Sunday, May 18, 2008

chicken adobo

When we lived in Hong Kong we had a Filipino amah named Lita. Her name was actually Lolita, but to me it was not a good name, so I asked if I could call her Lita. Anyway, not long after she started working for us I asked if she would cook something Filipino for us for dinner. Her response was that she did not think we would like Filipino food, except that we would probably like chicken adobo. She was quite right. She always cooked her dinner after she cooked ours and sometimes I would go see what she was having and it always look unappetizing. But the chicken adobo was wonderful. Our children liked it so much that for many years they simply thought that that was how you cooked chicken. It was kind of like "what benefit would there be in alteration?" Needless to say I got Lita to teach me how to make chicken adobo.

1 kilo chicken pieces, legs and or thighs (about 15 pieces)
1 medium onions, coarsely diced
2 tablespoons oil
5 cloves of garlic, crushed (more if you like)
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2/3 cup soy sauce
2/3 cup rice vinegar, or white wine vinegar
1 1/2 cups water
1 small can of coconut milk (optional)
1 tablespoon cornflour
1/4 cup cold water

Skin the chicken.
In a large saute pan put the oil and onion and cook until soft.
Add the chicken and brown just a bit.
Add the garlic and pepper and brown sugar, then pour over the chicken the soy sauce, vinegar, and water.
Cover and cook until done, about 40-45 minutes. Using a twongs, turn the chicken once during cooking.

When the chicken is done, remove it from the pan to a serving bowl.
Add the coconut milk if desired. It's a pleasant addition.
Mix the cornflour and water and stir into the sauce in the pan.
Cook just until the sauce is nicely thickened. Taste the sauce and adjust if needed, anyway you like.
Pour the sauce over the chicken. If you like you can pour it through a strainer for a smooth sauce. I did this for the kids because a picky eater doesn't like "bits".
Serve with rice.

This dish can also be made with pork. They often combine pork and chicken. I use pork steaks, a cheap but yummy cut. Then it's called chicken and pork adobo.

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