Breakfasts in our home growing up was always a big breakfast. Nothing less!
And typically it would include a delicious variety of Filipino dishes that, to this day, can not be replaced.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my pancakes and bacon and eggs but give me a bowl of garlic rice with longanisa or tocino and a side of eggs and tomatoes and I’m in breakfast heaven.  

One of the dishes I loved and my family now loves is tocino.
Tocino is a sweetened meat based on chicken or pork, it is originally marinated and cured for several days before boiling or pan-frying. Its name is derived from the Spanish word tocino (tow-see-no), which is used to describe bacon or cured meat.
It is usually served with garlic rice, egg and tomatoes.
Yum — I’m so hungry now thinking about it!

Admittedly, I didn’t usually make them from scratch because, well quite frankly, buying them from the Asian grocers frozen is just as good and not to mention quick and convenient for me.
My mom shared her recipe for Chicken Tocino with me that would not take days to marinate and wouldn’t be so taxing or require so many ingredients and I didn’t realize how ridiculously easy it was.
I will only be making them like this for now on versus buying the pre-made variety.  It tastes absolutely delicious and my kids gobble it up and always ask for more.

I hope you enjoy!

Chicken Tocino
Serves 2
A sweet cured meat made out of pork and chicken, native to the Philippines. A popular breakfast dish served with garlic rice and eggs.
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
50 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
50 min
  1. - 2 lbs of Chicken thighs (cut into chunks)
  2. - Juice from 1/2 of a lemon
  3. - 1/4 cup of 7Up (my mom swears buy it!)
  4. - 2 Tbsp Soy Sauce
  5. - 2 tsp Achuete / Annatto Powder (for colouring - You can even use some red food colouring instead)
  6. - 1 tsp salt
  7. - 1/4 tsp Black Pepper Powder
  8. - 1/2 tsp Paprika Powder
  9. - 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  10. - 3 tsp Brown Sugar
  11. - Cooking oil
  1. 1) Marinate the chicken in a bowl with lemon juice, 7Up and soy sauce.
  2. 2) Add the black pepper powder, salt, brown sugar, garlic powder, paprika powder and Annatto powder to the bowl and combine together.
  3. 3) Cover and Marinate for 30 minutes, or overnight, in the refrigerator
  4. 4) Heat a frying pan on medium heat, add the oil and pan fry the chicken with its marinade and flip often
  5. 5) When almost cooked, lower heat until the chicken is nicely browned and serve
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89 Comments on Chicken Tocino Recipe

  1. I made this for dinner tonight, but I also added some onion powder and chili pepper flakes to kick the taste up a bit. Turned out great. I also doubled the liquids for extra sauce to put on the rice. Winner!!! Thanks for the share.

  2. Hi Carol,
    I think you missed on how much chicken meat/thighs?
    1/2 kilo or 1 kilo?


  3. Love tocino. Tried your recipe twice. This is the healthy option since it doesn’t use the nitrate preservative.
    It’s good even without the annatto. The paprika gave it a nice unique taste.
    How much salt are you supposed to add, it’s not in the list of ingredients. And how big is the lemon, if in tablespoon, is the lemon juice about 2 Tbsp?
    Thanks for sharing this delicious version of chicken tocino. Will try it again using chicken thighs. I initially used chicken breasts tender.

    • Hi Maria-
      Thanks for trying out the recipe! I’m glad to hear you enjoyed it.
      For salt, it’s about 1 tsp and it’s the juice from 1/2 piece of regular-sized lemon.
      I’ll add this to the recipe now (thanks for flagging!).

    • Hi Chandra – Do you mean powder flavouring in replacement of the spices? I have never actually seen one for this particular dish but I can assume it would have the same ingredients listed. The achuete/anatto powder should be available in asian grocers (but if you don’t have one near you, a red colouring should suffice). There really is no flavour for the achueto powder as it is mostly used for colouring.
      No, not spicy at all. Actually more sweet. Hope you get a chance to try! πŸ™‚

  4. This would be such a nice change for my family. It sounds amazing and it’s nothing like any other chicken dish I’ve ever made.

    • Yes you can do that! πŸ™‚ Yum. Typically this dish is eaten with garlic rice! And tomatoes.
      Garlic rice is sautΓ©ed chunks of garlic in olive oil until almost browned and then rice added and cooked together. The flavours of the garlic in the rice is amazing. Pairs well with the tocino and tomatoes!

  5. I’m about to try out your recipe, but do I just marinade the chicken w wet ingredients, drain it and then season it w the dry ingredients or do I combine all wet and dry ingredients together?

  6. Think I might just make this for Sunday, looking for a new way to cook my chicken and this is going to be it!!

    • Almost. Just remove the 2nd n. πŸ˜‰ The real word for it is Annatto. It’s typically used as a food colouring with subtle flavour. You can actually swap it with paprika. Omitting it all together won’t change the taste at all.
      It’s a favourite and I’m sure you’ll love, Nicole!

  7. This looks so good, I think it would make a perfect lunch. Can’t wait to try and thanks for sharing the recipe πŸ™‚

  8. omg I am going to have to give this a try I think I need help,I had an urge to lick the screen when I seen your Chicken Tocino

  9. Wow this sounds delicious. I have to pin this for later to make. Can’t wait to taste and see what its like. Looks so yummmy!!! And whats so nice is I have all the ingredients in the pantry etc. to make without running out to the store!!

  10. This truly looks and sounds so delicious. I am going to have give this a try. Thank you for posting such a great recipe.

  11. I guess I’ve lived a sheltered existence when it comes to food & I have never tried Filipino cuisine. This chicken tocino dish really looks divine, I would eat this in a heartbeat!

  12. I made this for dinner last night and it was so yummy! Everyone loved it! Thanks for sharing the recipe, will definitely be making it again!

  13. Yummmm, this sounds amazing, not only for breakfast but for anytime of the day, thanks for sharing one of your families recipes!!

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