Tinolang Manok

Pronounced: Tee-no-long mah-noke. 

I have been blessed that my husband is such a terrific cook, and sous chef. After serving in the Philippines for 2 years he came home with a love for the people, culture, and especially the food. Over time we have been cooking more of the recipes that he loved when he was living there, and this particular recipe has been made, remade, and tweaked to be the delicious recipe it is now. My almost 1 year-old son gobbled it up, and fussed when it was all gone. I love finding happiness through food in items that are peculiar to the American kitchen- like the chayote. We do not have any problem finding the chayote in your average grocery store, though you can substitute a green papaya if you like. My husband does not like their flavor and prefers the chayote, and I agree. It is a squash that doesn’t taste overly squashy, if that is a real term. We substituted the fish sauce for soy sauce, which is used in place of salt, and adds a little more flavor. If you are looking for a meal that is new to your routine then give this a try. You will not be disappointed. 

Tinolang Manok

2 boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces

1 medium red onion, finely chopped

5 garlic cloves, minced

.3 lbs ginger, peeled, bruised, and chopped into large pieces

A few Tbs. of canola oil

26 oz. chicken stock (1 box)

14 oz. chicken broth

soy sauce, as desired

2 large or 3 medium chayote, peeled, removing the pit and surrounding white part from the center, and cubed

a couple handfuls of baby spinach, washed

white rice, cooked

  • Heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and saute a couple minutes, until beginning to be translucent. Add in the garlic and saute for about 30 seconds, after which add the ginger. Saute together until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the chicken pieces, and desired amount of sea salt and pepper. Cook the chicken until it is done, aprox. 3 minutes, and add a dash or two of soy sauce, stock and broth. Bring to a boil, put a lid on it and turn the heat on a low setting. Simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Add in the chayote, turn the heat up to medium, recover the pot and cook until the chayote is soft, about 15 minutes.
  • Stir in the baby spinach and turn the heat off. Scoop out the pieces of ginger, and serve over white rice.

From our kitchen to yours.


Chicken Chili Verde

Updated 11/11 for a spicier, and not too clumpy, chili. Leave out the serrano chilies if you do not want a spicy chili. The spice level is not that hot, but more tongue tingly. 

Do you want to eat a delicious and tangy chili, different from any chili you have ever eaten? Good, then this recipe should be on your menu for next week. If you don’t, then I cannot help you. This chili is delightful, tangy, and straight-up yummy. There is no terrific story behind this recipe. I found it in the recent issue of Southern Living and I knew I had to make it. My husband only likes Chicken and White Bean chili because it has no base of tomato sauce, and when I saw this one knowing how much he loves making salsa verde I had a feeling it would be a hit. If I was not also cooking if for my parents we would have added a couple Serrano peppers, to add some heat. Although if we had done that I would not have been able to feed it to my son, and he loved it! He just loves food that comes from our plate and is not baby food. Such a little man, even at his age. 

Chicken Chili Verde

3 C. chicken, cooked and chopped*

14 tomatillos (about 3 lbs), rinsed with husks removed

3 garlic cloves

1 large chicken bouillon cube

3 C. water

1 large onion, chopped

2 Tbs. olive oil

2-3 poblano peppers

3 serrano chilies

1 tsp. chili powder

1 tsp. cumin

2 (15 oz.) cans great northern white beans

2 (15 oz.) can pinto beans

3 Tbs. lemon juice

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. pepper

*I used 8 drumsticks, cooked them for a few hours in the crock pot, mostly on low, covering them with water to prevent the tops from overcooking, and add a light sprinkling of salt. I took the cooked meat and chopped it up for the soup. Cooking dark meat in the crock pot is a perfect way (not to mention easy) of cooking chicken for soups and stews. 

  • In a large pot bring the tomatillos and next 3 ingredients to a boil. Boil for 10 minutes, uncovered, until the tomatillos are soft.
  • Meanwhile, put the olive oil into a dutch oven over medium heat. Add in the peppers and cook for a few minutes before adding the onion. Cook for around 10 minutes, until they are soft. Take off the heat and process in a food processor. Put back into the dutch oven.
  • Puree the tomatillos with some of the broth, until smooth. If you want a runnier broth use all of the water. I left about 3/4 C. of liquid when I pureed the tomatillos so it would be a thicker chili. 
  • Add the pureed tomatillos into the dutch oven with the peppers and onion. Turn the heat onto medium and add in the chicken, beans, spices, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Cook for 15 minutes over medium, stirring infrequently. 
  • This dish can be served with shredded monterey jack or cheddar cheese, avocados, and fresh, crunchy tortilla chips. 

