The Best Homemade Chicken Tocino Recipe

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Enjoy our wonderfully sweet, savory and juicy Chicken Tocino Recipe for breakfast, lunch or dinner. It’s made with pineapple juice, brown sugar, garlic powder, ketchup, and oyster sauce. Chicken Tocino recipe is a perfectly delicious authentic Filipino meal.

chicken tocino recipe
Chicken Tocino Recipe. Photo by CookThink.

What is Tocino?

Tocino is a traditional Filipino breakfast served with rice and a pan-fried sunny side up egg. The meat is marinated for 24 hours. Popular proteins in the Philippines are pork and chicken and this dish can be made from either pork or chicken. We are choosing to use chicken in our dish.

The flavors are sweet and savory in taste as a result of the combination of ingredients including pineapple juice, garlic powder, and oyster sauce.

Tocino is boiled with the marinade at first and then pan-fried to finish it off.  

What You Need

Food safe plastic storage container with lid
Saucepan
Foil

Tocino Seasonings

Basic Tocino seasonings include brown sugar, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and Spanish paprika.

How To Serve Chicken Tocino

Chicken or pork Tocino is traditionally served with white rice, and a sunny side up egg. It is usually eaten for breakfast.

Tocino can also be cut into bite sized pieces and served on a bamboo skewer for a tasty lunch. Or it can be served with stir-fried noodles or fried rice for dinner.

How To Store

After being cooked, Chicken Tocino Recipe can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. It can be stored in an airtight container in the freezer for up to three months.

The Rest of The Ingredients

Along with the seasonings, the other flavorful ingredients for this authentic dish include pineapple juice, oyster sauce or soy sauce as a substitute, and ketchup to help achieve the red color. If you don’t have ketchup, there are alternate solutions we will cover later on as to how to achieve the red color.

Preparing The Marinade And Marinating The Chicken

Prepare the marinade by mixing together the pineapple juice, paprika, brown sugar, and ketchup in a food safe container with a lid. Add the seasonings and mix well.  Then drop in your pieces of chicken and cover with a lid. Place it in the refrigerator for 24 hours to allow the flavors to meld into the chicken. If you don’t have 24 hours of advance time to allow the chicken to set, we recommend using a minimum of 4 hours to allow the protein to marinade.

chicken tocino marinade
chicken tocino marinade
chicken tocino in marinade
chicken tocino soaking in marinade

Cooking Process

There are three methods you can use for cooking chicken or pork Tocino, depending on your preference. The key will be to ensure that your meat is completely cooked before removing it from the heat.

Pan-Fry

Our favorite method is to boil the Chicken Tocino Recipe in a frying pan or saucepan with the marinade liquid and then finishing it by pan frying it after the liquid evaporates. The internal temperature for the chicken needs to reach 165F degrees for it to be done, which won’t take long if your chicken is cut thin.

Oven

Chicken Tocino Recipe can be cooked in the oven if you prefer. Wrap it in foil with some of the marinade to keep it moist and for good flavor. Then bake it at 350F degrees for about 30 minutes, keeping it covered. As an option, you can then finish it by pan frying it for a few minutes if desired.

Grill

Another great cooking method is to cook your chicken on the grill. To do this, the key will be to keep it from drying out. Wrap the chicken in foil with some of the marinade sauce to keep it moist, and cook it on low until the chicken is completely cooked and reaches an internal temperature of 165F degrees.

How to Cook Frozen Chicken Tocino

Frozen Tocino can be cooked using the same method as thawed Tocino. If you have time to thaw it first, that is recommended.

How To Make It

Chicken Tocino Recipe is made by preparing the marinade, then allowing the chicken to soak in the marinade for 4 to 24 hours. After the chicken has marinaded, it can be cooked. Our recipe gives instructions to boil the chicken in the marinade and then finish it by pan frying it. However, baking your chicken or grilling it are also options to cook it.

What To Serve With?

Chicken or Pork Tocino is traditionally served with white rice, garlic rice, a sunny side up egg and sliced cucumber.

What Natural Color Can I Use For Tocino?   

Traditionally, Chicken Tocino Recipe is red in color. Using ingredients that give a red color to the chicken naturally will achieve this. We’re using ketchup in our recipe. But if you don’t have ketchup you can also use paprika, annatto powder, or even red food coloring.

