How to Cook Pinikpikan

Monday, November 16, 2009

pinikpikan igorot foodPINIKPIKAN is a chicken dish extremely popular in the Cordilleras and amongst Igorots. It is served on special occassions. The recipe below was copied over from my existing website. I wrote the recipe down, around 12 years ago, with the help of Lakay Badu.


- A live Chicken
- Sayote (Quantity is variable)
- a head of Chinese cabbage/pechay
- one half to one kilo of innasin/etag
- enough knowledge in butchering fowls
- wood for fire
- a clean, flat surface, preferably smooth
- a piece of stick for beating.

(Note: The common Barn Chicken is preferred to Broilers, and Cobbs preferred to other broiler chickens. The Igorots use a species that produces the best of this dish. The meat, when cooked, is dark in color. After the introduction of broilers in the Philippines, it became increasingly known as "nitib" for "native".)


DO NOT DRESS THE CHICKEN (or should I say, undress? :-) ). Start a fire. Put one wing of the chicken on the flat surface. Using the stick, beat the wing from the inside, not to soft, but not to hard that it will break the bones and the skin of the chicken. (Of course, the chicken will squawk and fight back, so you have to hold the head, the other wing, and the legs in the other hand.) Beat it from the tip of the wing to the side, then back. Do it again. Now do the same to the other wing. After beating the wings, lay the neck of the chicken sideways on the flat surface. Beat the neck from end to end.

Now KILL THE CHICKEN! Of course... But to kill the chicken, hold the chicken by the feet and wings in one hand. Hit the back of the head with the stick, just below the comb. Not too hard, or the chicken will bleed, and not too soft either, or the chicken will get mad, and may peck at you. One well placed blow will do it without breaking the skin.

Afterwards, burn all of the feathers off the chicken on the fire you made. You can use your gas range, but it will be very messy afterwards. Better burn the feathers off using an outside fire.

After the feathers are removed, remove excess charred feathers from the chicken. Chances are, the chicken has also started to look like roast chicken. Now, butcher the chicken, slice it, and put the slices into a cooking container. Cut the innasin/etag into pieces as large as the chicken pieces. Put them into the cooking container. Do not put the sayote if there is very little innasin/etag. On the other hand, if you think it will be very salty, add sayote to minimize the salty taste. Clean the vegetables and separate the leaves. It is better to cook this over heavy heat. When the meat is done, Put the vegetables into the container, remove from the fire/heat, and cover. Leave for two minutes. Stir, and serve.


Kristine December 20, 2009 at 4:22 AM  

Now, now. Surely, even a kawitan can feel the pain of 'killing me softly' method. Poor manok. Can't we find other ways to bring flavour to the dish?

Chef Jay March 5, 2011 at 11:26 PM  

This is a curious dish.

I wonder how this thing will taste.

Killing me softly, lolz.

RODZ December 9, 2011 at 7:28 AM  

pls list famous recipes of igorot. ty. i am half igorot from zambales

Anonymous March 16, 2012 at 7:17 AM  

very cruel! kawawa naman ang chicken. i dont wanna eat this kind of dish if a poor living thing had to go through all of that.

Vladimar Kebeng March 31, 2012 at 10:23 PM  

I'm a full breed Igorot... And I love pinikpikan. This is exactly how they taught me by my dad and uncles. Masarap siya pero kung gusto niyo nang medyo may konting spike lagyan nyo nang 1/2 cup of rice na nanggaling sa rice wine(preferable yung red rice). Tapos para mas puro ang lasa wag nang lagyan nang etag sea salt nalang.

Anonymous July 22, 2012 at 10:51 PM  

Ang native manok po ay hindi in-introduce sa Pilipinas. Mga wild chicken po sila, "labuyong manok" kung tawagin. unti-unti lng silang na-domisticate. common ang labuyong manok s mga bubunduking lugar, kamukhang kumukha rin ng mga native n manok.

Anonymous July 22, 2012 at 10:51 PM  

Ang native manok po ay hindi in-introduce sa Pilipinas. Mga wild chicken po sila, "labuyong manok" kung tawagin. unti-unti lng silang na-domisticate. common ang labuyong manok s mga bubunduking lugar, kamukhang kumukha rin ng mga native n manok.

Anonymous September 16, 2015 at 9:10 AM  

Really think the "killing me softly" part is cruel? We do it to clot most of the chicken's blood and it wouldn't be messier to butcher. Its part of our tradition. It is what makes the dish unique from the others

iya amos March 19, 2016 at 8:47 AM  

Hi I am an FBI too. If you think this is cruel then don't eat any meat at all. The same killing happens to cattle, pigs and dressed chicken. It is only the manner of preparation that is unique to us Cordillerans we don't bleed it to death for this certain recipe. To what I've heard from my brother at the kill floor they have to give cattle a big sledge hammer blow to the head to knock it out before bleeding iIdry, cutting and dicing it up. I suggest watch videos on how other animals for consumption are killed and served to you for eating

I'm proud of my tradition. TOROGI AK!!!

Manong agpakada ak I'll use your recipe as a guide to my next blog thanks

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Milan Dvorak March 10, 2017 at 1:14 PM  

stupid culture, stay stupid forever

Anonymous October 9, 2017 at 8:02 PM  

putang ina niyo mga hipocrito sarap kaya niyan

Ngọc Bảo October 18, 2017 at 2:35 AM  

I like your post. It really useful with me. Thanks for sharing these useful information!

Anonymous December 18, 2017 at 7:52 PM  

Hipokrito masyado mga tao, pwe. people are just not used of looking on the process of which animals are killed to be served as already “ready-to-cook” products, examples are beef pork and chicken. If people are so butthurt about the process of the dish Pinikpikan then may i assume that you dont eat neither of these animal meats? I doubt. You enjoy these products because you dont know how are they being brought to your plates, regardless of how is the process anyway, you will eat them, so whats the difference between pinikpikan and other meat products that you eat? so SHUT THE FUCK UP AND RECONSIDER YOUR HYPOCRITE COMMENTS UNLESS YOURE A PURE VEGETARIAN, MOTHERFUCKERS

Anonymous March 8, 2018 at 2:57 AM  

Tapos sawsawan na maanghang, sakin kasi soy tapos kunting sabaw nung pinikpik tapos madaming sili ay sarap,

boston April 16, 2018 at 1:02 AM  

manong hiram ko man dytoi recipe para ijai project ko "blog" thanks
"for school only