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Chicken AdoboWith the carefree exuberance borne of ownership, I’ve "borrowed" my Chicken Adobo recipe from our DesignerJones.com website, as we’ve decided to bring discussion of food here. Now that I’ve introduced you to How to Cook Rice the traditional way, I can say that adobo is the Philippine national dish.

Adobo is a little like teriyaki, but savory rather than sweet, with plenty of sauce to go over the rice — and it’s pleased everyone to whom I’ve ever served it (even vegetarians, although they were pre-warned that it was chicken). So be warned; if you make this once, you’ll be asked for it again. It’s just one of those dishes.

Organic Chicken Adobo

Cooking adobo is easy; it’s simmer-fry-simmer, and you’re done. What’s the secret of true organic-ness here? Just use organic — organic everything.

  • 1 organic chicken, cut up
  • soy sauce
  • white vinegar
  • handful of black peppercorns
  • garlic cloves, peeled (5-15)
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • cooking oil (something bland)

Simmer: put chicken, peppercorns and bay leaf in a large pot (dutch oven or large high-walled frying pan). Peel garlic cloves, cut a slice into them, and add to pot. (You can use less garlic, but note that garlic powder does not give the same taste or quality. Ever.)

Add soy sauce and vinegar to pot: 5 parts soy sauce to 3 parts vinegar. (I just tip the bottle and count the "glopping" noises as it pours.) Add some water until the pot is about half full; if you’re cooking more, then adjust. Important: the liquid should be pretty brown from the soy sauce, rather than weakly watered down — but if you like your sauce thinner, add a little water (the Filipino way is to add water from the second rinsing of the rice).

Cover; simmer on medium heat for 15-20 minutes, then remove from heat.

Fry: pour liquid into a bowl and set it aside. (I do this by slightly opening the top of the pot, tipping and pouring into the bowl.)

Pour some cooking oil into the bottom of the pot and brown the chicken at a high heat (cover the pot and tilt the lid to keep from spattering). You may have to remove some of the chicken to do this easily. You can also brown the garlic lightly.

Remove from heat and let the pot cool. This is important — otherwise, the soy sauce can end up with a burnt taste. You may also want to pour out any residual oil, if you are big on fat-free diets.

Boil: when the pot has cooled down enough to re-add the sauce without boiling or burning, pour the sauce back in, and don’t forget the garlic, bay leaf and peppercorns. Cover, and boil at medium heat for 45 minutes to an hour. Adobo is done when the chicken is cooked and tender.

» A word about soy sauce: although I can’t admit to being a soy sauce connoisseur, all soy sauces are not equal, and some are spicier than others. One of my favorites is Yamasa with Less Salt, although I’m not seeing "organic" on that page.

Serve with: Rice, maybe a nice slice tomato with a little salt (I hate to tell you what we really use, but I love it), maybe slices of sweet banana.


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7 Comments for "Organic Chicken Adobo"

  1. Charlie

    For the first 10 years that I knew Mary Jo I wouldn’t tell her the Adobo recipe. She knew that everyone in our family knew how to cook Adobo, including Tony, Pat, and you. I told her that it was “an old family recipe passed down through generations”. I finally showed her the recipe in an international cuisine cookbook. Anyway, it’s a family joke now (how I hid the recipe for so many years), and she cooks great Adobo. By the way, my preference is Chicken and Pork Adobo (about 50/50). In Tagalog that would be “Adobong Manok At Baboy”.


  2. Diane Vigil

    That is hilarious! And now you’re going to one-up me with Tagalog. (Just kidding.) :)

  3. Garrick Saito

    “5 parts soy sauce to 3 part vinegar.”

    Is that 5 and 3 “glops?” In my view, not all glops are created equal. Traditionally, when recipes are published, people provide measurements for the ingreditings in number of cups, tablespoons, teaspoons, etc. :-)

    Recipe sounds good. I think I’ll try it. Haven’t had adobo in ages.

    Congrats on the new blog, Diane.

  4. Diane Vigil

    Thanks, Garrick. While you are right, my mother, for instance, was famous for not giving exact measurements. But it’s 5 to 3 … however you measure it. And LOTS of garlic.

    Thanks for the good wishes, and good to see you here.

  5. Mary Jo Thiel

    So nice to know that part of my past is now posted on the Internet!!! (Thanks Charlie.) When I was young I always said that I wanted to be famous. Who knew it would turn out like this?

    I love the glops measurements. My mother didn’t have specific measurements for most of her great recipes/dishes either. And now I’m like that about my meatloaf!!!

    Congratulations Diane on your blog!


    Mary Jo

  6. Diane Vigil

    Hi, Mary Jo. Yes, I remember those kinds of instructions:

    Her: Put in some salt.

    Me: How much salt?

    Her: Some salt.

    And so you learn. Somehow.

    Great to see you here. And now I’m wondering about your great recipes. <grin>

  7. How to cook rice

    […] resist the comments about roasted chicken drippings) — but don't forget to return for the Organic Chicken Adobo recipe — that one's a keeper. Send to a […]

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