Popular Chicken Tocino Recipe: Authentic Filipino Flavor

Chicken Tocino is a beloved Filipino dish known for its sweet and savory taste, offering a delightful culinary experience that reflects the rich culture of the Philippines. Traditionally made with pork, this chicken version provides a lighter alternative without compromising on flavor. Perfect for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, Chicken Tocino is a versatile dish that’s sure to become a favorite in your recipe collection.


Chicken Thighs (boneless and skinless, thinly sliced): 2 lbs (about 900g)
Pineapple Juice: 1/2 cup (120ml) – for tenderizing and adding a slight tang
Brown Sugar: 1/2 cup (100g) – for sweetness and caramelization
Soy Sauce: 1/4 cup (60ml) – for color and saltiness
Garlic (minced): 1 tablespoon
Salt: 1 teaspoon
Ground Black Pepper: 1 teaspoon
Annatto Powder (Achuete): 1 teaspoon – for color (optional)
Cooking Oil: for frying


Marinade Preparation:

In a large bowl, mix pineapple juice, brown sugar, soy sauce, minced garlic, salt, pepper, and annatto powder (if using) until the sugar dissolves.
Marinating the Chicken:

Add the chicken slices to the marinade, ensuring each piece is well coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight, to allow the flavors to meld.
Cooking the Tocino:

Heat a skillet over medium heat and add a small amount of cooking oil. Fry the marinated chicken slices in batches, turning occasionally, until fully cooked and caramelized on both sides.

Serve the chicken tocino hot with garlic fried rice (sinangag) and a fried egg for a traditional Filipino breakfast known as “Tocilog.”
Serving Suggestions

Chicken Tocino is traditionally served for breakfast but can be enjoyed at any meal. Pair it with steamed rice and pickled papaya (atchara) for lunch or dinner, or wrap it in warm tortillas for a Filipino-inspired taco night.

Cooking Tips

Marinating Time: For the best flavor, marinate the chicken overnight.
Cooking Technique: Cook the tocino over medium heat to prevent the sugar from burning.
Variations: Feel free to add a spicy kick with chili flakes or use honey instead of sugar for a different sweetness.
Nutritional Information

While Chicken Tocino is a flavorful dish, it’s also relatively high in sugar due to the marinade. Opting for chicken over pork makes it a leaner choice, providing a good source of protein.


Can I use chicken breast instead of thighs?
Yes, chicken breast can be used but may result in a slightly drier texture.
How can I make this dish healthier?
Reduce the amount of sugar or substitute it with a natural sweetener like honey.
Can I grill the chicken tocino?
Absolutely, grilling adds a smoky flavor that complements the sweetness of the marinade.
How long can I store the marinated chicken in the fridge?
The marinated chicken can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Is there a substitute for annatto powder?
While annatto powder adds color, it can be omitted without affecting the taste significantly.

Enjoy this Delicious Chicken Tocino recipe, a simple yet flavorful dish that brings the authentic taste of Filipino cuisine to your table.

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