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Chicken Adobo.....

k
KarenNYC Apr 15, 2007 12:55 PM

I was at a friend's house and she just tossed a few things in a pot and voila - one of the best tasting meals I've had in ages. She wrote down her recipe off the top of her head but when I made it - it was not as delectible. can anyone out there share their recipe with me and any tips for making it? I am quite sure my pregnant friend must have left something out when she shared her recipe with me - either that or she is pulling the Marie Barone meatball trick on me!

thanks.....

  1. b
    Burnt Lumpia Jun 27, 2007 09:33 AM

    I've recently been using a Chicken Adobo recipe I've adapted from Sunset magazine. It's very simple, using the usual suspects of cane vinegar, soy, peppercorns, and bay leaf: http://burntlumpia.typepad.com/burnt_...

    The use of only chicken thighs makes this recipe relatively quick, and it's the closest thing I've made to my mother's adobo.

    1. Miss Needle Jun 27, 2007 08:34 AM

      Might not be totally traditional, but the NY Times had a recipe for chicken adobo that included a dried chipotle pepper (not the one packed in adobo). It added a hint of smokiness that I liked.

      1. s
        sljones Jun 27, 2007 07:09 AM

        Lots of great info in the replies already, but thought I'd chime in. I'm no expert on chicken adobado, but our family loved Molly Stevens version from "All About Braising." Her main tips:
        1) marinate pork and chicken (she uses both, but says you could use either w/o altering the recipe) in the vinegar based sauce for a few hours. 2) Braise the meats in same sauce until tender. And then 3) brown the meats after for a laquered finish. Bittmans technique of broiling/grilling sounds like a good option here.

        As for ingredientes, her's include: pork and/or chicken thighs, garlic, white wine vinegar, not "lite" soy sauce, lime zest, bay leaves, brown sugar, course salt, black pepper.

        She mentions that traditional adobado is made w/ palm vinegar, but b/c its hard to find and doesn't keep well, she substitutes ww vinegar w/ a bit of lime zest.

        good luck!

        sljones

        1. jfood Apr 21, 2007 09:02 PM

          Bittman has an interesting twist on the technique. Place the chicken pieces in the soy-vinegar mix and simmer. Then to crisp the skin he suggests placing on the grill. Made it a few weeks ago and it was fantastic.

          For the vinegar i used the bottle i use for sushi rice.

          4 Replies
          1. re: jfood
            s
            SLO Jun 27, 2007 06:12 AM

            Sounds wonderful, any chance you could post the recipe?
            TIA

            1. re: SLO
              jfood Jul 7, 2007 06:52 PM

              would love to, but as a copyrighted piece the mods would nix the recipe under their recipe posting guidelines. it's in "How to Cook Everything."

              1. re: jfood
                Chris VR Jul 7, 2007 06:56 PM

                You could paraphrase the recipe, that wouldn't violate anything. But this reminds me that I really need to get that cookbook...

                1. re: Chris VR
                  jfood Jul 7, 2007 07:04 PM

                  cvr

                  ur right, its the process thats copyrighted not the ingredients

                  1c soy
                  1/2 c sushi wine vinegar (this is jfood's change from original)
                  1 c water
                  1 tablespoon chopped garlic
                  2 bay leaves
                  1/2 teaspoon black pepper
                  3-4lb chock cut into pieces

                  throw everything but the chicken in a pot. bring to a boil. add chick. simmer for 30 minutes turning once. remove and grill for a few minutes to get a nice crust. reduce liquid to by 50% to a thicker consistency.

                  eat and enjoy

          2. m
            maestra Apr 15, 2007 01:56 PM

            On this topic --
            I've read a couple times (I think it was mentioned in Saveur once) that some people whisk a chicken liver into their adobo at the end of cooking. I could be very wrong here -- wrong dish, wrong organ, etc., but can anyone comment on this? I've had a few homemade adobos, and I don't think any of them employed this technique.

            11 Replies
            1. re: maestra
              k
              KarenNYC Apr 15, 2007 02:22 PM

              this is what I was given..... does it sound right????

              Chicken Adobo

              Chicken legs and thighs with bone
              2 tbls. Vegetable oil
              4 cloves of fresh garlic (smashed)
              1 large onion – chopped
              ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
              ¾ cup of water
              ¼ cup of white wine vinegar
              1 tbls. Sugar
              3-4 bay leaves

              Add the oil to a pan and heat with smashed garlic for a min or two. Then add the above and cook COVERED on low heat for 45 mins. Do not mix once the vinegar has been added. Serve with white rice.

