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Filipino Chicken Adobo

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Another way to use up some of that delicious home-made vegetable stock. Adobo is apparently Philippines' national dish. It is made up of soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, bay leaves and black peppercorn, stewed to create a characteristic salty and tangy flavour. To be honest, I have never had this dish before. I just kept stumbling upon various adobo recipes, and I couldn't resist sauces like this - oily, thick, good with rice.

The first time I made this, I added 1/2 cup vinegar and according to the wild boar, it was way too sour. The second round, I halved it and turned out much better. It was nonetheless still quite sour, this dish reminds me of pork trotters with black vinegar 猪脚醋 - a common dish served during confinement after pregnancy. I love the tanginess but not the wild boar, well, he's generally not very fond of sour stuff anyway. It was generally very tasty, really good with rice. I like how you get a sudden burst of spicy flavour when you bite into the black peppercorns. I added some fresh basil, simply because I had some on the verge of wilting in the fridge, which added a nice aroma and fresh flavour.

Chicken adobo
  • 720g (about 7) chicken thighs
  • 1 large onion - sliced
  • 1/2 bulb garlic - peeled and crushed
  • 1/4 cup vinegar (I used white wine vinegar)
  • 1/4 cup light soy sauce
  • 1 cup home-made vegetable stock
  • 2 tbs brown sugar
  • 3 dried bay leaves
  • 1 1/2 tsp whole black peppercorn
  • 1 handful fresh basil - torned (optional)
  • Heat up a bit of oil in a large pot. Brown chicken pieces on all sides. Leave aside for later use.
  • In the same pot, fry onions until softened and translucent.
  • Add garlic, fry until fragrant.
  • Mix in all the other ingredients including the chicken.
  • Bring to boil then reduce heat to simmer until sauce thickened (about 30-45 mins).
  • Stir in basil.
  • Serve with rice!

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