Thursday, July 8, 2010

Defeated Chicken

In my journey of divorce I'm discovering little treasures here and there.  Tonight, it was  my "week on week off" roomie's Philippine Cookbook by Reynaldo Alejandro that I discovered.  Sitting in my little room by myself contemplating my world I noticed this cookbook.  I wasn't expecting such a book among the engineering, science and Asian travel books, but there it was. I was so excited.  I pulled it out and perused it.  Lots of different lumpia recipes and things like fried pigeon, fried pig knuckles and ox tongue pie.  But the one recipe that really caught my eye was Talunang Manok or Defeated Chicken.  I had to laugh.  What kind of recipe is called defeated chicken?  I mean, really.  All chicken recipes would ultimately be a defeated chicken recipe wouldn't it?  They're defeated and in my stew pot and soon to fill my tummy right?  Well, it has a whole different meaning in the Philippine culture. 

Here is what I learned. 

The national sport of the Philippine's is cockfighting.  Not a pretty sport, not something I condone, but it's their culture and it's not my place to judge that, and the history of it and how this particular meal came about.  The cocks who have lost their last fight are called talumnan.  They were bred for cockfighting, not eating, so these roosters are tough little buggers. So, not being people to waste an animal, and I have to respect them for doing this, they created a special recipe to make them tender enough to eat, The Defeated Chicken.

This can be done with a regular stewing chicken - so don't worry about finding a worn out fighting cock.

2 cups salted black beans (these can be found in a Asian specialty market)
1 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 4 to 5 lb stewing fowl, cut into serving pices
2 lbs pigs' feet (can be found in Asian or Mexican markets)
4 cups water
3 garlic heads, crushed
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp oregano
1 small piece star anise
1 cinnamon stick

Mash beans with vinegar and brown sugar an place, with the chicken, pigs' feet and water, ina large pot.  Boil until chicken and pigs' feet are tender ( a pressure cooker may be used).  Add garlic and spices to stock.  Simmer until thick.

Serves 4- 6

There you have it - one defeated chicken. 

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