Chicken soups are among the most well loved recipes anywhere in the world. And here in Western Visayas, among the most popular chicken soups is chicken binakol. Basically, it's chicken and vegetables stewed in coconut juice. The juice (and also meat) from the coconut makes this soup distinct from other chicken soups for it has a tinge of sweetness fcoming rom those ingredients.Usually, native chicken is used when cooking chicken binakol because of it's distinct flavour. It is cut into pieces then placed in bamboo tubes together with coconut juice and meat, tomatoes, onions, garlic, bell peppers and salt. The recipe varies for some add ginger (can't get over the tinola recipe?), lemon grass, potatoes and more.
Then the bamboo tube is sealed and placed over fire and wait for it to boil. This is where it got it's name - for binakol is a Kiniray-a term for cooking inside a bamboo tube. Others say it roots from the Hiligaynon word bakol, meaning "to spank", believing that the chicken is literally spanked before it is cooked to get more flavour.Though it is a hassle cooking inside bamboo tubes, to get the same essence one can just cook it in pots with bamboo tubes to get the same aroma and flavour as cooking it binakol, literally. Ofcourse, bamboo tubes reuiqred would those fresh ones and not those from the chairs, sala set and even house posts or you'll end up chicken binakol with the essence of varnish - lol.