Monday, January 3, 2011

Chicken Finola (Filipino Chicken Soup with Greens)


2 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium-large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3-4 pounds of chicken, skinned & cut up
water to cover, or part chicken broth
1/2 - 1 tsp salt (less if using chicken bouillon cubes, more if only using water)
1/4 - 1/2 tsp black or white pepper
2 Tbsp thinly sliced, fresh ginger root (1 tsp. ground  optional)
3 cups greens (spinach, bok choy or swiss chard leaves, or turnip/mustard greens) cut in half- fresh or frozen.

In Dutch oven or soup pot, fry onions and garlic in olive oil over medium heat. When onions are pale in color, add chicken and water/broth. Add seasonings and simmer chicken for about 45 minutes, or until almost tender. Add greens to top of chicken. Cook 15 minutes longer, or until chicken is done.

This recipe was adapted from one by Linda Rullan in Whole Foods for the Whole Family La Leche League International Cookbook 1981.  She writes that this recipe is from the Philippines and is traditionally given to new mothers as a benefit to mother and nursing baby. Leftover chicken may be removed from the bones and sliced into thin strips for a quick cold lunch.


  1. Hello..I am so glad to have found your blog. I'm a Filipino woman but I live in Singapore.You have a very delicious blog!

  2. Hi Sarah! It's actually called Tinola (maybe the writer of the book misheard it when she was in the Philippines). The greens normally used are chayote (unripe papaya is used as a substitute, and tastes very much the same), and chilli leaves (optional). :)

    1. Thanks for giving me the correct name. I also like your version of the soup using the traditional filipino ingredients. Probably the person who originally wrote the recipe was trying to make it easier for those of us in the U.S. who don't always have access to those traditional ingredients, especially years ago.


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