Friday, November 5, 2010

Adobo - Filipino Style

One of the first meals that I learned how to cook when I had access to my own kitchen was chicken adobo.  Though, when most people hear "adobo," they assume it's the Spanish version.  But, while we might have adopted the name from the Spaniards and the base is similar in that there is a marinade,  it's really its own beast.

Filipino-style Adobo is really a very simple concoction, but it is truly individualistic.  While it can be considered the "national dish" of the Philippines, every household cooks it differently.

In essence, Filipino Adobo is anything marinaded in a vinegar based marinade.  Anything else that is added to the marinade is purely representative of the region the cook or their family is from.

My family cooks it in a relatively popular way:  add soy sauce, black pepper, and garlic.
All you need...
Obviously, if you prefer something other than chicken, like pork or beef or fish or shrimp, you can easily adopt the adobo recipe to it.  That's just part of its beauty.

2lbs of Chicken (Personally, I think that bone-in tastes a lot better since it really holds in the flavors, but boneless is also delicious and will cook faster.)
2/3 cup of Vinegar (If you can find cane vinegar in your Asian market, you're quite the lucky duck!  This is Filipino vinegar, and it's just got a great twang to it.)
1 cup of Soy Sauce (Any soy sauce will do)
1 tsp of Ground Black Pepper
1/2 a bulb of Garlic...or if you're like the boyfriend and me, the entire bulb!

Additional ingredients added to your liking:
Juice of 1 Lemon
3 or 4 Bay Leaves

Mix all the ingredients together and marinade the chicken while you prep other things.  You should definitely start your rice at this point, and prep any veggies you might want to add to your meal.  I suggest broccoli and baby carrots to add to the rice, but I'll get to that later.

Heat up a pan or a skillet, and put about 2 tablespoons of cooking oil on the pan.  When it's heated, place the chicken and marinade in the pan.  Make sure to turn the chicken around to ensure that it cooks on all sides and all the way through.  Boil the chicken in the sauces until it is somewhat dry and the chicken is cooked thoroughly.

Set the chicken aside.  While the heat is still on and there is still some sauce in the pan, throw in your veggies.  Hopefully, your rice is done cooking at this point, and you can throw in your rice as well.  This will really help to mop up the rest of the sauce and garlic bits.  Fry the rice and veggies until the rice is fairly covered in the sauce and the veggies are somewhat soft.

And there you have it, ladies and gentlemen.  You've now made chicken adobo.  I wish I had pictures of my completed meal to show you.  Alas, I got way too excited and ate it before I got to take a picture.  However, I do have the nutritional value.

Nutrition Facts (Chicken Adobo Only)

Recipe Serves 4 people
Amount per Serving - 2 medium to large pieces of chicken
  • Calories 444
  • Calories from Fat 63

Not so bad for a full meal.  It's fairly healthy when you add the veggies to it, and it's chock full of protein.

But really, the reason you should be having this meal is because someone Filipino has invited you into their home, and wants you to learn more about their culture by feeding you this dish.  You are one lucky son of a gun.

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