Try this chicken version of the famous Tocino. Easy to prepare, and economical, this delicious Chicken Tocino recipe is perfect for breakfast or serve it any time of the day!
Kapampangans are known for their love of cooking and delicious cuisines. They have created mouthwatering dishes like Sisig, Bringhe, Tibok-tibok, and Morcon. They are also known for processed meat products like Tapa, Longganisa and Tocino.
Loved by kids and adults alike, the sweet, slightly garlicky and peppery taste of Tocino is an old favorite. And for those who cannot/does not eat pork (or carabao meat like the Kapampangan Pindang), here is a version for you – the Chicken Tocino.
Some might say it is healthier as it is is from white meat, for sure it is more budget-friendly.
Why make it?
All-natural ingredients. There is no added chemical preservative in this Chicken Tocino recipe. The pineapple juice and sugar serve as the curing agent as well as the natural preservatives.
Simple and easy to prepare. Just toss all the ingredients in a bowl and you’re done. Frying the chicken tocino is the most effort you do in this dish.
Budget-friendly. Most of the ingredients of this recipe are pantry staples, plus chicken is more affordable than pork.
Other Delicious Chicken Recipes
Ingredients in making Chicken Tocino
- Skinless chicken thigh fillet- they are easier to cook and do not dry out as easily as breasts. Chicken thighs are more tender and flavorful as well. If unavailable, you may also use chicken breast fillets.
- Oil – for frying. Use any neutral-tasting oil you have available.
- Dark brown sugar – you may also use white sugar if unavailable.
- Seasonings – The recipe calls for ground white pepper and salt.
- Garlic – to add a light garlicky flavor.
- Rice flour- helps tenderize the meat and adds a velvety texture to the meat when cooked.
- Soy sauce – lends an umami flavor to the meat.
- Vinegar + unsweetened pineapple juice – a good marinade always has acids to help soften the meat and serves as natural preservatives.
- Make sure to cut your chicken thigh fillet thinly. In the frying stage, this will help make sure that the meat is cooked properly. Another reason is that Chicken Tocino is best enjoyed in a single bite.
- If you don’t want to use food coloring, you may use banana ketchup (about ¼ cup) to color your Chicken Tocino. It also adds extra flavor to the dish.
- If you prefer not to have bits of garlic, you may substitute this with garlic powder (about 1 tsp).
- If you don’t like food coloring but still want the bright red color of Tocino, you can use ‘Achuete’ or Annato seeds instead.
- Before marinating the chicken, pat it down with paper towels to dry off the excessive moisture so it can fully absorb the marinate.
- If you want a spicy version of Chicken Tocino, add some chili peppers or chili powder to the marinade. If you want something more manageable, you may use spiced vinegar as your dipping sauce.
Serving Chicken Tocino
The most popular pairing of tocino is with garlic rice and fried egg. This way, you can make the perfect Tocilog. You can also add Atchara and sliced tomatoes on the side to fancy it up.
How to Store
If you're making a large batch of Chicken Tocino and intend to cook it in portions, divide it in separate airtight containers or Ziplock bags.
Refrigerate leftovers in a container with a tight-fitting lid for up to 3 days.
Keep uncooked Chicken Tocino in an airtight container; even better if you have resealable bags like Ziploc. It can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months.
Chicken Tocino Recipe
- 2 pounds skinless chicken thigh fillet cut thinly in serving size
- ¾ cup dark brown sugar
- ½ tablespoon finely ground white pepper
- 1 tablespoon rice flour
- 1 tablespoon salt adjust to preference
- 3 cloves garlic grated
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons vinegar
- ½ cup unsweetened pineapple juice optional (replace with water if not using)
- A few drops of red food color optional
- 1 cup water
- 3 tablespoon oil
- ¾ cup dark brown sugar, ½ tablespoon finely ground white pepper, 1 tablespoon rice flour, 1 tablespoon salt, 3 cloves garlic, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 2 tablespoons vinegar, ½ cup unsweetened pineapple juice, A few drops of red food colorIn a big bowl, combine all ingredients for the marinade. Mix until well blended.
- 2 pounds skinless chicken thigh filletAdd the chicken fillet and gently massage into the marinade for a minute just to fully coat. Use hand gloves to avoid stains.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it marinate for at least an hour. You can also transfer to ziplock bags and refrigerate it for 24 hours or up to 3 days. Can be frozen afterward and stored longer.
- 1 cup water, 3 tablespoon oilTo cook, place the chicken pieces into a skillet or wok and add 1 cup water. Let it simmer over medium-high heat, uncovered for 15-20 minutes or until liquid is greatly reduced. Add the oil and let it cook until the liquid turns thick and dark and chicken lightly charred.
- Transfer to a serving dish and enjoy with rice and spiced vinegar dip or tomatoes.