Caldereta is a recipe familiar to many Filipino families that can use almost any type of meat. I learned this recipe from a good friend who had learned it from her mother-in-law. I prefer to make mine with chicken and a good amount of vinegar. It's usually served with rice, but I find it goes very well with spaghetti squash.
You can use soy sauce or liquid aminos in place of tamari. It is also worth noting that Red Boat fish sauce is my preferred brand.
Test Kitchen Notes
The star of this zesty dish is a rich tomato sauce, made more complex with olives, cider vinegar, and umami from the tamari and fish sauce. Serve it with rice to soak up the sauce -- you don’t want to miss a drop. The dish comes together very quickly, then simmers awhile, allowing you to prepare sides or kick back with a glass of wine. Bump convenience up a notch by purchasing bone-in chicken pieces. While the dish has easily earned a place in my weeknight rotation, it also makes my family’s cut as a dish worthy of dinner guests. —Julia G
4 to 6
diced yellow onion
garlic cloves, diced
fat (butter, oil, or rendered fat)
green olives, chopped
tamari or soy sauce
apple cider vinegar (white vinegar works well also)
In This Recipe
To begin, place a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat. Enameled cast iron works best.
While the pot is heating, take your chicken and remove the back bone. Then separate the chicken into two thighs, two drumsticks and four breast pieces (halve each breast). Put your choice of fat into the pan and brown the chicken in two installments.
After the chicken is browned, lower heat to medium and add in the onion and garlic. Sauté for 2 minutes and then add in the fish sauce, vinegar, tamari, tomato sauce, oregano, water, and olives. Stir well and add the chicken and its juices back into the pot.
Bring to a light boil, cover, and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 45 minutes and then remove the lid. Raise heat to maintain a simmer and cook for an additional 45 minutes.