Chicken Adobo

Adobo is often called the national dish of the Philippines, with recipes varying widely by region and within every family, each claiming its own authentic and unique version. Adobo often includes a mixture of pork and dark chicken meat but beef, lamb, seafood and vegetables are also used. Soy sauce is a recent addition to Adobo, introduced after WWII, and this more traditional recipe calls for only a small amount.

Photo by Sue R.
Adapted from saveur.com

PREP TIME

--

minutes

TOTAL TIME

--

minutes

SERVINGS

4

servings

PREP TIME

--

minutes

TOTAL TIME

--

minutes

SERVINGS

4

servings

Adapted from saveur.com

Ingredients

  • 4

    chicken thighs, with skin (about 1 lb.)

  • 4

    chicken legs, with skin (about 1 lb.)

  • 14

    cloves garlic, unpeeled & slightly crushed

  • 1/3

    onion, sliced or 2 shallots, sliced

  • 1 1/3

    cup Filipino (white) coconut or cane vinegar,

  • or American white vinegar

  • 1/3

    cup Filipino (dark) sugarcane juice vinegar

  • or American apple cider vinegar

  • Splash of Chinese black vinegar (optional)

  • 2

    tsp. whole black peppercorns, slightly bruised

  • 6

    pieces sliced ginger, 1/4” each

  • 1/3

    cup Filipino soy sauce with calamansi

  • 10

    bay leaves

  • 1/2

    cup water

  • Oil for frying (lard is traditional, or fat from sauce

  • Optional:

  • 1-2

    chili peppers

  • Splash of patis (Filipino fish sauce)

  • 6-8

    chicken livers, chopped in large pieces

  • Steamed long-grain white rice

Directions

Place chicken in a single layer in a large, non-reactive pan. Add garlic, onion, vinegars, peppercorns and ginger and completely coat chicken pieces.(Or, place all ingredients in gallon-size plastic bag and turn frequently.) Marinate at room temperature for 60 minutes, or in refrigerator for 2-3 hours or overnight. Bring to room temperature before continuing. Place chicken and marinade in a pot, add soy sauce, Bay leaves, 1/2 cup water, and (optional) fish sauce and chili peppers, and bring to a boil over high heat. The chicken may not be completely covered in liquid. Lower heat and rapidly simmer, but do not stir, until vinegar acid has cooked off. When the vinegar odor has lessened, turn chicken pieces, partially cover pan and at a low simmer, cook for approximately 30 minutes, basting 2-3 times. Taste sauce and if too salty or tart, add up to another 1/2 cup water. (Caution: The flavors will mellow after setting for a day.) A pinch of brown sugar may be added to cut the tartness, if desired. Discard Bay leaves. If serving the next day, cool chicken in sauce and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before continuing. Though the Adobo may be finished and served immediately, it gains a depth of flavor if it rests for a day or two. To finish: Remove chicken pieces and set aside. Skim fat from sauce and reserve for another use. Strain sauce into a bowl, removing the garlic cloves. Thoroughly mash a few peeled cloves and return to sauce, reserving the remaining cloves. Return sauce to pan, bring to a boil, reducing by half or more until it has thickened. (Cornstarch may be added to aid thickening.) Meanwhile, heat oil in large skillet on medium high. Fry chicken pieces until crisp and lightly browned all over, 6-8 minutes. Fry reserved, peeled garlic cloves, just until golden. Fry (optional) chicken livers and add to sauce. Pour sauce into serving dish and add chicken. Place fried garlic on top of the chicken or serve on the side, to be added to suit individual taste. Serve Adobo with steamed rice.

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