Saturday, August 21, 2010

Chicken Adobo

I thought after 10+ years of being together, it was about time I pay tribute to my husband's heritage by making what can be considered the national dish of the Philippines - Chicken Adobo. It is a delicious, rustic and very easy dish made of chicken simmered in a combination of soy sauce and vinegar. It's got a little bit of the salty, sweet and sour. Make a big pot of this, and it tastes even better the next day!

I've done a lot of research on which recipe to use...some marinated the chicken ahead of time, others strangely used Sprite, which I don't believe is authentic. What I found most recipes that claimed to be traditional used soy sauce, vinegar, black peppercorn, garlic, chicken and bay leaf. My father-in-law adds onions, which is what most Americanized versions use for added flavor.

The only Chicken
Adobo I've ever had was made by my father-in-law, so I asked my husband how mine was compared to his, to which my husband responded "yours is really good, but it's different than my father's." The only reason ingredient-wise I can think of is the soy father-in-law does not like plain sauce soy and thinks toyomansi, a soy sauce made sour with the addition of kalamansi juice made from Filipino limes, is superior. Perhaps the use of toyomansi adds a special kind of tang to the Chicken Adobo.

I don't claim to make the traditional version, just whatever is a close representation of it, convenient to me and is flavorful. This is what I used to make mine, without the use of toyomansi:

Serves 4

6 chicken drumsticks
6 chicken thighs
1/2 C + 1 tbs white vinegar
1/2 C soy sauce
1/2 of a large onion, diced
3 bay leaf
3-4 garlic cloves, smashed
fresh ground pepper

Marinate everything except for the onion for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator and rest at room temperature prior to cooking. In a large pot or wok over medium-high heat, add oil and saute onions until fragrant. Add the marinated chicken along with everything and bring to a boil. Lower to medium heat, cover and cook for about 30-40 minutes, tossing the mixture and skimming
off the fat and impurities on the surface in between.

Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the sauce has thickened somewhat, about 20 minutes. If the sauce becomes too salty, add water. Serve with rice.

I made my Chicken Adobo in a wok for added flavor
("鍋氣") and served it with jasmine rice and Chinese greens. Every one has their own version of Chicken Adobo, so feel free to use this recipe and personalize it to make it your own!

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