- 2 chicken leg quarters
- 1 Tablespoon neutral oil
- ½ small green papaya (approximately ¾ pounds)
- ½ large onion
- 1 large handful baby spinach (approximately 1 ounce)
- 1 piece of ginger about the size of your palm (about 5 ounces)
- 4 large cloves garlic
- 4 cups chicken stock, vegetable stock, or water
- 2 Tablespoons fish sauce
- ½ teaspoon salt (if needed)
- ⅛ teaspoon ground white pepper
- A couple pinches ground black pepper
- Cut the leg quarters at the joint so you have 2 drumsticks and 2 thighs. Trim any excess fat but do not peel the skin off. Set aside.
- Cut the papaya in half. Peel and seed the papaya, scraping out any of the spongy fibers under the seeds.
- Then cut the papaya lengthwise into 3 or 4 wedges. Cut across the papaya into thick wedges. Set aside.
- Peel the onion and slice into ½ inch pieces. Put the onion into a bowl.
- Cut the ginger into a couple of pieces.
- Peel the ginger and then cover with a kitchen towel and smack with a wooden spoon to smash it. Add the ginger to the onion.
- Smash the garlic and add it to the ginger bowl.
- Heat a large heavy bottom pan or dutch oven over medium high heat for several minutes. Add the oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Lower the heat to medium and add the chicken skin side down.
- Cook the chicken undisturbed for 2 minutes to brown the skin, and then flip the chicken and cook the other side for another two minutes.
- Add the onion, ginger, and garlic and stir for 1 minute to combine.
- Pour in the chicken broth and add the papaya.
- Stir in the fish sauce, white, and black pepper.
- Bring the soup to a simmer over high heat.
- Cover with a lid, lower heat to medium low, and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the papaya is translucent and tender.
- After the first 10 minutes of cooking, taste the broth. It should be a little saltier than soup since it will be served with rice. Add the salt if needed.
- Remove the pieces of ginger from the soup and discard.
- Add the spinach and cook for a minute until it is wilted.
- Serve the tinola with steamed rice on the side.
*If you’re using water instead of stock, add 1 teaspoon salt when you add the fish sauce. Then after cooking the chicken for 10 minutes, taste it and adjust seasoning as needed.
Keywords: soup, chicken, filipino, tinola, comfort food, fall, winter, green papaya