Monday, June 8, 2015

Old-fashioned Chicken Adobo (Filipino)

Poor man's Adobo chicken: this has no bay leaves, no ginger; definitely no honey. Using chicken with skin on and bone in is what makes this dish unbelievably out of this world!

Shaking my head and shrugging as I say this: YOU ONLY MAKE THIS ONCE in a while, it won't kill you if you use chicken with skin on! 

It's the BEST Filipino Adobo you will ever make in your entire life so dream on. Unless you want it boneless, skinless-it's up to you.


large heavy bottom pan or pot; NOT non-stick.

Ingredients for 2 to 4 people: 

2 lbs chicken-any cut, skin on bone in (your choice). For this recipe, I have legs and thighs. 
10 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled; coarsely chopped or slice
1/2 cup soy sauce, more or less
1/3 c coconut water vinegar (rice vinegar, white apple cider, dry white wine, etc.), more or less
Enough water to cover the ingredients
1/3 c sugar, more or less
1 teaspoon black peppercorn
2 pinches cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon salt, more or less


Read recipe from beginning to end.

Prepare your ingredients. DO NOT WASH THE CHICKEN if you bought it from the store or have been thawing for quite a while. Pat dry and set aside.

Chicken-skin side up, place everything in the pot or pan ending with the water to cover the ingredients. Do not fill the pot/pan with liquid. 

Cover the pot/pan and boil on medium high. Uncover and remove scum, if there is any lurking out of the pot/pan. Let it boil for 5 more minutes then lower heat to medium and cover to simmer until most liquid is almost just at the bottom of the pot/pan, 20-45 minutes.

Uncover and coat the chicken with the 'glaze' by carefully shaking the pot/pan. Otherwise, use a tong to lift and turn the chicken upside down several times ending with the skin side up. 

Make sure chicken is cooked through (no visible red or pink meat inside) by cutting up one chicken in its thickest part. If it's all white or light brown meat inside, then that's ready for eating. To really make sure it's ready to be tasted, use a meat or instant-read thermometer by inserting it in the thickest part of the meat: it should register 165 F (75 C).   

But add 2 tablespoons each of water, soy sauce and vinegar and simmer an additional 10 minutes or more-covered until liquid just bubbles and rests at the bottom of pot/pan when heat is very low. 

If you can taste the soy sauce, garlic, salt, black pepper, sweetness and tartness ALL AT THE SAME TIME in every bite-then you achieved what I am talking about. 

Enjoy by itself or eat with boiled rice.