              1. re: KarenNYC
                a
                another_adam Apr 15, 2007 03:16 PM

                Looks within the parameters of authentic adobo (the sugar and garlic are debatable, but plausible :) ) Given how much fat the chicken will release during cooking anyway, it's not clear to me that extra oil is really necessary (the garlic will roast during such a long cooking anyway, right?)

                People differ as to how soupy/dry they like their adobo; you can leave it uncovered for some or all of the cooking time, if you prefer the liquid to reduce some (keep an eye on it to make sure it isn't running out! The amount of water in this recipe might be calibrated to assume not much evaporation) As mentioned above, for a crispier version, you could quickly broil or pan-crisp the chicken at the end. (If you let the liquid evaporate, it already just crisps in the chicken fat that is in the pan at the end)

                As previously mentioned, if you thought the flavor was different, there's a good chance it was just different type of vinegar or soy. (Of course, chickens differ quite a bit too!)

                1. re: another_adam
                  k
                  KarenNYC Apr 20, 2007 04:26 PM

                  so what type of Vinegar and Soy would you suggest to make it more authentic?

                  1. re: KarenNYC
                    chef chicklet Apr 20, 2007 06:07 PM

                    Yes every chicken adobo I have had at Filipino parties it is always the thigh and leg on the bone. And you use dark soy, with palm vinegar, water, and 3 large bay leaves. White onions, and garlic. I don't think they do, but I brown the chicken first. Otherwise you have boiled chicken. That is not as tasty to me. I brown the meat in a little oil and add the soy, vinegar, water garlic onion and bay leaves. Cover and let it simmer 30 minutes, then uncover to reduce the sauce. Make jasmine rice for the sauce. That's it, I don't add any sugar. It is tart and salty and very good! Serve with zuchinni and carrots....or stir fry bok choy.
                    nice crisp lettuce saland with shredded carrot and cucumber in a rice vinegar dressing. easy.

                    1. re: chef chicklet
                      Sam Fujisaka Apr 20, 2007 06:24 PM

                      Just one thing: cut the pieces like drumsticks and thighs each into two or three pieces with a cleaver. The marrow and other good bits in the bones then combine better with the adobo. Cleave the head of the drumstick for the same reason.

                      1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                        chef chicklet Apr 21, 2007 12:00 PM

                        Thank you Sam! Great tip, I need a cleaver, I can't work with one usually but this is a necessity when cutting bone and making a hacked chicken.
                        Do you brown the meat?

                        1. re: chef chicklet
                          Sam Fujisaka Apr 21, 2007 05:40 PM

                          Yes, I brown the meat just a bit at the start.

                    2. re: KarenNYC
                      a
                      another_adam Apr 21, 2007 11:12 AM

                      That's a great tip re the bones-- you can cook chicken feet adobo-style too.
                      Silver Swan is a common filipino brand of soy sauce--I personally don't actually like it that much on its own, but it definitely would contribute a different flavor than some other brand. Cane vinegar is the most popular vinegar (e.g., Datu Puti brand)--again, nothing all that special on its own, but another possible variable in whether your adobo comes out like one from your Filipino friend's kitchen :)

                      1. re: another_adam
                        bigrey Apr 21, 2007 11:41 AM

                        Good info in the previous replies. The epicurious recipe is a good one. There's also an entire section of adobo cooking method in the recently published book "Memories of Phillipine Kitchens." It includes recipes for various adobos, including chicken, baby back ribs, short ribs and even squid. Adobo is kind of like chili in Texas and pulled pork in NC. Everyone has their preferred recipe. My favorite restaurant version comes from a small Phillipino owned lunch counter at Pike Market in Seattle, which I hit every time I'm up there. The place has been there for years and a lot of locals eat there. All the food is cooked by the family matriarchs. Outstanding.

                  2. re: KarenNYC
                    chef chicklet Jun 27, 2007 09:17 AM

                    Pretty close to mine but the liquids vary a bit. Your recipe doesn't say to brownt the chicken first? I do that always, with the onion and garlic added after a good start. Then the bay leaves - I use 1 or 2. Dark soy, and white vinegar and water. little sugar...Then let it simmer and reduce to eat over rice... I think a full bodied soy sauce works best.oh well for my taste anyway!