Adapted from Southern Livings Chicken-and-Three-Bean Chili Verde. 

Breaded Chicken with Lemon-Garlic Sauce

The first time we made this dish it became an instant classic, added to the list of will-make-regularly, if not once a week. It takes a pretty exceptional recipe to go on this list. Especially with my husband being so particular about dishes that he truly loves (and is able to eat). If he loves it, it is worth making again. In all reality he has been the chef of this dish, too, though I look forward to making it for him myself. Many of the ingredient amounts in this recipe are approximate because my husband is a cook-by-feel man (unless it is a baking oriented recipe, i.e. cookies, pretzels, cakes), so this dish ends up being much more saucy than the recipe we are modeling it off of.

We like to pound the chicken thin. Not only does it help with cooking more evenly, not to mention quicker, but it makes it very tender, and still serves 4 adults (+ some leftovers). Most of the time we cut the amount of boneless, skinless chicken breast in half, if not more than half. Almost always we find ways to stretch 1-2 (at most) chicken breasts. Pounding out the meat we are old school and still pounding with a rolling pin. One of these days we will have a meat mallet; for the time being we are just going to have to be creative. Note: this is not a normal breaded meat. Because the outside layer is a lot of egg and cheese it ends up having a very eggy texture and flavor. We love eggs in our house, so this is not a problem, however if you are not a fan you might not like this recipe.

Breaded Chicken with Lemon-Garlic Sauce

2 boneless skinless chicken breast, pounded thin (approx. 1/2″)

Flour, salt and pepper

4 eggs, beaten

1 C. fresh grated parmesan

1 Tbs. olive oil + 1 Tbs. butter

1 stick butter

2 heaping Tbs. minced garlic

1/4-1/2 C. lemon juice (bottled)

  • Pre-heat the oven to 350°.
  • Pound 2 chicken breast thin. We always put the chicken in-between plastic wrap and then pound it out. Combine about 1/2 C. flour, with salt and pepper to taste, and dredge the chicken breast, one at a time. My husband uses a quart sized zip-loc bag for this step.
  • Combine the beaten eggs and parmesan cheese. Take the chicken out of the flour mixture and completely cover with the egg mixture. You can start with 3 eggs in the pan and after coating the first piece add the 4th egg. The original recipe calls for 3 eggs, but we find a 4th is always necessary after the first coating. 
  • The oil and butter should have been getting nice and hot over medium heat on the stovetop. Once it is ready and the butter is melted place 1 chicken breast in the pan. (Our pans are only big enough to hold one breast at a time after it is pounded out.) Cook for 2 minutes per side, just to get the outside a beautiful golden brown. Place chicken in a 13 by 9 pan and cook 2nd piece of chicken. You may need to add a little bit more butter to the hot pan for that 2nd piece. 
  • After adding that 2nd piece of golden brown chicken to the waiting 13 by 9 pan, make the sauce. Into the hot pan put the stick of butter. (This makes a lot of sauce, which we love, though you could cut it in half.) When that has melted add the garlic and lemon juice (as much or as little as desired). Cook over Medium- Med. Low heat for a few minutes, scraping the bottom of the pan, and allowing the flavors to marry. 
  • When the sauce is done pour over the chicken. 
  • Cook in the oven for 20 minutes, until the chicken is completely cooked. 
  • Serve over thin spaghetti, or potatoes, or rice, or anything you like. 

Adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

Enfrijoladas with Chicken and Easy Pico de Gallo

I found a recipe recently for Enfrijoladas that was very basic, and called for pinto beans. I love pinto beans, but we had black beans that needed to be eaten up. It is delicious and easy, but definitely needs the pico de gallo to lighten it up. 

