crispy fried chicken & vegetable soup

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There are other ways to fry or marinate chicken but this is how I normally want it to make it crispy & quite easy to prepare as well. Cean loves the combination of chicken & vegetable soup. The soup here is similar to nilagang baboy, a native dish of broiled pork w/ vegetables, but w/o the pork. Ofcourse, my secret ingredient (not secret anymore) is the fried garlic to add a certain aroma to the soup, be it nilaga or a pasta soup.

Ingredients for the fried chicken:
2 chicken thighs (u may choose different parts)
salt and pepper

Ingredients for the soup:

1 tbsp crushed garlic
1 onion
1 potato (sut into wedges or cubes)
1 small platter of cabbage, thinly sliced
1 small carrot (cut into small cubes)
salt & peppercorns
1 tbsp of fish sauce

Marinate the chicken for about 15 to 30 minutes w/ just salt & pepper (& as always, if u wanna hav little MSG). In a frying pan, fry the garlic over low heat until golden brown. Set this aside for the soup.

Make sure the cooking oil in the pan is really hot before frying the chicken. Deep-fry. When the chicken is almost done, sprinkle little water to make the chicken crispier. Cook until golden brown.

U may cook the soup at the same time. Boil the onions in 3-4 cups of water (rice stock or chicken broth). Season w/ salt, peppercorns & fish sauce. Add the potatoes & carrots & boil until the potatoes are cooked. Add the cabbage & half of the golden brown garlic. Bring to boil. Pour the vegetable soup in a soup bowl & sprinkle the remaining fried garlic on top.

It’s also quite nice to have some sinangag or fried rice to match the above. The simplest one is just to fry some more garlic until golden brown on very little oil (u may use few tbsp from the oil used for frying the chicken if ur not too much of a health buff) before adding the rice, stirring for about 2 minutes over low heat.

Left wing, chicken wing, it don’t make no difference to me. – Woody Guthrie

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I am not a professional cook. My only claim to having a culinary background is a short stint as my dad’s teen ‘sous chef’ in his carinderia ages ago. Dad ran small eateries since I was a young kid - serving standard ‘turo-turo’ food ranging from the likes of menudo, adobo, pritong isda, dinuguan, binagoongan, bopis, munggo, pinakbet and giniling to merienda fares like goto, ginataan, pancit bihon, halu-halo and saging con yelo.

My father, a farmer in his hometown before working his way to becoming an accountant, definitely influenced my cooking in a lot of ways than I thought. My siblings and I were raised in a backyard full of fruit trees and vegetable garden. We spent weekends and the summer breaks running around with ducks, chickens, goats and pigs. I had wonderful memories of gathering eggs, butchering chickens, selling vegetables and the sweet aroma of preserved fruits. But my love for art led me to a degree in Architecture. Just few months after getting my license, I went abroad and lived independently at age 23. Definitely no maid, no cook, and a totally different food culture. Along the way I met lots of friends and spent what seemed a lifetime learning new tricks and recipes.

Now living in Auckland, I am a work-from-home mum who juggles time between work, fun and family - in pursuit of work-life balance. No matter how busy I am, I love the idea of cooking for my family. My blog chronicles home cooking greatly influenced by life outside my home country from Southeast Asia to Beijing and Auckland. And most of the time, being busy also means easy (sometimes quick), affordable meals.

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