The Hawaiian islands have a large Philippine population. I am glad. I would not have had the opportunity to learn this wonderful dish if things were different.
Some people state that Adobo is the national dish of the Philippines. I do not know as I have not had the pleasure of visiting the Philippines. What I do know, is that this dish is easy and tasty. In addition to chicken, pork and oxtail are also prepared adobo style.
There are many variations on the basic recipe. Some have more garlic, some more vinegar, some more black peppercorns. You should feel free to experiment with the recipe making adjustments in small increments to make the dish yours. On Maui, the adobo we made at the hotel had a little more vinegar so it was a little more tart.
As the footnotes for the recipe state, the protein item is usually sauteed or pan fried at the end of the cooking. I have opted to saute at the beginning to build a little caramelization in the pan to put into the cooking liquor. My recipe does call for marinading the chicken for three hours. Some people opt to just combine everything and simmer it with out any marinading time.
As you can see by the variations mentioned, this is a dish you can make work for you. That and the fact that it tastes as good as it is easy to prepare is what is most important. Enjoy!
Yield: 4 servings
1 ea chicken 3 /12 lb, split in half
1/2 cup white vinegar
½ cup soy sauce
½ tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp brown sugar
5 ea garlic cloves, crushed
3 ea bay leaves
Combine all ingredients except chicken and stir to dissolve sugar.
Pour over chicken and marinate 3 hours in the refrigerator.
Remove chicken and brown in hot skillet, skin side first, turning once.
Add marinade and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and allow the cook for 15 minutes, turning chicken one time half way through the cooking time.
Uncover and allow most of the liquid to evaporate as the chicken cooks, turning the chicken occasionally.
Test for doneness.
There should be little liquid left.
At the end of the cooking time if the skin is rubbery allow to sauté and brown until desired doneness of the skin is achieved. Traditionally this type of recipe was a simmered dish. When all the liquid evaporated the protein item was sautéed to give it color and some degree to crust.
As the accompanying pictures show you can use Cornish Game Hens work quite well with the recipe too.
|A picture of the Cornish game hens cooking. They are almost done.|
|Chicken adobo plate with stir fired cabbage and sticky rice.|
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do.
It is unpretentious, delicious and easy to prepare.
Until next time
Chef Leslie Bartosh