Filipino Halang-Halang Recipe (a.k.a Spicy Chicken Dish)

This afternoon at the shelter where I work one of the houseparents, Ate Ellen, began cooking for the girls’ dinner. A delicious aroma began to waft into my office while I was working and I immediately went to investigate. I walked into the kitchen and approached Ate Ellen, who was stirring the steaming pan in question, and I asked her to please tell me what was happening on this two-burner gas stove.

She explained she was cooking halang-halang. Again, I asked her to please explain herself.

Apparently halang means “spicy” (a word I had not learned yet) so the chicken dish she was cooking is called spicy-spicy in the literal translation. However, with this recipe it depends on the level of spice you want, from no spice to tears running down your face. With most of the recipes I add this one will list the ingredients and the directions but no precise measurements – who needs them anyway. Actually, I usually do, but this is fairly simple and you don’t need measurements to make it delicious. Follow your instincts.

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Ingredients

  • Chicken breast
  • Soy sauce
  • Garlic
  • Lime juice
  • Ginger
  • Onion
  • Bell pepper or chili peppers depending on the spice you want
  • Sugar (just a smidgen)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Oil
  • Potatoes or rice (optional)

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Directions

  1. Cut chicken breast into half-inch cubes and marinate with soy sauce, minced garlic, salt, and lime juice for several hours.
  2. Heat small amount of olive oil in a large pan and saute garlic, ginger, and onion until lightly brown.
  3. Add peppers and stir for a minute before adding the marinated chicken.
  4. Mix well and simmer together until chicken is cooked all the way through.
  5. Add a little sugar and salt to taste
  6. Depending on how thick you want this dish you can also add water at this point and continue to simmer. This can be eaten as a side dish or more like a stew served over rice.
  7. You can also add cubed and cooked potatoes to the pan if you so chose.
  8. Eat and enjoy!!

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