Tocino is another Filipino breakfast alternative to Pork Longganisa and Beef Tapa that pairs perfectly with fried eggs and garlic rice. It is a sweet and savory type of cured meat that is usually made using pork shoulder or pork butt since both cuts have a relative amount of fat that caramelizes nicely as it cooks on a hot pan. For this version of tocino, I wanted to change it up a little and veer away from using pork and substituted boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead. The chicken tocino comes out tender and moist without swimming in globs of fat!
When preparing the chicken thighs for this recipe, you can slice each thigh lengthwise to make it thinner or pound it with a meat mallet to flatten until it’s about 1/4 inch thick. This will allow the marinade to easily penetrate through the meat.
One last thing, don’t forget to take note of the marinating time listed in the recipe. I highly suggest letting the chicken sit in the marinade for at least 24 hours to cure it properly. This will give you the most flavor-packed chicken tocino. If you’re seriously pressed for time, marinating overnight will do and will still turn out great!
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs thinly sliced or flattened
- 4 tbsp of your preferred oil for frying
In a large bowl, combine all the marinade ingredients and mix thoroughly until the sugar and salt are dissolved.
Add the thinly sliced chicken thighs and mix until each piece is coated with the marinade.
Place the chicken and marinade in a large zip-top plastic bag. Remove excess air and seal it well.
Place the bag in the fridge and leave it in there for 24 hours to allow the marinade enough time to cure the chicken.
Once you're ready to cook the tocino, heat a large cast iron pan or skillet over medium heat.
(Note: Fry the chicken in 2 batches so that it browns nicely and evenly on both sides.)
For each batch, add 2 tablespoons of oil into the pan.
Add the chicken pieces to the pan and cook it for 3 - 5 minutes. Flip to the other side and cook for another 3 - 5 minutes until browned and caramelized.
Remove from the pan and repeat the same process for the remaining batch.
Serve immediately with fried eggs, cauliflower rice (or garlic rice) and a spicy vinegar dipping sauce on the side.