LP6 – When the Goat is Away (Chicken Kilawen)

Mention “pulutan” and I immediately think of my dad. What can I say, my dad is the quintessential Pinoy barkada. OK, so he’s probably borderline alcoholic and he’s driven us half crazy with his drinking and his inability to deny his barkada anything. “Pakikisama” always comes up in conversations with him. “Pakikisama” is the flip side of “barkada”. “Barkada” is the group of friends you hang out with, “pakikisama” is as Tito Rolly mentioned in his definition of barkadahan, compatriotism. The sense of belongingness and being a part of the group. I don’t want to sound harsh about my dad though, because in truth his friends have become like uncles and godfathers to us; and they do provide for good enterntainment with their singing (read about my previous post on their musical influence here) and rowdiness when they all get together. If only they could do with less booze, I always wished, but then that’s another matter.

Growing up in Baguio, I knew where all of my dad’s hang-outs were. It could be one of the sari-sari stores, bars, or restaurants. I just had a sixth sense of where to find him. It also helped that when we lived in Baguio, it was still small enough that the taxi drivers, most of whom knew my dad, can always point me in the right direction. Before cell phones, I was the designated messenger to call him home. The best thing about that job was, I am usually given a treat before we go home, and sometimes allowed to partake of their “pulutan”. “Pulutan” is just about any edibles consumed while drinking alcohol and hanging out. It could be, as I mentioned before, as simple as peanuts or as grand as lechon (whole spit roasted pig). My dad’s favorite is goat meat, especially made into “kilawen”.

Goat meat is hard to find here in NC, so I couldn’t duplicate his recipe exactly. I was talking to my mom recently and she mentioned that they went to a Filipino party where they served a dish that had the taste of “kilawen” but it was chicken. I knew exactly what she was talking about. So here is a not quite authentic “kilawen”, but still washes down perfectly well with booze.



There are no measurements for this, you taste and adjust to your liking as you go. The trick is to be liberal with the lime and make it as spicy as you want it to be. Here is what you need:

Grilled chicken breast, chopped fine
Red onion, minced
Ginger, minced
Chili Peppers, minced
Cilantro, chopped fine
Lime Juice
Salt & Pepper

Lasang Pinoy 6, Let’s Wash it Down with Booze was graciously hosted by Ting of World Class Cuisine. Thanks, Ting!

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11 comments on “LP6 – When the Goat is Away (Chicken Kilawen)
  1. Lani says:

    JMom, I will definitely try this one! Chicken Kilawen, kakaiba. Uyy, may bago na naman akong recipe sa chicken.

    Thanks, thanks, thanks…

  2. rowena says:

    Interesting post about the goat meat. I’m sure that I ate some of it when I was little but really don’t remember any dish with a particular name. Now goat meat is available during some parts of the year (mostly xmas and spring). I’ll have to give the kilawen recipe a try but make it with goat meat instead. Just reading the ingredients tells me that it goes great with beer!

  3. sha says:

    manang J.. my first kilawen was here in Athens from our Ilocana friends
    we are lucky to have goat here and also they use pig’s head

    my greek bro in law actually loves this but when he was told there were ears he nearly said blehhh

    but hey dont tell him anything he can finish a bowl!!!

    kilawen is one of the fave pulutan among pinoys here.

  4. JMom says:

    Hi Stel! that’s the first thing my hubby said when he tasted this! He said it tasted like “that Thai salad thing” 😀 The only thing omitted in this version is the patis.

    Hi Mae! I hope you do try it, it’s really great with any meat. It doesn’t have to be just chicken.

  5. mae says:

    Very interesting! I will try this in the summer bbq party… thanks for sharing the recipe.


  6. drstel says:

    delicious JMom, makes me “thirsty” 🙂 heehee…handsome dudes there ha! they look really tight as a barkada.
    now i see the similarity of kinilaw to the thai/laotian “laarb/lap” appetizer.

  7. JMom says:

    Thanks for hosting LP6, Ting. Always my pleasure to participate 🙂

    Ces, yes you can use kilawen out of just about anything. Ako rin, namumulutan ng mag-isa most of the time. Sana nga meron tayong tagayan party, with all the pulutan no? BTW, I’m no expert on Ilokano by any means, but you’re not mixed up 🙂 kilawen and kinilaw are just different conjugations of the same verb. Kilaw is to eat raw. Kilawen is something that is eaten raw. Kinilaw is the act of eating something raw. The term has also come to describe the vinegar marinade when applied to other meats, as I did with the cooked chicken which is far removed from being raw. Hope I didn’t make it more confusing 🙂

    Hi Tin! Medyo nakakahiya nga dahil I didn’t really take time to prepare anything special. I just worked with what I had on hand. I probably could have found some goat meat if I had thought about this ahead of time, but I’m never that organized 🙁 Pwede mo ring gawing kilawen ang steak, just grill it until medium rare or if you prefer, rare para mas true to the spirit of kilawen.

  8. ces says:

    oops i guess i got all mixed up again! so what;s the story behind kinilaw and kilawen anyway? sowi…hehe

  9. Typical INgredients says:

    Hi JMom,

    Wow interesting dish for kilawen at napakadali dahil most of the ingredients are available around – hey why not try it as well!

    Thanks for sharing JMom di mo man ako nalasing (di naman kasi ako umiinom) pero nabusog mo ako sa pulutan – lol!

    take care ha!


  10. ces says:

    i knew it! it’s not only seafood we could use for kilawen..interesting, jmom! mamumulutan na naman ako mag-isa? 🙁 join ka! 🙂

  11. ting-aling says:

    I’ll definitely try this one day JMom. Very intriguing, really! Thanks for supporting LP6!!!

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