Braised Chicken In an Adobo Reduction
Alas, my very first Filipino recipe. With a twist, nonetheless. And a bon voyage to us!
When I started blogging several months ago, I’ve had a few requests from friends and family to recreate a classic Filipino dish with my own special “pinky up” factor. It’s taken me a while to finally man up, especially since my culinary expertise lies far from my own cultural background. It was difficult to find any motivation to learn how to cook Filipino food when I could always rely on my mother’s cooking or if need be, make a quick pit stop at one of the plethora of Filipino eateries sprinkled all throughout Los Angeles and Orange County.
I’ve come to the realization that my list of French dishes surpass my whopping TWO Filipino dishes that I’ve ever tried to make – leche flan and sinigang. How sad to think that my kids would be spoiled rotten with oeufs en cocotte and mousse au chocolat but yet, they may never know the ultimate, quintessential Filipino food? Bad Filipino (as I lecture myself mentally)!
Sadly, another challenge that has always hindered me from whipping up any of my motherland’s cuisine is the aesthetic factor. The photographer/food stylist side of me is struggling to visualize a way to capture Filipino cuisine in a way that is not too…homely. In its most authentic form, Filipino food IS rustic but how can I make it look more appealing to the western culture?
I sought refuge in one of my fellow Filipino food bloggers, Malou from Impromptu Diva who cooks up some amazing dishes. I used her classic adobo recipe as a guideline but of course, added my own personality. If you’re craving for more delicious Filipino cuisine, check out Malou’s blog to fill in that adobo-shaped void in your life. You won’t be disappointed!
So as my last entry before we begin our Costa Rican adventure tomorrow, I present my first attempt at the one dish that is undeniably synonymous with my culture. And from someone who grew up on adobo, I don’t think this fancier version falls far from the tree. And if you happen to not like my rendition of this time-honored recipe, I don’t care because I’m in Costa Rica! Woo hoo
|2||lbs. chicken thighs|
|5||cloves garlic, smashed|
|1/2||cup soy sauce|
|1||cup white vinegar|
|1||Tbsp whole black peppercorns|
|4||fresh bay leaves|
|2||russet potatoes, peeled and diced in large pieces|
|12||quail eggs, hard-boiled and peeled (leave them whole)|
|pickled baby carrots (optional)|
|adobo fried rice (optional)|
|cooked white rice (NOT optional!)|
- Rinse chicken thoroughly and pat dry. In a medium saute pan, combine smashed garlic, soy sauce, vinegar, water, peppercorns and bay leaves. Bring to a simmer. Add chicken and bring mixture to a boil then lower to low heat. Cover with a lid and braise chicken for about 45 minutes, flipping over the pieces occasionally to coat evenly. About halfway through the braising process, add the diced potatoes and quail eggs.
- When the chicken is done, remove from heat. Carefully remove the chicken from the pot and keep warm on a separate platter. Strain about 1 1/2 cups of the adobo sauce into a small saucepan and reserve the potatoes and quail eggs in another container. Throw out the bay leaves and whole peppercorns but reserve some of the remaining adobo sauce if you’d like to serve it with the fried rice.
- Next, place the adobo sauce over medium heat and add the honey. Bring this mixture to boil until the sauce has thickened and reduced to about 3/4 cup. Use a wire whisk and whisk vigorously to combine the sauce thoroughly. Remove from heat and keep warm.
- For the triple bypass version of this adobo, coat the braised chicken lightly in a flour/paprika mixture and deep fry for a few seconds until the skin is nice and crispy (this is how I prepared this adobo but quite frankly, it didn’t make or break the dish so I’ll forego it next time).
- For the adobo fried rice, heat a skillet with plenty of crushed garlic and olive oil. Add about 4 tablespoons of the adobo sauce (before the reduction process) then add 5-6 cups of cooked rice. Combine thoroughly.
- To serve, place braised chicken over the rice and add the potatoes and quail eggs. Drizzle a spoonful of the adobo reduction sauce. Garnish with chopped chives and pickled carrots.