Enfrijoladas with Chicken & Easy Pico de Gallo

1 chicken breast, grilled and chopped into small pieces

2 14.5 oz cans black or pinto beans

3 C. chicken broth

1 Tbs. olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1 tomato, chopped

2 tsp. minced garlic

1/2 tsp. oregano

salt and pepper to taste

8 corn tortillas

2 C. monterey jack cheese

Pico de Gallo (recipe follows)

Sour cream

  • Preheat the oven to 350°.
  • Grill the chicken breast with your favorite seasoning. As always ours is McCormick’s Roasted Garlic seasoning. 
  • Heat the oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion, tomato, and garlic to the hot oil. Saute until the onion is soft and translucent.
  • Add the beans and broth to the pan, putting the salt, pepper, and oregano, rolled in the palms of your hands, over the beans.
  • Simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Once the mixture is cool enough blend in a blender or food processor. Return pureed beans to the stovetop and gently bring back to heat over medium-low.

For this next part take note that corn tortillas break easily. Technically you are supposed to have each shell hold some cheese (and chicken for our purposes), fold this over, and place neatly in the 13 by 9 baking dish. With the first try my husband did with dipping the shell into the bean mixture it was apparent that the way the recipe said was not going to work for us. So he made it casserole style. He finally got them to hold together better by not completely immersing them in the bean mixture, and not putting them in to low in the pan. Since you are supposed to add the remaining bean mixture to the dish anyway, it really does not matter.

  • Dip each shell into the bean mixture. Place in the pan and add some of the cheese and chicken.
  • However your layers may go make sure there is some shredded cheese to go over the top of the remaining tortillas and the rest of the bean sauce.
  • Bake until the cheese is nice and melted, about 10-15 minutes.
  • Top with pico de gallo, sour cream, or any other toppings you might desire.

Easy Pico de Gallo

1-2 red tomatoes

1/2 minced onion

a few Tbs. lemon juice

salt and pepper to taste

Really we just made this impromptu since we realized the dish needed some lightness and brightness to pair with the heavier taste of the beans and cheese. We used up what we had on hand, so this is just an approximation on my part.

Yes, we used lemon juice instead of lime juice. My husband hates limes, but he loves lemons. Either work for this recipe.

  • Combine all the ingredients, making sure to keep as much tomato juice as possible.

Both recipes adapted from Marcela Valladolid. Here is the Pico de Gallo

Grilled Chicken Sauce

I eat Baby Ray’s bbq sauce on most meats: hamburgers, roasted pork loin, steak, and chicken. I only eat Ketchup on my hot dogs, which have to be Ball Park Beef franks. I plan to make my own bbq sauce someday, but today I use what is in the fridge. My husband loves to grill but he is not a sauce person. He hates most condiments, with the exception of a little real Mayo and Dijon mustard, and most sauces, except for Frank’s Buffalo Chicken sauce. We have been adding Frank’s Buffalo Chicken sauce to hamburgers and chicken, but he was in the mood for something else. The more we cook together the more creative and willing to try new things we are and so he found this recipe online. It’s simple. And yet, there is something fantastic about it. We put it on split chicken breast- skin on and bone in. Yum; so much so that I did not use any Baby Ray’s. Nada. That’s a good sauce.

Grilled Chicken Sauce

1/2 C. distilled vinegar

1/2 C. lemon juice (fresh or pre-bottled)

1/2 C. Wegman’s brand basting oil*

1 Tbs. salt

1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

1 1/2 Tbs. dry mustard

Dash of cayenne pepper

  • Preheat grill.
  • In a bowl mix all of the ingredients together. Pour into pot and bring to a boil on the stovetop over Medium heat. 
  • Once it is boiling remove the pot from heat.
  • After initially grilling both sides of the meat start brushing sauce over chosen meat.

*Wegman’s brand basting oil has a mixture of Grapeseed oil, Canola oil, Dried Thyme, Dried Parsley, and Natural Garlic flavor.

Barely adapted from Paula Deen

White Chicken Chili

One of our favorite easy dinners with chicken is this chili. It is perfect on a cold winter night, though it is terrific even on a summer day. It is hearty, filling, and very simple. I love having a non-tomato based chili in my culinary repertoire because it is delicious, and also my husband will not eat tomato based meals, but he loves this one. Any meal I can make that we both love is one that gets re-made again and again. 

