Tinutong na Manok sa Gata is a dish of chicken, young papaya, moringa leaves and red pepper cooked in coconut milk that is extracted from toasted coconut meat.
- 1 kg free range chicken thighs and legs
- 4 cups desiccated coconut or dried coconut strips
- 6 cups coconut milk
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 medium sized green papaya cubed
- 1 bunch malunggay leaves
- 1 thumb sized ginger, thinly sliced
- 1 large red capsicum, sliced
- 1 large red onion, chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- fish sauce or sea salt
- ground black pepper
- In a bowl combine 2 cups of coconut milk and 4 cups of desiccated coconut, let it rehydrate.
- Prepare a baking tray lined with aluminium foil or parchment paper, toast in a 180C preheated oven for 20 minutes or until strips are golden brown and very aromatic, prevent it to become crunchy.
- Place all remaining coconut milk in a large bowl then combine with the toasted coconut. Let is sit for 2 hours.
- Using a fine sieve separate coconut milk with desiccated coconut. Place desiccated coconut in a muslin cloth then press it hard to extract all of the juices, combine it with the initially separated coconut milk. Discard desiccated coconut.
- In a stone pot over a charcoal or wood burner heat oil then sauté garlic, onions and ginger. Cook until onions are soft.
- Add chicken and stir fry for 2 minutes in high heat browning all sides.
- Add chicken stock and all but 1 cup of the extracted coconut milk, bring to a boil and simmer in low heat for 45 minutes, if you are not using free range 20 minutes would be enough.
- Add green papaya and red capsicum then simmer for additional 15 minutes
- Add remaining coconut milk together bring back to a slow boil then top it with malunggay, cover then let the residual heat cook the malunggay for two minutes.
- Season with fish sauce and freshly ground pepper.
If you do not have a wood burner you can use a normal stove but the wood burner imparts a nice smoky flavour to the dish.