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Classic pininyahang manok served on a decorative platter next to a dish of pineapple bits, carrots, and bell peppers

Traditional Pininyahang Manok Upgraded for the Modern Era

Putting together the family’s weekly food menu is challenging. The easy solution is to put tried and tested dishes in the heavy rotation. Eventually, favorite ulams become tiresome from repetition. The best way around this little dilemma is to find inventive ways to revamp classic dishes. A perfect example is the pininyahang manok.

Like many Pinoy recipes, this favorite uses one of the primary protein sources in the local diet – chicken. Often compared to afritada due to similar ingredients, pininyahan’s star, however, is the pineapple. The dish appeals to people who enjoy mixing sweet and savory.

Traditional Pininyahang Manok Ingredients

A bowl of chicken in pineapple sauce served on a round wooden tray

A dish originating from Southern Luzon, pineapple chicken is a simple stew with a sweet and tangy flavor profile. The viand is a powerhouse of nutrients with ingredients readily available in groceries and markets.

  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Potatoes
  • Bell peppers
  • Pineapple chunks
  • Chicken cutups
  • Evaporated milk

Depending on the recipe, some variations feature gata. However, you can skip the hassle of squeezing out coconut milk from grated coconut by using a packet of Knorr Ginataang Gulay Mix.

Note that the dish contains milk, which makes it quicker to spoil. If you won't consume it immediately, properly storing leftovers is vital. Another method to avoid spoilage is by substituting the milk with chicken stock. You can cop the creaminess of the milk by adding corn starch.

How Pininyahanag Manok is Made

Begin by marinating the chicken cutups in pineapple juice. Some recipes skip this step altogether. However, a marinade offers unparalleled results. It makes the meat juicy, tender, and embedded with the fruit's flavor profile.

Next, brown the garlic and onions until aromatic before adding the marinated chicken. Pour a small amount of stock, milk, or water into the pan. Toss in the rest of the ingredients. Add seasonings like black pepper, patis, and sugar to the slowly simmering stew. Take off the heat and enjoy with steaming rice.

New Additions to the Classic Pininyahang Manok Recipe

A huge serving of pininyahang manok complete with peas, carrots, potatoes, pineapples, and chunks of chicken

You can turn an old recipe into something new with just a few ingredients. Here are seven you can use to enhance the stew.

Lemon soda

Marinating meat in liquids that contain acidic ingredients helps break down proteins. Lemon or lime soda is a suitable alternative when calamansi is not on hand. Using soda as part of a pininyahang manok marinade helps tenderize the chicken. Not to mention, it's a unique way of introducing another sweet and sticky element to the dish.


Hands down, the easiest way to thicken the dish is by adding Knorr Ginataang Gulay Mix. But aside from using coconut milk in the recipe, you can combine it with cooking cream. Cooking cream produces an extra thick and rich stew base.


This breakfast staple has appeared in other dishes like chicken sopas and menudo, for example. Add diagonally cut hotdogs and mix into the ulam as a protein bonus.


The fussiest eaters can’t resist cheese. Grate quick-melting cheese to create an umami-filled chicken and pineapple stew base. Did we mention cheese contains calcium necessary for bone growth?


Besides hotdogs, another quick extender is ham. Chunks of maple-cured ham blend well with the existing flavors of the dish. You also do not need a lot; a pack of this deli meat can go a long way.

Green peas

Frozen green peas contain vitamin C, B1, and folate. Peas are low in sugar, high in fiber, and super filling. Versatile and can be used in many dishes, green peas lend a pop of color and a boost of nutrients to this fruity chicken curry.

Quail eggs

Boiled eggs are nutrient-dense. Despite their small size, quail eggs provide a significant dose of riboflavin, iron, selenium, and vitamin B12. So rather than pick chicken eggs, consider leveling up your pininyahang manok with quail eggs.

Surprise your family with an ulam recipe like no other. Ensure they get filling, tasty, and nutritious food by adding the right ingredients to your pininyahang manok. This simple lutong nanay pineapple dish, can be masarap, masustansya, and mura.

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