Tuesday, May 24, 2011


A couple of days ago I was thrilled to get a call from a good friend in Fort Greene. She requested that I cook some Filipino food for her and her friends. I love that kind of call! Within minutes I arrived at her apartment and we were off to Queens to find all the ingredients for some very typical Filipino fare.

On the menu, we decided on some
quick Filipino staples like Pancit Canton (CLICK HERE! to watch the video!) , Lumpia Shanghai, and Chicken Adobo.

Chicken Adobo is one of the best known Filipino dishes and a personal favorite. In a Filipino household, it is one of the first dishes one learns how to cook. It is a straightforward dish usually made with chicken or pork, slowly cooked in a mixture of a few core ingredients. In it's simplest form, Filipino Adobo is made with soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, bay leaf, and black pepper. Of course there are variants to the dish, each just as delicious as the next, but I decided to keep it simple for the first time when showing my friend.

The two main ingredients, besides your choice of prote
in, is the soy sauce and the vinegar. The ratio of soy sauce to vinegar I used was 1:1. I prefer using coconut vinegar because I like the how it taste and cooks in this dish. I never use white or cider vinegar. It's a waste of my time. For the soy sauce, you have to get the real stuff. Find a good brand that is brewed and with depth of flavor. It will make the final dish that much better.

Basic Chicken Adobo
Ingredients 6 drumsticks and 6 thighs
  • 1 cup Soy Sauce
  • 1 cup Coconut Vinegar
  • 10 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 5 Bay Leaves
  • 30 Whole Black Peppercorns
Combine everything into a large zip bag. Massage passionately to get the party of flavors going. Marinade for 1 to 3 hours or overnight. To cook, you can do it one of two ways.

Simple, But Good.
Empty contents from zip bag into a heavy pot. Slowly bring up to a boil then lower the heat and simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour. Stir occasionally. The chicken will fall off the bone. The more time the chicken sits in the sauce, the more flavorful it becomes. I like to let it braise at a low temp for a long time to really get some flavor into the chicken. At this point, you can serve it with some rice and spoon the sauce on top. Enjoy!

The way I did it for the party included one extra step. Basically, when making a stew of any type, I like to brown the meat and give
it some color before its long braise. After spending some time marinating, I drained the chicken and patted it dry. I
saved the marinade and put it aside.

Then, in a heave pot over high heat, I seared the chicken, skin side down, with a couple teaspoons of grape seed oil. I cooked the chicken on high heat making sure the pieces had a nice brown color all over. Once a good brown has been achieved, introduce the saved marinade, lowered the heat, and let it braise for about 45 minutes to and hour. Serve over rice. ENJOY!

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