With 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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