes. Remove the seeds and set the water aside.

In a large pot, heat vegetable oil. Working in batches, add the chicken to the pot and brown on both sides, about 4-5 minutes. Remove the chicken and set aside.

Add the garlic, onion and ginger ginger to the pot, adding additional oil if necessary, and saute until fragrant, about 5 minutes.  Add stock in chicken stock and deglaze the bottom of the pan (scrape up all those delicious little brown bits). Add in annatto seed water or annatto seed powder. Add peanut butter and stir until fully incorporated. Add in ground rice and stir to incorporate. The sauce should become thick. Add in chicken, cover pot and simmer on medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally (sometimes the ground rice can get stuck to the bottom of the pan and burn). Add in long beans and eggplant. Cook an additional 15-25 minutes, until eggplant is cooked. Stir occasionally.

Once eggplant is cooked through, add coconut milk and baby bok choy.  Simmer until bok choy is cooked through, 5-10 minutes.

Serve with hot rice and garnish with a bit of coconut milk. Add a side of bagoong if you want to keep it trill.

Notes

You can find annatto seeds and annatto seed powder at Asian grocery stores.

You can substitute toasted ground rice for Mama Sita’s Kare Kare Mix . Only use 1/2 cup peanut butter if you do it this way.

This is also a great way to use up veggies. Throw anything you have on hand in.

Chicken Kare Kare (Kare Karang Manok)
Chicken Kare Kare (Kare Karang Manok)
by

Cook Time:45 minutes

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4 replies
  1. mandy
    mandy says:

    This was awesome! I was never really a fan of kare kare, even when my mom made it… but this was delicious! Love that you used chicken instead of oxtail. I did find that my sauce was really thick so I added 2 more cups of stock. So glad I came across you on instagram!

    Reply
    • holly
      holly says:

      That’s so great to hear, Mandy!!! I do tend to like my sauce on the thicker side but I’m glad you improvised!! Yay!!!

      Reply

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