Friday, August 5, 2011

Chicken Adobo

Chicken Adobo
update from April 2007

When I first made chicken adobo 4 years ago, I was a little apprehensive about the seemingly large amount of vinegar the recipe called for. However, the vinegar mellows with cooking and the sauce is amazing over freshly steamed rice. I prefer a 1:1 ratio of soy to vinegar. I reach for a milder vinegar like rice, white wine, or cider vinegar. I personally find plain white vinegar is too monotonous and abrasive. You can marinate the chicken as long as you want but this is rarely something I plan that far in advance. I usually throw all the ingredients together in a pot and let it sit for about an hour (sometimes I skip this part entirely if I feel particularly lazy).

Chicken Adobo
approximately 2 pounds of dark meat chicken (thighs and drumsticks)
1/2 cup soy sauce (low sodium preferably)
1/2 cup rice or cider vinegar
1 cup of water
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
5 garlic cloves, smashed with the side of a knife
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
Optional: small yellow onion, thickly sliced

Optional step: Combine everything in a large bowl and marinate for 1 hour, up to overnight.

Bring everything up to a boil then lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Turn the chicken halfway through the cooking process.

Remove the chicken and bring the sauce back to a boil and continue to boil the sauce until it reduces by about half to a slightly thickened syrup.

Optional: When I'm not lazy or starving, I've broiled the chicken (skin side up for a few minutes) in the oven to go the extra mile. You have to keep an eye on it because it will go from crispy to burnt in a minute under the broiler. I have heard of people throwing adobo on the grill but I personally have not tried this. I imagine if the chicken is super tender it may fall through the grates. Consider yourself warned and don't blame me if this happens. Broiling/grilling is not necessary, the chicken is perfectly delicious without this final step.

Serve the chicken over rice and spoon the sauce on top.

(cooked with onions)


Anonymous said...

This sounds delicious. Have you considered using tamari sauce in place of the soy sauce? Much less salty.

The Webmaster said...

I just had this for lunch.

They're quite good with boiled eggs and/or pineapple chunks. I sometimes add coconut milk. The salty and sweet combination works well for a lot of people, me included.

Anonymous said...

I'm lucky that there are different type of soy sauce available to me here in Jersey. That includes a variety of, in particular, light soy sauce which is salty, and dark soy sauce which is not salty.

What i do, is mix them both to make adobo.

I've been thinking about making adobo too this week. I might even [photo permitting] post it on my blog. :)

Well done with resurrecting your
camera! You must have been relieved. The photo is making me so hungry. :)

Patricia Scarpin said...

Amy, what a delicious way to cook chicken!
I don't like those recipes where you get a chicken so pale and white it looks like Styrofoam - this golden color is yummy!

Amy said...

I only have soy sauce so next time I'll use a bit less. I've never tried tamari so I'll keep an eye out for it. Thanks. :)

Mmm, I want to try the coconut milk variation. Sounds tasty. Boiled eggs and pineapple sound like tasty additions too. Yum yum!

I have some dark soy too but I use it very rarely. The smell is too strong for me. :p

Your photos are always so pretty, I can't wait to see your adobo.

And I'm so relieved about my camera, I think it has a few more years left. :D

I agree, I especially dislike flabby gummy chicken skin. Crisp and golden brown for me. :D

Wandering Chopsticks said...

Your photos always look so nice anyway, who needs to spend tons of money on a fancy schmancy camera? :)

This is a different chicken adobo than the versions I've had before. It's always been roasted, not braised. This reminds me of the VNese chicken my dad makes.

Anonymous said...

I made this last night. I used two drumsticks and 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs. I found that after the simmering, the skin on the drumsticks fell off anyway. I used half cup of low sodium soy and half cup of rice vinegar. It was very good. I think I simmered the chicken too high for a while, so next time it will be even more tender.

Freya said...

I think the pictures are beautiful and the recipe sounds amazing!

Anonymous said...

This looks like such an easy yet flavorful dish to prepare. And oh my, I can even see the crispiness of that chicken in your 1st picture that lured me in. Yum Yum!

BTW, Amy...I just tagged you in a food meme. Spread the Seattle food culture around :) Don't feel obliged though, it just to share "food" and some fun. At your own pace, if you care to join the fun.

Easy said...

My family is Filipino and I like to make pork adobo once or twice a month. I will now divulge my family recipe for the pork version for the foodies. It is VERY simple. maybe too simple?

