Chicken Adobo

If you could chose your 'last meal,' what would you indulge in for the last time? For me, the answer is easy... Filipino Chicken Adobo. It's that comforting dish I grew up on, where my mom made it best. I'm sure every Filipino will say their mom's version is the best there is, but really... my mom's is the best! So what's Filipino Chicken Adobo? Chicken is braised in a soy and vinegar sauce with garlic and onions until this delicious magic happens...

It's been said that for every Filipino household, there is at least 2 versions of chicken adobo. With so many variations, I'm not surprised that chicken adobo is the national dish of the Philippines. For my Filipino Fiesta, there was no doubt this would be on our menu. The recipe I grew up enjoying and ultimately making isn't about the ingredients as much as the technique involved. For my Filipino adobo, the chicken is boiled and drained first before using it in preparing adobo. This cooks off any impurities in the chicken, leaving you with a really clean and bright sauce that isn't muddled. Another technique to note is the step in adding vinegar. It's important not to stir the simmering chicken once the vinegar is added. The vinegar tightens up the chicken, preparing it to work with the soy sauce and take on that rich brown color.

Chicken Adobo
recipe from Joelen's family

2 pounds bone in chicken thighs & drumsticks, boiled
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, minced
1/3 cup soy sauce or tamari
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorn
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 bay leaves
2/3 cup distilled white vinegar

In a large pot over medium high heat, add oil and garlic, cooking until garlic is golden brown. Add onion and cook until softened. 

Add boiled chicken, soy sauce peppercorn, ground black pepper and bay leaves, tossing to coat. Pour vinegar over chicken and do not stir. Reduce heat and allow the chicken to simmer uncovered for 5-7 minutes. 

Stir chicken and then continue to simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes or until sauce thickens and chicken takes on a brown color. 

Serve with steamed rice.