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Chicken Proben: Beloved Street Food in the Philippines

Chicken proben is a popular street food among students and those with limited budget. It is served in plastic bags, or skewered and fried on bamboo sticks.

chicken proben
Source: Reddit

In the Philippines, no part of the chicken is spared when it comes to street food. The feet, the gizzard, the intestines, and even the butt are cooked and sold as street snacks which you can munch on the go. One such example is chicken provencal.

What is chicken provencal?

In Cagayan de Oro City especially in the streets of DVsoria and Cogon Market, you will find hawker stalls that cook and sell chicken provencal (can be referred to as chicken proven, chicken proben, or simply proben).

Chicken proben is cooked onsite and is very popular among students and those with limited budget. It is served in plastic bags, or skewered and fried on bamboo sticks that cost P5 per stick (4 pieces on a stick).

The craze over chicken proben has spread far and wide in the country. In Cebu City at least, you can find proben stalls in Apas Road near McDonald’s I.T. Park, behind Cebu Doctor’s University Hospital, and near the University of San Jose-Recoletos. There’s a lot more around the metropolis and in other urban areas; you will not be hard-pressed to finding one.

Proben or proven is actually short for “proventriculus”, the true stomach of chicken located between the crop and the gizzard or “baticolon”. It is marinated in some form of salt and vinegar (along with other spices), and then coated in wet batter, and then tossed in dry flour or corn starch just before frying. This proben street food is deep-fried until the exterior becomes golden brown and crispy. They are served in plastic bags, or skewered and fried on bamboo sticks. It is cooked fast and done in a few minutes.

Chicken proven or proben sold in the streets usually come with the puso rice.
Servings are dipped in some special sauce either hot and spicy sauce, vinegar, or ketchup depending on your taste. While munching you will find that it is juicy and savory and just a tad bit chewy.

Chicken proben recipe

Ingredients: 

  • Chicken Proben (1/2 kilo), 3 Chicken Eggs, half cup of Milk, Cooking Oil
  • Chicken Batter Mix ( you can buy one from the grocery store or you can make one)

Instructions:
First, put all your chicken proben into boiling water. Add some salt and let it simmer for about 30 minutes. Remove from time to time some dark bubble on top to eliminate harmful agents. Mix the eggs and milk together and put all the Chicken Proben to the mix. After, add the Chicken Proben into your chicken batter and mix it. Heat the pan and put some cooking oil. Deep fry the proben until it becomes golden brown.

Proben street food and its health value

Proben street food, like any other street food, proven is not for the health buffs as it has very high caloric content and crude fat. Moreover, some microbial content might fester if it is not properly prepared and left at ambient temperature for some time. However, it can still be safe to eat as long as it is properly cooked and heated and consumed immediately after cooking.

Chicken proven is not really good for take-out/to-go.  Unless you plan to eat it on the way home or you live right next to a proven station, do not bring it home. The meat will smell a tad bit stinky and the sauce will get watery. It is best to eat it while it’s hot.

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