-2 kilos of pork tenderloin
-1 head garlic
-4 tbsp cooking oil of choice
-350ml brewed soy sauce
-125ml white vinegar
-500ml water
-3 tbsp corn starch
-1/2 tsp ground blk pepper

Cut the meat into bite sized pieces (3/4"). Chop all the garlic moderately fine. In a dutch oven brown the garlic (slightly!!) in the oil then add the pork and soy sauce and simmer until the meat in nearly cooked. Next add the vinegar, half the water and all the pepper and continue to simmer slowly for an hour. Mix the corn starch with the remaining water and add slowly to the simmering mixture. Once the starch has thickened, make final adjustments for flavor and consistency.

*Hint: The flavor is enhanced if allowed to stand overnight and reheated the next day. It can also be frozen for later consumption with no ill effects.

Of course this is always served over steamed rice, though an addition that may be something only my family does is sop up the plate gravy with bananas. It sounds strange, but jut try it. yummy!

Amy said...

Aw thank you. Some of those fancy cameras are really shockingly expensive. I'd rather spend that money and buy more kitchen toys. ;D

Roasted chicken adobo sounds yummy too.

I'm so glad you made and liked the recipe. Sometimes the chicken does fall apart a bit after simmering.

Freya and Paul,
Thanks so much. :)

Ooh thanks for tagging me! I have a few ideas in mind of places I want to share. ;D

Thank you for the recipe. It looks lovely and I can't wait to try it! I love recipes that are better the next day, it makes leftovers much yummier. :) The gravy and bananas sounds like an interesting combo.

Anh said...

I love chicken adobo... Like you, I try different ratio of vinegar:soy sauce everytime. But starting from 1:2 is a good start, then adjusting later is what I normally do.

Passionate Eater said...

I always so interested in the cuisine of the Philippines. Thanks for giving the the opportunity to try it and for the pictures! Also, I'm glad your camera is back in working order!

Amy said...

I fiddle with ratios a lot when I cook, the hard part is remembering what I did afterwards. :P

So far this is the only Filipino dish I know but I too find it very interesting and want to learn more. :)

Easy said...

I should have mentioned in my earlier post that I don't really follow the recipe when it comes to the cooking times and water/soy ratios. I just transcribed exactly the instructions on the recipe my mom passed to me. I couldn't even tell you what ratios i use, i just adjust until it tastes "right".

If you're interested in other Filipino dishes you should try Afritada. I don't have the recipe we use handy but there are several on the web that are decent. I like to add whole green olives to mine.

Amy said...

I often taste the sauce until it tastes right. :) And I just googled Afritada and it looks yummy. I'll definitely make it in the future. Thanks!

Easy said...

p.s.- I'm Eric. sorry for any confusion. :)

Amy said...

Hi Eric :)

Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm also a filipino and I love adobo! If ever you have some leftovers, try this, reheat it in a pan and add some fresh sliced tomatoes then just stir it from time to time.. Its like adobo with tomato sauce.

Hope you guys enjoy! =)

Amy said...

Hi Grace,
Thank you for sharing that great tip about what to do with leftovers. It sounds delicious, I'll do that the next time I make adobo!

Anonymous said...

your adobo looks delicious i will definitely try it when i got home later.

by the way im interested how you fix your camera. my canon ixus have same problem. after 3 years of used the lens stucked half away whenever i open it. the preview function is ok eveything is ok expect with the stuck lens.
hope you can help me with this.

thank you

Amy said...

Hi Remia,
This error has happened to me twice so far, and both times I connected the camera to the TV with the cable provided and turned it on. Magically the lens retracted and everything was all better. Try that and see if it works. Sometimes there may be a little dust stuck in the lens so a few bursts with compressed air might help get it out. Let me know if that works.

Jenny said...

I just tried your recipe tonight with the half cup of soy sauce and half cup rice vinegar. I used 6 thigh pieces and it came out perfect! My bf and son loved it! Thanks for the nice recipes and pictures to go with it. Mine came out looking just like yours!

The Forge Village Farmer said...

Another great recipe! I sub'd out the brown sugar for ruby port and cut back on the water. It was awesome!

Anonymous said...

OMG, I have already made your chicken adobo twice and both times were a hit! Thank you so much for sharing! I love these simple recipes!!!

Unknown said...

Very nice way to make the chicken look so much more edible.Im starvy now!!!


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