Chicken Binakol

Chicken Binakol
Chicken Binakol is a rustic Filipino dish of chicken and coconut water slowly simmered in either a coconut shell, or in a large node of bamboo, over a coal fire. As the chicken simmers in the coconut water, a rich broth is created that is simultaneously savory, slightly sweet, and made fragrant from healthy doses of ginger and lemongrass.

Chicken Binakol: Sous-vide Chicken Breast Stewed in Coconut Water, Lemongrass, and Ginger


  • 2 skin-on chicken breasts
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 stalk of lemongrass, bottom 4 inches trimmed, split in half lengthwise, and pounded with a mallet
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups coconut water
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce, plus more to taste
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced


  1. Fill the sous vide with water and heat to 140 degrees F.
  2. Season the chicken breasts on all sides with salt and pepper.
  3. Place the seasoned chicken breasts, lemongrass, ginger, and coconut water in a sous-vide bag and vacuum seal.
  4. Place the sealed bag into the water bath and cook for at least 2 hours, and up to 12 hours.
  5. Using scissors, snip a corner off of the sous-vide bag and pour the liquid through a sieve and into a small bowl. Set aside.
  6. Remove the chicken breasts from the bag and pat dry with paper towels. Discard the ginger and lemongrass in the bag.
  7. Heat the coconut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until hot and shimmering.
  8. Place the chicken breasts, skin-side down, into the hot oil and cook until the skin is brown and crisp, 1-2 minutes.
  9. Remove the chicken breasts from the pan and set aside on a cutting board.
  10. Add the minced garlic and shallots to the hot pan and saute until just beginning to brown, 1-2 minutes.
  11. Pour the reserved liquid into the pan, along with the 1 tablespoon of fish sauce, making sure to scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon or spatula.
    Bring the liquid to a boil, and continue to cook for 2-3 more minutes. Taste the liquid and season with additional fish sauce, or black pepper, as needed.
  12. Divide the liquid between two low bowls. Slice the chicken breasts and place into the low bowls.
  13. Garnish with scallions and serve.

This recipe serves 2, but it can be easily doubled