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Coconut Chicken and Butternut Squash

Ginataan Na Manok at Kalabasa

Philippines is abundant with coconut trees, we use it with food, building materials, textiles and even for skin care. Coconut is such a great nutritious ingredient for food and this is one of those dishes that really hits home! I never climbed a coconut tree myself, as I’m scared of heights but I did ‘sungkit’ [song-ket] a coconut myself (that means poked something until it fell). This recipe does not use young coconut so your safe, you don’t need to climb a coconut tree either! Thankfully you can buy grated coconut or canned coconut milk from your local Asian grocery store.

You can use pumpkin too if you can find it, I noticed that in the UK they sell big pumpkins during Halloween only, so my local grocery store only sells butternut squash. One of the great things about Filipino food is that it’s so versatile that you can easily find an alternative ingredient anywhere.

I used deboned chicken thighs because I prefer using meat close to the bones as I think they are much tastier and juicier than chicken breast, but of course you can use chicken breast too. My family will happily eat them with bones, although the bones are not great when you want to bring it as a packed lunch.

I hope you enjoy this recipe, if you are not a fan of fish sauce you can take that off and add more salt instead. So possibly 1 tablespoon first and then add more to your taste.



800g deboned chicken thighs
300g butternut squash, cubes
200g green beans, halves
400g coconut milk (1 can)
1 medium onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 thumb size ginger, chopped
2 tablespoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
red chilies (optional)


Saute onions first with some oil for 2 minutes. Add ginger, cook for 2 minutes, add garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes.
Add chicken, salt, fish sauce, black pepper and cook the chicken until the meat turns white.
Add butternut squash into the chicken and pour half of coconut milk onto the chicken, mix, bring it to boil and simmer for 20 minutes.
Once boiled add green beans, the rest of the coconut milk and cook for 10 minutes or until the beans are aldente.
This dish is perfect with some jasmine rice and if you like it a little fiery, you can chop some chilies to go with it too!

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