A dish extremely popular in the Cordilleras. Served in all occasions.
A live Chicken
One Chayote (Optional)
"Pechay", Known in the United States of A as BokChoy (I forgot the English name :-( If any of you out there know, please e-mail me.)
one half kilo to one kilo "Innasin"
You must know how to butcher fowls.
(Come back to this site later ... Iíll teach you how to butcher fowl without a knife... The Igorot way... and by the way, many Igorots do not also know how to do this.)
The common Barn Chicken is preferred to Broilers, and Cobbs preferred to other broiler chickens. The Igorots use a specie that produces the best of this dish. The meat, when cooked, is dark in color. After the introduction of broilers in the Philippines, it became increasingly known as "nitib" for "native".
Preparing the Chicken, the Igorot way.
Tools needed for preparation:
Wood for fire.
A clean, flat surface, preferably smooth
A piece of stick for beating.
DO NOT DRESS THE CHICKEN (or should I say, undress? :-) ). Start a fire. Now, put one wing of the chicken on the flat surface. Using the stick, beat the wing from the inside, not too soft, but not to hard that it will break the bones and the skin of the chicken. (Of course, the chicken will squawk and fight back, you____ whatever..., so you have to hold the head, the other wing, and the legs in the other hand.) Beat it from the tip of the wing to the side, then back. Do it again. Now Do the same to the other wing. After beating the wings, lay the neck of the chicken sideways on the flat surface. Beat the neck from end to end. (Ever heard of the song "killing me softly.." ). You may probably wonder why one has to beat the chicken. (AINíT THIS CRUEL? NOPE!!!!) Click here to find out why you have to beat the chicken, and why it is not actually cruel to do so.
Now KILL THE CHICKEN! Of course... But to kill the chicken, hold the chicken by the feet and wings in one hand. Hit the back of the head with the stick, just below the comb. Not too hard, or the chicken will bleed, and not too soft either, or the chicken will get mad, and may peck at you. One well placed blow will do it without breaking the skin.
Afterwards, burn all of the feathers off the chicken on the fire you made. After a few more tries, you will learn how to burn off the feathers faster. You can use your gas range, but it will be very messy afterwards. Better burn the feathers off using an outside fire. Click here to find out why you have to burn the feathers off.
After the feathers are removed, remove excess charred feathers from the chicken. Remember, you should have removed the beak,tongue,crest,and feet coverings. Chances are, the chicken has also started to look like roast chicken. Now, butcher the chicken, slice it into manageable pieces, and put the slices into a cooking container. (Iíll be putting a page on how to butcher fowl on this site later. Iíll show you how to butcher fowl without a knife, using only your fingers, and a sharpened edge of a stick.) Cut the "Innasin" into pieces as large as the chicken pieces. Put them into the cooking container. Do not put the Chayote if there is very little "Innasin". On the other hand, if you think it will be very salty, add Chayote to minimize the salty taste. Note: the Chayote will be very tasty when cooked. Clean the "Pechay" and separate the leaves. It is better to cook this over heavy heat. When the meat is done, Put the "Pechay" into the container, Remove from the fire/heat, and cover. Leave for two minutes. Stir, and serve. If you do not have, pechay, the next best leafy vegetable is watercress. If you do not have either lettuce or watercress, You can use the young shoots of the chayote. For lettuce, leave for 4 minutes. For Watercress, leave for 2 minutes. For the young shoots of the chayote, put it in while it is still being cooked, then leave for 4 minutes. Remove from the fire/heat, and serve. Servings depend on the size of the Chicken, the vegetables, and the Meat added.
What Fowl can be used in place of the Chicken?
Actually (although it is my opinion, many Igorots will attest to this) the Duck, especially the "itik" or small brown ducks ( I still do not know what the specie is... if you know, please e-mail me) taste better. Geese, especially the Gander tastes the best for me.