Yummy chicken adobo

Adobo is a popular dish and cooking process in the Philippines. Although the name was originally given by the Spaniards when they conquered the Philippines, please do not be confused with the same Spanish word which means marinade, sauce or seasoning. The term adobo got stuck after they Spaniards encountered an indigenous cooking process in the Philippines which involved stewing with vinegar. Thus, the name ADOBO.

When you say adobo, it is a cooking process that always has the following ingredients: soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, bay leaf, and pepper corns. I usually just cook with the first three ingredients, as those are the most basic when it comes to cooking adobo.

There are different types of adobo – it can either be chicken, pork, squid, vegetables such as string beans and water spinach. Some cook it in combination of chicken and pork. Squid adobo is cooked in vinegar with the ink. Some add other ingredients such as boiled eggs, potatoes and fried tofu. Also, the recipe tends to change according to geography. Different regions in the country have their own special recipe of adobo. But I’ll be posting the most common recipe. The one that my grandmother and mother make.

Chicken adobo recipe

1 kilo of chicken

6 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup vinegar

2 cups of water

4 tablespoons of cooking oil or olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

3 medium sized potatoes, cut into large cubes

4 pcs hard boiled eggs, shelled

(Potatoes and eggs are optional)

Cooking Instructions:

1. In a big sauce pan or wok, heat 2 tablespoons of oil then sauté the minced garlic.

2. Add the chicken to the pan and fry for a few minutes until surface is cooked. Add 2 cups of water, 1/2 cup of soy sauce, 1/4 cup vinegar. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or when meat is tender.

3. Remove the chicken from the sauce pan and on another pan, heat cooking oil and brown the chicken for a few minutes. (What I usually do is I separate the oil from the broth and use this oil to brown the chicken. This step packs in more flavor to the meat.)

4. Mix the browned chicken back to the sauce and add potatoes and egg.

5. Add more soy sauce and vinegar and/or pepper and bay leaf if desired. (Adding the potatoes and eggs lessens the saltiness of the dish, I just add a few more tablespoons of soy sauce and vinegar after the broth has simmered with the eggs and potatoes.)

6. Bring to a boil then simmer for an additional 5 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

Some people usually just boil the chicken in soy sauce – vinegar – garlic – pepper corn – water mixture, this is adobo as well but for me, it does not taste as good as when you take the extra step of re-frying the meat in its own fat.

Cooking pork adobo takes a bit longer to cook compared to chicken. What my grandmother used to cook is pork belly – I know this has lots of fat in it so I would suggest using pork picnic/shoulder as this cooks easily and is not tough when cooked properly.

Adobo can last up to four days in room temperature and even longer when stored in the fridge. This is why this dish is a favorite when people are going on excursions or long trips because it does not spoil easily because of the vinegar and soy sauce which act as preservatives.

So, would you be willing to be adventurous and try cooking adobo? Happy cooking!

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