                    1. re: chef chicklet
                      riceflour Jul 7, 2007 07:04 PM

                      My mom taught me the same thing--always brown the chicken first to add a little texture to the finished dish. It's nice getting a little crunch in the midst of all that soft juiciness. And I agree, too, with the stronger tasting soy sauce.

                      I do, however, also brown some potatoes after the chicken, then put the chicken back in and dump in everything else. This may not be traditional, but it's what I grew up with, and what I've been passing down to my friends.

                2. v
                  Val Apr 15, 2007 01:50 PM

                  Here's a link to an Epicurious recipe for Fillipino Style Adobo Chicken whereby you cook the chicken pieces in the vinegar-soy sauce-bay leaf mixture and THEN you saute it to brown it which I've heard is the real way to make this style of adobo and this recipe is delicious, though I am not an authority on anything, especially Fillipino foods but it's easy and excellent and only requires a few ingredients:

                  http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/rec...

                  1. jubilant cerise Apr 15, 2007 01:43 PM

                    Everyone's adobo recipe will definitely vary! You'll probably have to play around with your friend's recipe a bit before you get it. This is an approximation of the one I grew up with:

                    - 1 whole chicken, cut into natural segments (ie: separated at the joints: drumstick, thigh, breast, etc - though just drumsticks and thigh works well)
                    - fresh pork (I unfortunately don't know the cut or proportions and you can easily leave this ingredient out)
                    - 1 1/2 cup chicken stock
                    - 1/2 cup white vinegar
                    - 2 tbsp soy sauce
                    - 1 small yellow onion
                    - 2-3 cloves of garlic, mashed with the flat side of a knife (however you like, really)
                    - 1 small bay leaf
                    - 1/2 tsp of pickling spice
                    - 1/2 tsp each of whole black peppercorns and salt
                    * ginger? I'm not sure but it probably wouldn't hurt to throw in a few coin-shaped slices

                    My parents made this in a slow-cooker which means you can just throw everything in and don't have to watch it, even if the chicken is frozen - since it's cooking all day it'll be ready for dinner! If you really like your friend's version, I would suggest you ask if she can show you how to make it, because like I said, everyone recipe is different. One of my aunt's put potatoes in hers which I thought was weird but whatever! :)

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: jubilant cerise
                      b
                      boltnut55 Jun 26, 2007 11:08 PM

                      So glad to see this. One of the few meals I made since being unemployed was Chicken Adobo. DD (she's 10) loved it... until she tried someone else's at her school - they had an assignment where you talk about something having to do with your country of origin, and her friend brought in "real" adobo made by her dad who is Filipino - I guess his was authentic! :-) This was back in May... and I've been banned from making adobo until I get the recipe from the dad!

                      I think I'll try this recipe anyway! Except for the bay leaf and pickling sauce, both of which I've never used before, I have everything else at home. I'm amazed at how little soy sauce there is though.

                      1. re: boltnut55
                        d
                        dietfoodie Jun 27, 2007 08:26 AM

                        If you can, pick up some of Penzey's pickling spice. It's surprisingly versatile! I've used it for corned beef, shrimp boil, pickles... even in stews in a pinch.

                    2. a
                      another_adam Apr 15, 2007 01:16 PM

                      There's a huge variety of adobo techniques, and none of them is ever as good as your own mom's :) For chicken, the ingredients are fairly constant: water, vinegar, soy sauce, a bay leaf, and maybe some peppercorns. The proportions and techniques vary *a lot* though. Most recipes I've seen online seem to have you combine everything at the beginning, together with the chicken, in a big pan and cook until the chicken is falling off the bone and the sauce has reduced a lot. The amount you cook it depends how falling apart and how saucy/dry you like it. (By the end, the chicken is kind of frying in the fat that has cooked out, making it nice and crispy) My mother-in-law only puts the soy in near the end, though, and swears that when you dump in equal parts water and vinegar (in that order) at the beginning, you shouldn't stir.

                      One thing that can make a big difference is the flavor of your vinegar and soy-- use a filipino cane vinegar (like datu puti brand), and a filipino or chinese soy sauce. (I.e., not something harsh and overly salty like kikkoman, if you can help it) A recent discussion of chicken adobo on this board mentioned things like ginger, garlic, cider vinegar, etc-- these are *not* the key to a tasty authentic adobo, in my opinion :)

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