What is Mirin and Where Can I Buy It?

Mirin is a sweet ingredient and contains alcohol. It is used in a lot of Japanese recipes. We don’t use it in this recipe, but it’s possible that you’ll find it in some Tocino recipes. Mirin can also be used in teriyaki sauce.

chicken tocino marinade
Chicken Tocino Recipe pan-fried. Photo by CookThink.

Recipe Frequently Asked Questions

Following are questions that are asked frequently about making Chicken Tocino Recipe.

What Do You Eat With This Dish?

It is traditionally served with white rice, garlic rice, a pan-fried egg that is cooked sunny side up, and sliced cucumber. However, you can eat it with whatever you like.

Are There Other Ways To Cook This Dish Aside From Pan-Frying?

Yes, you can bake or grill the dish to cook it too. See our instructions above for each method. You’ll want to use foil to keep the meat moist if you use the oven or grill method to bake it.

How Do I Reheat Cooked Chicken?

You can microwave it on high for 1-2 minutes, or add a little water to a pan and steam the chicken. Be careful not to dry it out.

If I Don’t Have Paprika or Ketchup To Make My Tocino Red, What Are The Alternatives?

There are a couple of alternative solutions you can use if you don’t have the ingredients our recipe calls for. You can use annatto powder or atsuete, which are both seeds. You’ll need to soak them in water first to transfer red color to chicken. Or you can consider cooking your chicken without the red color. It will still taste delicious.

After Cooking This Dish, How Long Can It Last In The Fridge?

After you’ve prepared and cooked your chicken, it will last up to 4 days in the refrigerator if placed in an airtight container. It can also be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.

How To Make Chicken Tocino Tastier?

There are multiple ways you can potentially add more flavor or more kick to your Chicken Tocino. You can add onion, garlic, chopped bell pepper, or even chilies to enhance the taste.

chicken tocino plated
Chicken Tocino Recipe. Photo by CookThink.

More To Know About Chicken Tocino

Boneless chicken thighs as well as pork shoulder or pork belly can some great protein ingredients for this recipe because of their fat content. The fat helps the meat to cook well and naturally stay moist.

How to Make Chicken Tocino

Following are step by step instructions for how to make Chicken Tocino.

Step 1: Marinate The Chicken

Mix all of the ingredients and place them in a food storage container with a lid in the refrigerator the night before. If you don’t have 24 hours to allow the meat to marinate, allow at least 4 hours for it to marinade.

Step 2: Boil The Tocino

In a heated frying pan, boil the chicken and marinade mixture together until the liquid mostly evaporates. 

Step 3: Pan-Fry and Finishing Touches

Add oil to the chicken mixture and add the finishing touches by pan-frying the chicken

How To Reheat and Store Your Chicken Tocino

To reheat the chicken, you can microwave it on high for 1 minute. Or if preferred, you can place it in the oven with a bit of water and cover it with foil at heat at 250F degrees until warmed through.

Freezing Extra Batches

If you’ve made extra or have leftovers, Chicken Tocino can be frozen by placing it in an airtight container or by dividing up into zipped freezer bags.

Recipe Ingredients

2 chicken breasts
2 ½ tbsp brown sugar
1/2 cup pineapple juice
2 tsp garlic minced
3 tbsp of ketchup
½ tsp Spanish paprika
1 tbsp oyster sauce
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
2 tbsp vegetable oil for pan frying the chicken

Step by Step Instructions

Marinating the Chicken

1. In a plastic food storage container with a lid, mix together all of the ingredients, except the oil which should be reserved for pan frying.

2. Gently mix together and place in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

Cooking the Chicken

1. Heat the cooking pan on the stovetop. Pour the marinated chicken along with the sauce into the pan and bring it to a boil.

2. Once the sauce is fully evaporated, add the vegetable oil to the chicken to finish it by pan frying it.

3. Over low heat, pan fry the chicken by turning it so that it is slightly browned and caramelized.

4. Add a pinch of paprika or tablespoon of ketchup and give the ingredients a stir before turning off the heat.

5. Serve with rice and an egg and enjoy!

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