This delicious Chicken Adobo is sure to warm up your body and soul during the winter cold months.
I was first introduced to Chicken Adobo by my Filipino friends Linda and Citas. I was studying in Amsterdam at the time and they invited me to dinner at their place. It was love at first bight! This became my favorite home cooked meal and one that was affordable on a students budget. Of course, the problem I had it at the time was to decide which Chicken Adobo was better, Linda’s or Citas.
Linda made her Chicken Adobo with onions and garlic while Citas added only garlic to hers. They both tasted equally good to me, but both Linda and Citas claimed their version was superior and this became the topic of discussion many evenings. I, on the other hand, was just happy to enjoy a homemade meal and the company of two wonderful friends. Naturally, I stayed out of this culinary debate and maintained that both dishes were excellent!
Linda and Citas also introduced me to a number of other Filipino dishes as well as some from Thailand and China. I learned a lot from them at the time since they were both great cooks. They taught me the importance of cooking with love and just this eventually led to my career as a chef.
Here are the steps to this wonderful dish!
Begin by adding all the ingredients to a Dutch oven or large saucepan and let it marinate for at least an hour. Here you can see the ingredients in the pot ready for stewing.
While the chicken is cooking chop the garlic and the scallions as shown.
As the chicken is boiling, turn once being careful not to break up the chicken pieces. I recommend using two spatulas as shown.
After 45 minutes, In a large skillet, add the oil and gently fry the garlic until fragrant, for about 15 seconds. Transfer the chicken pieces to the skillet and fry in the garlic oil turning once for about a minute on each side. Transfer the gravy to the skillet and bring to a boil. Cook for 10 minutes, turning once.
Here is the dish braised and ready to be served.
On my left, my Filipino friend Linda, and on my right, my friend Citas. We have been best friends forever!
This Chicken Adobo dish brings me back so many wonderful memories. I think time spent around the dinner table in the company of wonderful friends and family is the best. I hope you enjoy making this Chicken Adobo, and that it becomes a staple at your dinner table. The beautiful thing about this dish is that only requires a few ingredients, and most of them are probably already in your pantry.
- 4 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs
- 4 bone-in skin-on chicken drumsticks
- 1 medium sweet yellow onion sliced
- 8-10 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 5 tablespoons soy sauce
- ¾ cup water
- 4 bay leaves
- 1½ teaspoons black peppercorns
- 3-4 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon scallion, finely sliced (garnish, optional)
- Steamed jasmine rice for serving
- In a Dutch oven, add the all the ingredients, except the garlic and vegetable oil. Mix ingredients together and let sit at room temperature for at least an hour. After one hour or more, turn on the fire and bring the chicken to a boil. Stew on low fire for about 45 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat up the oil, add the chopped garlic and cook on a low fire until the garlic is fragrant for about 15 seconds. Then add the chicken and fry in the garlic oil mixture for about a minute. Turn the chicken pieces over and fry for another minute ensuring the chicken is coated with the garlic and oil mixture.
- Remove remaining liquid from the Dutch oven, and add to the frying pan to deglaze. Bring the fire up to high and cook for approximately 5 minutes. For a thicker sauce, cook for another 5 minutes.
- Serve the chicken with steamed jasmine rice, and garnish with the scallions.
- How to cook Jasmine Rice: Rinse rice thoroughly in 2-3 changes of water. Drain. For softer rice, use 1 cup rice to 1¾ cups of water; for firmer rice, use 1 cup rice to 1¼ cup water.
- Chef's Notes: Filipinos make this dish with white vinegar. I prefer the taste of balsamic vinegar instead. It's a bit sweeter and it balances the flavor of the dish better than white vinegar.
Chef’s Notes: When making this recipe, I like to let the kitchen marinate in the sauce outside the refrigerator at least an hour. This way it won’t release any water during cooking. Cold meats release water during cooking, which can make the meat tough.
Filipinos make this dish with white vinegar. I prefer the taste of balsamic vinegar. It’s a bit sweeter and I believe it balances the flavor of the dish better than the white vinegar.
You can also use a whole fryer cut up for this recipe.
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