Monday, July 16, 2012

Garrett's Adobo chicken

The original recipe is Filipino that I got from
a friend born there. Here it is:

4-5 lbs chicken thighs
1/2 cup white vinegar (see note below)
1/2 cup soy or tamari sauce
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp. black peppercorns
3 bay leaves

Combine all ingredients in a large pot. Add chicken
thighs to marinate for an hour.

Bring pot to a boil, then lower heat and cover. Simmer
for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Uncover and simmer until sauce is reduced and thickened,
and chicken is tender (typically another 20 minutes, but
it is the thickening of the sauce that is key).

Vinegar note: Asian markets like Ranch 99 carry a special
version of white vinegar which has a different acidity than
typical domestic vinegar. This is the best to use, but you
can use domestic white or cider as well. From Wikipedia:

    Cane vinegar, made from sugarcane juice, is most
    popular in the Philippines, in particular, the Ilocos
    Region of the northern Philippines (where it is called
    sukang iloko), although it also is produced in France
    and the United States. It ranges from dark yellow
    to golden brown in color, and has a mellow flavor,
    similar in some respects, to rice vinegar, though with
    a somewhat "fresher" taste. Contrary to expectation,
    containing no residual sugar, it is not sweeter
    than other vinegars. In the Philippines, it often is
    labeled as sukang maasim (Tagalog for "sour vinegar").

*** Variation theme ***
(Garrett's alternate recipe)

Cover a package of chicken thighs with fresh-squeezed lemon
juice and salt them, plus toss in pressed garlic and some
ginger powder; toss to cover. Let them marinade for 1/2
hour. Bake them at 350 until done, or BBQ them. Let them
cool, then pull the meat off the bones and place it in a


1 part soy sauce
1 part vinegar
2 parts water
1 tsp oregano
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon brown sugar.

Bring to a boil, then turn down to the W in loW. Simmer
them with the lid ajar, to let steam escape, for 1/2 hour.
Turn heat to medium low and remove the lid. Cook until
sauce is low in the pan, and shows thickening.

Basically, chicken thighs browned then garlic, 50/50 soy/vinegar, a bit of brown sugar, some water, and a long reducing simmer.