Quick and Easy Chicken Adobo
Recipe by Erika of IvoryHut.com
Chicken adobo is one of those dishes that instantly transports me back home. Even while it’s cooking, the aroma that fills my kitchen makes me think of warm evenings in the Philippines, playing outside and waiting to be called in for dinner. This is my quick version, which is so easy to make that it almost feels like cheating. You marinate the chicken in the same pot you’re cooking it, you hardly have to touch it while it’s cooking, and there’s no frying involved. If you put up a pot of rice while this is cooking and make a salad while it’s simmering, you can have dinner on the table in just about an hour.
4 to 5 whole chicken leg quarters, divided into thighs and drumsticks, washed and cleaned, thighs skinned
6 to 8 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1/2 cup soy sauce (I don’t recommend using Kikkoman for this, but if you have to, use the low-sodium Kikkoman)
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon sweet chili sauce (or an additional tablespoon of brown sugar)
1 teaspoon black peppercorns, half left whole, half cracked slightly
2 bay leaves
In the pot you’ll be cooking the chicken in, put all the ingredients. Let the chicken marinate for at least 20 minutes, and up to overnight.
When ready to cook, put the pot on the stovetop and bring to a boil over medium heat. Once boiling, lower the heat slightly and continue to cook, covered, for about 15 minutes. Remove the cover, flip the chicken pieces, and continue to simmer to reduce the sauce, lowering the heat if necessary. If the sauce is too thick or too salty, add 1/4 cup of water. After about 8 minutes, flip the chicken again. Taste the sauce again and add another 1/4 cup water if needed.
Continue to simmer until chicken is fully cooked and has released its oils into the sauce, and the sauce has thickened slightly and taken on a rich, dark brown color.
Serve over jasmine rice, or, for a real Filipino treat, with garlic fried rice.
> Note: I use Filipino soy sauce and cane vinegar when making this. Remember to taste the sauce after about 15 minutes or so of cooking and adjust the seasoning accordingly. Distilled vinegar tends to be sharper, which you can remedy with additional water and brown sugar. If it’s too salty, just add more water.