Chicken caldereta is a wonderful Filipino dish that is filling and rustic at the same time. It uses various parts of the chicken to deliver a very specific umami flavour. Think of it as an Asian passata-based chicken stew. Admittedly, it's a little bit reminiscent of a chicken cacciatore (classic Italian recipe), but it's much more powerful. There are many versions of a chicken caldereta. Often, it is one of those dishes where every household puts their own spin on it. Plus, it's most likely at its best when served by a Filipino grandmother, as typically in Italian cuisine. You know what I mean.
Serve it immediately with a side dish, usually either rice, potatoes or mash. Otherwise, if you make a version of a chicken caldereta which also involves potatoes, then feel free to double up in portion size and serve it alone in a deep curry plate. Select your favourite toppings and enjoy to the maximum! There is no better way to enjoy a hearty and spicy chicken dish!
chicken caldereta recipe Filipino style
In this chicken caldereta recipe, you'll discover the flavour of Filipino cuisine. Ask yourself, when was the last time you truly enjoyed an authentic Filipino dish? In the past, I've made and shared plenty of flavourful and vibrant Filipino dishes. Some of these include:
- kare-kare - an authentic and rich Filipino oxtail curry. If you've got leftovers from this recipe, you can reuse the chicken in the kare-kare.
- taro laing - recipe made with dried taro leaves and coconut milk
what is caldereta?
Similarly to the kare-kare, this chicken caldereta is a very rich meal. It is often a popular choice during festivities or celebrations.
Although the name sounds Spanish, the dish is from the Philippines. You might also know it as kaldereta. The name is derived from the Spanish word 'caldera', which means cauldron. Historically, the dish came to the Philippines during the 300-year Spanish occupation. So, think of this dish as a fusion of cultures.
Generally speaking, a caldereta recipe usually combines beef or goat meat. Sometimes, you may even find versions of it with wild duck and pork. However, I've decided to make a more healthy version with white meat, which is chicken.
chicken caldereta – Pampanga-style
By now you are probably wondering, what in the world is Pampanga? Firstly, Pampanga is a province that's located north-west of Manila, in the Philippines. Pampanga is famous for its Kapampangan cuisine which is deeply connected with Spanish cuisine. This is due to the Spanish colonisation in the past. During this period, the Spanish explorers taught the Kapampangan natives the true basics of Spanish cuisine. After some time, the Kapampangans were able to put their own spin on the Spanish dishes. Over time, Kapampangan recipes started to gain popularity and were in demand by the settlers. Some of the typical Kapampangan dishes include:
- the traditional caldereta like this one
- bringhi paella
- taba ng talangka (with crab meat)
- tibok tibok
So, how can you make this chicken caldereta in true kapampangan fashion? Simple. Just follow this recipe to make an authentic version! Although in kapampangan cuisine you should opt for using goat meat.
chicken caldereta with cheese
What makes this chicken caldereta super-creamy and intense, is the addition of cheddar cheese at the end. The cheese should incorporate into the sauce. Hence, you are left with a total melt in your mouth feeling with every spoonful of the chicken caldereta.
If you don't have cheddar cheese at hand, you can use other alternatives. For example, you can grate these:
- Jack Cheese or Monterey Jack or their substitutes
- Manchego cheese or Manchego cheese substitutes
- Parmesan or Asiago cheese
chicken caldereta with coconut milk
Ordinarily, this chicken caldereta doesn't call for coconut milk. However, you can easily add coconut milk as a non-dairy option. In fact, I highly recommend also adding the thick coconut cream. This is the element that can really make a difference when it comes to caldereta curry.
Add as you see fit. However, I would add more than 1 full can of coconut milk. For the optimal creaminess, I recommend adding half a can of coconut milk with a bit of coconut cream.
if are looking for a creamy chicken recipe, then try my peppercorn chicken. Delicious!
chicken caldereta with peanut butter
Often, many Asian recipes include or are based on a delicious peanut sauce. Like this extraordinary Thai red beef curry in a sweet peanut sauce. So, my trick here is to add a little bit of normal peanut butter into the sauce while it simmers.
The peanut butter will melt right in, and it will add a delicious, sweet as well as salty nutty taste. I highly recommend adding a tablespoon or two of peanut butter. Can't go wrong with that!
chicken caldereta calories
Don't think about the calorie count when eating such a rich dish as this chicken caldereta. If you really wish to cut down on calories, then serve the dish without mash or rice. Instead, go for a low-carb alternative such as these garlic and chilli courgetti.
The chilli will increase your metabolic rate while adding a good kick to the dish. Of course, if you are sensitive to spicy chillies, then take this element out.
The best way to serve this chicken caldereta is with a side dish of mashed potato or simple basmati rice. As mentioned above, you can also cut down on carbs and serve the caldereta with vegetables. Otherwise, feel free to serve it in a deep curry dish and eat it alone as it is. This way, you can fully enjoy the exotic and intense flavours of the dish without anything distracting you from the flavours.
A chicken caldereta, as any other Asian dish, is all about toppings! Here are just a few which you can consider for completing your dish. These are:
- fresh red chillies
- spring onions
- fresh or roasted peanuts
- fresh herbs like coriander
- sweet peas or sugar snap peas
- fresh red bell peppers
- lime juice
So, which topping would you select for your chicken caldereta recipe? Enjoy!Print