chicken / poultry Filipino

Chicken Halang Halang (Visayan Spicy Chicken Stewed in Coconut Milk)

Friday, June 12, 2015Enz F

I am so happy to share with you my 100th blog post! Ever since I got into blogging sometime in the latter part of 2013 and before I was able to gather enough courage to launch my first ever blog in January 2014, never in my wildest imagination that I would be able to get this far. Armed only with the passion and love for food, a little understanding of photography and totally zero-knowledge of SEO, coding and site development, I put up a blog using a free theme with the blogspot name, My main purposes were to share my personal stories while letting the world understand how amazing the Filipino cuisine is through my recipes. Later on, I decided to buy a more professional-looking template and  register it under a paid domain name, Along the way were the many obstacles that I had to overcome to the point that I had almost given up blogging. I did not know if there were people that were really reading my blog so I kept asking myself if all the sweat, effort and sleepless nights were really being paid off. There were instances that I had almost lose the drive to cook and write, and I thought that it was just a waste of my time. I could not see any point and hope in it at all. But with the continuous support that I had been getting from friends, here and in the virtual world, I never ceased to learn and be as creative as I can be. Little did I notice that I was already starting to count my blog posts – they became 10, and then 50. I was so ecstatic when I got my Google AdSense approved as my blog posts continue to grow to 70, and then 80. On my 99th, I became so busy with other things but I never forget to cook. In fact, I have a number of pending dishes to feature in the coming days. Until the day came that I am already writing my 100th article, I was really overjoyed with the little achievement. I regained my confidence from all the kind words that I am getting from the very few people reading my articles who, little by little, are already growing in number and getting hooked to my heartfelt and true-to-life stories. These people helped me understand the true meaning of dedication and patience. 

So to all my readers and supporters out there, real and imaginary, thank you for the undying love and support. Your words of encouragement and constructive criticisms have always become my fuel to keep the passion burning and to better myself and this blog in so many aspects – from my writing style to my becoming a better cook and from the layout and formatting all the way down to photography, which I believe, in a way, has already improved despite the fact that I have never owned a decent camera or DSLR – thanks to my iPhone 5 for being an ever-reliable partner all through the years! It is indeed a great milestone in my blogging career that deserves a good celebration. Cheers to a prosperous and happy blogging life ahead of us! Again, a million thanks to everyone!

Chicken halang halang is a hybrid of two well loved Pinoy dishes - tinola and ginataang manok.
Now let us go to the dish! It is a spicy dish, as hot as the burning passion that I had from the time I wrote my very first article for Pinoy Kusinero. (Check it out here – Ensaladang Ampalaya/ Bitter Gourd Salad.) Chicken Halang Halang is the name of our featured chicken dish for today – believed to be a hybrid of our well-loved Tinolang Manok (Ginger-based Chicken Soup) and Ginataang Manok (Chicken and Coconut curry) because of the similarities in the ingredients. (You may want to try other chicken curry recipes here - Ayam Kapitan or Malaysian/ Singaporean Chicken Curry and Filipino-Style Chicken Curry.)

"Halang" means spicy!
Halang halang dish is a very popular Spicy Chicken Stewed in Coconut Milk by the folks in the Visayan Region and in some parts of Mindanao. The word “halang", when literally translated in English, means “spicy” because of the used of hot chilies as one of the main ingredients. The coconut milk maintains the creaminess and richness of the dish while it tempers the spiciness of the chilies. It is definitely a great dish that you can serve at home on a regular basis, no fuss and very easy to do.
Chicken Halang Halang (Visayan Spicy Chicken Stewed in Coconut Milk)
Number of Servings: 4 to 6
  • 2 lbs. chicken (combination of thigh and breast), chopped into serving slices
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 thumb-sized ginger, minced
  • 3 stalks tanglad or lemongrass (white bottom part), lightly pounded
  • 2 cups unang gata ng niyog (first coconut milk extraction)
  • 2-3 cups ikalawang gata ng niyog (second coconut milk extraction)
  • 1 small green papaya, peeled, deseeded and sliced into wedges
  • 3-5 pcs. (or more) red Thai chilies, chopped
  • a handful of chili leaves
  • 3 tbsps. patis (fish sauce)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsps. cooking oil

  1. In a large pot over medium heat, sauté garlic, onion and ginger until very fragrant. Cook for a couple of minutes or until wilted.
  2. Add chicken and lightly fry, stirring occasionally. Cook until the color turns light brown on all sides. Add fish sauce and continue to stir fry for another minute.
  3. Gradually pour in the second extract of coconut milk, just enough to cover the chicken. Bring to a light simmer. Add lemongrass and red Thai chilies. Cover the pot and continue to simmer for about 20 minutes or until the chicken is almost fork tender. Stir occasionally to avoid curdles from forming.
  4. Add the first extract of coconut milk. Add papaya. Continue to simmer for another 10 to 15 minutes or until the papaya is cook through and the chicken is fork tender.
  5. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat. Add the chili leaves and leave aside for 3 minutes to let the chili leaves cook in residual heat.
  6. Transfer the dish in a serving bowl and serve along with hot steamed rice. Enjoy!

  1. This dish goes well with native brown chickens. They are less meaty but more flavorful and require longer time to cook compared to commercialized chicken.
  2. You can substitute spinach or moringa leaves if chili leaves are not available.

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  1. That is so humble of you to share the challenges of beginning your blogging career. Thanks for the inspiring words. I remember the night I almost wanted to shut down my blog, but a few people believe in me so I carried on.

    It's the real life story blended deliciously with every dish that you cook that makes your blog unique and appealing.

    Dahil ang masarap na pagkain ay lalong sumasarap kapag sinabayan ng kuwentuhan.

    1. Thank you, Jayson for those wonderful compliments once again! It really moves me everytime I receive feedbacks from people like you who get to relate with my story. Thank you for validating and letting me know that I am succeeding well with my purpose in putting up this blog. You always take the time and that means a lot! :)

      Btw, I've read a couple of articles in your blog and I have to say that I really admire your writing style and the sincerity you put into it. You write straight from the heart. I hope you would allow me to borrow some of the beautiful quotes from your blog as I incorporate them in my articles in the future, with exact and proper link back to your blog of course. I am looking forward to reading more of your stories. I just love to read/ listen to stories as much as I love to tell stories. Great things await us, we should never get tired of writing!

      PS: I was too excited to publish this 100th blog post and it was only now that I get to notice the missing recipe. My bad! I will fix that space once I get home. :)

  2. trying your chicken halanghalang for my egyptian hubby who loves filipino food!.. ^_^
    Tastes amazing! kudos! Love from Dubai.. <3

    1. Thank you!I'm glad you tried the dish. All the best to you and your hubby. :)

  3. Congratulations on your blogging milestone. I know how hard it is to run a food blog. I started a tech blog last December and I already have about 60 posts. Hope to reach 100 soonest.


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