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Jan 13, 2008 08:54 AM

Favorite recipes from Bittman's How To Cook Everything

I recently received this book as a birthday gift. I made one recipe, Chicken Adobo, which I found waaay too salty (who knows whether it was my mistake or the recipe though), and now I feel a bit overwhelmed with the options. I need some guidance! Any ideas are appreciated. Thanks in advance!

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  1. I've had really good luck with just about everyting I've tried from the book. Try the roast chicken with potatoes.

    1. if you want to post the recipe, perhaps some of us can - judging from the ingredient proportions - weigh in on the saltiness factor and whether we think you may have made an error when measuring & seasoning...

      1. Looking at the Chicken Adobo (Philippine style), the chicken is first cooked in a soy sauce rich broth, then grilled, and served with a reduction of the cooking broth.

        The proportions of 1c soy sauce, 1c water, 1/2 c vinegar are on the par with ones I have used for Chinese style red-cooked (but without the vinegar). The result of this stage should be well seasoned, but I don't expect it to be too salty, especially if the chicken was cooked skin-on. It would depend, though, on the saltiness of the soy sauce.

        I would expect to end up with 3-4 c of broth, since a lot of juice will be rendered from the meat. This is supposed to be reduced to 1c. That would have as much salt as the 1c of soy sauce that you started with. I can see using that reduction as a side or dip, but I wouldn't serve it over the chicken.


        2 Replies
        1. re: paulj

          Hi paulj, thanks for posting this. Looking at your response, I would guess that my main problem was using too much sauce which, like you said, was very salty in the end. The chicken itself was fine but I felt eating that and rice without much sauce would be too bland. Maybe my brand of soy sauce was also more salty then the one in Bittman's recipe.

          1. re: Keramel

            The other big yellow cookbook (Gourmet's) marinates the chicken in 1/2 vinegar and 1/4 c of soy sauce, then bakes it in the marinade. Finally the chicken is crisped under the broiler, and the pan juices are cleaned up (strain and de-fatted).

            I've also seen adobo mixes in Asia groceries (Mama Sita's brand?), but haven't looked at their directions.


        2. Never made the chicken adobo, but the Pork Loin with Mustard Curry came out really well for me.

          1. I've made his Tandoori Shrimp from his old show, and they were wonderful... Speaking of Bittman TV shows, is anyone else excited about the new show with Bittman, Mario Batali and...Gwyneth Paltrow? Also, a Spanish actress named Claudia Bassols will be on there... It's called "Spain: On the Road Again" and it sounds like it will be a fun watch. It's supposed to start airing on PBS in the fall.

            Restaurants, Reviews and More -- My Blog:

            1 Reply
            1. re: sirregular

              I love his fish soup recipe "Cotriade" - a variation on clam chowder.