Don’t confuse Filipino-style picadillo with the Mexican and Cuban picadillo which is a ground beef stew. The Philippine version of the Cuban picadillo is arroz a la Cubana.
Picadillo in the Philippines is a soup with small pieces of beef. My father made his with potato cubes; my mother-in-law’s version has chayote. My version has carrot, potato and chayote cubes.
In this recipe, because my older daughter Sam eats no mammals, chicken is substituted for the beef. The cooking time is a mere 30 minutes but the soup is simply superb.
Chicken Picadillo Soup
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- 2 shallots peeled and thinly sliced
- 4 cloves garlic peeled and chopped
- 2 large tomatoes diced
- 1 bay leaf
- 8 chicken thigh fillets skin on, cut into half-inch cubes
- fish sauce
- ground pepper
- 1 medium carrot peeled and cut into half-inch cubes
- 1 medium chayote peeled, cored and cut into half-inch cubes
- 1 large potato peeled and cut into half-inch cubes
- 4 to 6 cups chicken bone broth
- cilantro to garnish
- Heat the cooking oil in a pot.
- Saute the shallots, garlic and tomatoes until softened.
- Add the chicken and bay leaf.
- Pour in a tablespoon of fish sauce and a quarter teaspoon of ground pepper.
- Cook, stirring often, until the chicken is no longer pink and the mixture is starting to turn dry.
- Add the carrot, chayote and potato cubes.
- Pour in the chicken bone broth and bring to the boil.
- Taste and add more patis and ground pepper, as needed.
- Cover the pot, lower the heat and simmer until the vegetables are done, about 15 minutes.
- Taste the broth one last time and adjust the seasonings as needed.
- Serve the chicken picadillo soup garnished with cilantro.