I’ve never met a cuisine I didn’t like, and ethnic dives are among my most regular haunts. But I’ve never made many of the sought-after dishes at the top of my list: North India’s saag paneer, Korea’s bibimbap, and Cuban tostones con mojo. I decided it was time to tread through previously uncharted kitchen territory, starting with a wildly underappreciated dish: chicken adobo.
The term adobo can mean many things, but in the Philippines, a Southeast Asian country that’s heavily influenced by Spanish and Chinese cultures, it refers to the process of stewing chicken or pork in a vinegar- and soy-based sauce. I can’t get enough of the succulent result, which has an intoxicating sweet-and-sour aroma, and the sauce, which is phenomenal with rice.
To save some time, ask your butcher to break down a whole chicken into 10 parts (breasts, wings, thighs, and legs, cutting the breast pieces in half).
1/2 tablespoon neutral oil
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 cup apple cider vinegar
12 cloves peeled garlic
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
4 dried bay leaves
1 scallion, thinly sliced, optional
Steamed jasmine rice, optional, for serving
- Add the oil to a large straight-sided skillet or dutch oven; heat over medium-high heat until shimmering. Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel before browning it in the skillet, skin-side-down first. (Work in batches if your skillet isn’t large enough to accommodate all of the chicken at once.) Transfer the browned chicken to a plate.
- Add the soy sauce and cider vinegar to the skillet, using a wooden spoon to scrape up any brown bits. Add the chicken to the braising liquid, skin-side-down first, then add the garlic, peppercorns, and bay leaves. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to medium-low. Cover the skillet and simmer until the chicken is thoroughly cooked (the meat will be firm, the juices will run clear, and a thermometer inserted will read 165°F), about 20 minutes. Flip the chicken halfway through for even cooking.
- Transfer the cooked chicken to a clean plate. Continue to cook the sauce until it’s reduced to about 1 cup, about 10 minutes.
- Strain the sauce, reserving the garlic cloves, then add the chicken back to the sauce and toss to coat completely. Transfer to a serving platter and garnish with the garlic cloves and scallion. Serve with steamed jasmine rice.
- Poultry, Main Dishes
- Other Asian
- Serves 4
- Cook Time
- 1 hour