They say that the ‘patani’ or black native chicken is a rare find. And that it is usually sought after by the Chinese for its supposed medicinal properties. And that because it is quite elusive, a kilo of it would cost you a considerable sum.
At Conching’s Native Chicken and Fastfood however, it only cost me less than Php300.
It was also an accidental find for me because at that time, I actually had no plans of dining at this newly renovated open air eatery in Cebu. I was just there to buy 2 grilled manok bisayafor my dad who craves for the scrawny yet flavorful fowl.
He would often tell us that those plumpier broiler chickens are now laden with chemicals that we can’t even spell. That is why he prefers manok bisaya or the native chicken if he’s given the choice. That choice is unfortunately expensive in the city, but in my dad’s hometown, they just catch them right outside their backyard. In the countryside, free range chickens are well, free of charge.
So while I was waiting for my take-out orders, I then casually asked the counter staff if they had patani on stock. (Someone tipped me beforehand that they usually keep it because most of their customers dislike its skin color.)
The guy who was manning the grill overheard my question and said that they had one that night. Without batting an eyelesh, I immediately replied “I’ll have that for dinner, please.”
I found myself slumped at one of Conching’s monobloc chairs next, partially contemplating at the ‘foodie madness’ I got myself into. I remember that I already had an early dinner that time, but I eventually justified my impulsive decision for the rarity of this experience.
A few minutes later, the grilled patani was served. At first glance, its flesh was not completely black as I imagined.
But you could very well see that some portions of its skin are still characteristically dark. I surmise though that a very hungry person would not even notice this anomaly.
It still tasted like manok bisaya to me. But there is an unmistakable, although fleeting, sweetness in every bite. Its exotic taste would probably be more pronounced if it was cooked in a clear soup (tinola) with unripened papayas or perhaps slowly simmered in a spicy gata(coconut milk) stew.
The Original Conching’s Native Chicken and Fastfood
A. Soriano St. Cebu City
+63 32 233 9273
They also have a branch in Davao:
The Original Conching’s Native Chicken and Fastfood (Davao)
Araullo, Mabini St. Davao City
+63 82 221 4448