Thursday, January 12, 2012

Filipino Adobo Chicken

I've had a bunch of different versions of adobo over the years. I've heard it said that "there are 5000 islands in the Philippines and as many versions of adobo." I believe it. I found this recipe and think that it's a reasonably legitimate version of a good adobo. Either way, it's a good plate of food and easy to make.

Filipino Adobo Chicken
(adapted from here and here)

3-4 boneless & skinless chicken thighs
1 small head of garlic, minced (8-12 cloves)
1/2 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 bay leaves
1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sugar 
1 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon canola oil

1 cup of long grain rice, prepared (to serve with)


Begin the night before by getting the chicken in the marinade. 

This is the hardest part of the meal.

Marinate for a few hours or overnight.

I ended up letting it go for more than 24 hours because my meal schedule got pushed back. I don't think that it made a real difference either way but you can see the effect the vinegar has on the meat.

When you are an hour away from dinner, pour the contents of the bag into a medium sized pot. 

Add enough chicken broth to almost cover the chicken. I ended up using a cup.

Cook covered, over medium heat for 45 minutes or until the chicken is falling apart.

Remove the chicken from the liquid in as few chunks as you can manage. 

Remember to remove the bay leaves.

Go ahead and start your rice.

Put the liquid over high heat and allow it to reduce by half. It'll take 10 minutes or so.

To finish the chicken, get a cast iron skillet over high heat. 

Add a thin layer of oil when it gets up to temp.

Lay on the chicken and sear them quickly. Make sure the pan is super-hot. 

Flip when they get some color on them, I didn't go more than 2 minutes on each side. Just keep an eye on them.

Your sauce should be done by now and the rice should be finishing up.

Serve the sauce over the chicken and rice. 

Use the sauce sparingly because since it has reduced, it's pretty strong. 

This version of adobo ended up tasting really good. Tangy, salty and undeniably Asian. I kind of just mixed everything together and dug in. The texture of the chicken after frying was great. It caramelized the sauce a bit giving it a nice dark flavor that was a great compliment to the dish.

If you have a hankering for adobo, give this one a try!


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