France is legendary for its perfect breads and pastries. Italy’s renowned for imaginative pastas and Mexico for glorious tacos and moles. India’s got its lively curries. Visit Nigeria and folks will argue about the best jollof rice.
And if you find yourself in the Philippines, you’ll be surrounded, wonderfully, by adobo.
The iconic stew is a point of pride for the island nation, with roots in the ages before Spanish colonization.
Not that it’s hard to love adobo: It’s rich, garlicky and a little spicy (if you want it to be), with bright pops of vinegar and bay leaf. There’s nothing like it!
Give chicken adobo a try with this recipe that’s great for the home chef. Shared by The Kitchn, this vinegar-braised dish is full of easy-to-find ingredients and room for improvisation. As chef Yana Gilbuena says, “Don’t be afraid to make adobo your own.”
It starts with the chicken, of course. Use dark-meat cuts, like bone-in, skin-on thighs or drumsticks. Before browning the meat, whip up a mixture of red onion, garlic and whole black peppercorns.
Brown the meat in batches in a large Dutch oven, then drain on a wire rack with a paper towel. Add in the onion-and-garlic mixture, then deglaze the pot with vinegar — this recipe calls for a particular Filipino brand of spiced vinegar, but other vinegars work, too. (I typically use apple cider vinegar.)
Next, add in soy sauce, light brown sugar and bay leaves and mix to dissolve the sugar as it simmers. Then, add the chicken back to the pot with some mushrooms, bring back to a simmer, and cook.
Once the chicken is cooked through, about 30 minutes later, taste the sauce and make any desired adjustments. Remove the bay leaves while you’re at it. Serve over rice, garnished with scallions and bits of fried garlic.
Now that you’ve discovered adobo, you’ll never forget it. Search out a Filipino restaurant to try another version, or ask a friend if they have a recipe to share. Find what you like and tweak your adobo recipe — it’s a delicious adventure.
Find the full recipe from Kitchn here.