White Chicken Chili

1-2 chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces

1 med. onion, chopped

2 Tbs. canola oil (or any kind of oil you choose)

1 can of chicken broth

1 4.5 oz. can chopped green chilies

3 14.5 oz. cans Great Northern beans (or Navy beans), mostly drained – not rinsed

2 tsp. cumin

2 tsp. garlic powder

2 tsp. dried oregano

1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper (if desired)

salt and pepper


sour cream, grated cheese (cheddar or monterey), tortilla chips

  • Heat the oil in a pan on the stovetop over medium heat. Salt and pepper to taste. When the chicken is partially cooked add in the onion. Cook together until the chicken is done. Set aside.
  • Bring the chicken broth and green chilies to a boil over med heat. Add in chicken mixture, beans, and all seasoning. 
  • Bring back to a boil over med-high heat and then reduce to simmer over low heat for 30 minutes. 
  • Top with desired toppings or eat plain. It’s good either way. 



Cheesy Broccoli Casserole

This dish was modified from the paper around the can of Campbell’s cream of chicken soup and transformed from an appetizer into a main dish. An easy weeknight meal that is hearty and filling. Besides who doesn’t love cheesy vegetables?

Cheesy Broccoli Casserole

2 large heads of broccoli (approx. 1 lb.), cut into pieces and steamed

1-2 chicken breasts, cooked and cut into pieces

1 C. white rice, cooked

1 (10.75 oz.) can of cream of chicken soup

1/3 C. milk

2 C. cheddar cheese, grated

1/2 C. bread crumbs

1/4 C. butter, melted

  • Cooked Chicken: It can be grilled whole and then cut, or cut into pieces raw and then cooked on the stovetop in butter with McCormick’s Roasted Garlic seasoning. 
  • Pre-heat the oven to 375°.
  • Mix the milk and cream of chicken soup together. 
  • Add in broccoli, chicken, rice, and 1 C. cheese.
  • Pour into 13 x 9 greased casserole dish.
  • Mix bread crumbs and butter. Sprinkle the remaining cheese and then the crumb mixture on top.
  • Bake for 25 minutes, until the topping is browned and casserole is bubbly. 

Grilled Chicken Kugel

After watching an episode of “The Best Thing I Ever Ate” on the Food Network my husband and I were inspired to make a Kugel. Alton Brown recommended a sweet Kugel, but it looked so basic and easy to make we decided to research recipes and make up our own savory Kugel. You could add anything you wanted, or subtract what you don’t. The basis for the recipe is egg noodles, eggs, cottage cheese and sour cream. After that it’s really up to you. Here’s what we did for ours. 

Grilled Chicken Kugel

1-2 chicken breast, grilled with Roasted Garlic Seasoning (McCormick’s), cut into bite size pieces

12 oz. bag of extra-wide egg noodles

1 C. Daisy sour cream

1 C. 4% milk fat cottage cheese

4 large eggs

8 oz. fontina cheese, grated

1 stick of butter, melted

1 large onion, minced 

salt and pepper to taste

  • Pre-heat oven to 360°. Not a usual temperature, but the recipes said either 350 or 375, so my husband went for somewhere in the middle of the 2. 
  • Saute onion in the butter until they are soft.
  • Boil the egg noodles 8 minutes, or until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  • Beat eggs. Stir in all the other ingredients.
  • Add in cooked egg noodles.
  • Pour mixture into a 13 x 9 greased baking dish.
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes, until firm.

Sweet and Sour Chicken

I love Sweet and Sour chicken. This is a great and easy meal that I can make with everything I have on hand at home without having to find a Chinese restaurant that makes it the way I like it. Melskitchencafe.com has been a great resource for delicious recipes, and she has a yummy version of this dish, which I have slightly adapted.

Sweet and Sour Chicken


2 Chicken breasts, cut into chunks

2 eggs

1/2 C. cornstarch

salt and pepper to taste

Canola oil for frying


3/4 C. sugar

1/2 C. white distilled vinegar

4 Tbs. ketchup

1 Tbs. soy sauce

1 tsp. garlic powder

  • Preheat oven to 325°.
  • Salt and pepper the chicken to taste.
  • Dip chicken pieces into the cornstarch and then the eggs.
  • Put chicken into hot oil and cook until the outsides are brown, not fully cooking the chicken.
  • Place browned chicken in a casserole dish.
  • Mix ingredients for the sauce together and pour over the chicken.
  • Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes to make sure sauce is evenly coating the chicken.
  • Serve over white rice.