thousands of two regular infrequent readers may recall, I have attempted to make Chicken Adobo before. The results from that previous attempt? Eh, I wasn't too pleased. But I wasn't disheartened either. In fact, after making that not too satisfying dish of Chicken Adobo, I vowed to keep trying different recipes until I found something I liked.
So while partaking in the Penny-Wise Eat Local Challenge almost two weeks ago (yes, I'm behind on my blogging, I know) I purchased a couple of pounds of chicken thighs not really knowing what I was going to do with them. As I was pushing my cart around Henry's that day, I walked past a display of local organic cider vinegar which triggered a flickering light bulb above my head. As this light bulb buzzed and pulsated above my noggin, I bit my lip, cocked an eyebrow, and slowly started remembering something about chicken and vinegar.
Duh! Chicken Adobo!
After I had finally flipped the A-HA! switch, I knew I had seen a chicken adobo recipe specifically for chicken thighs in one of the many foodie mags I had back home. I just had to figure out which magazine it was in.
When I returned to the Burnt Lumpia Worldwide Headquarters that day, I went over to my bed and reached under my mattress (where else would you keep food porn silly?) Anyways, I knew immediately that I could eliminate Cook's Illustrated from the search. Finding a Filipino recipe in Cook's Illustrated magazine would be like Rachael Ray giving birth to my child: possible, but highly unlikely.
That left three year's worth of Sunset magazine (I never throw any out) and a few scattered Bon Appetits (that last word looks funny) and Gourmets. Luckily, as I thumb through my food porn, when I find something that I like I mark the pages with something sticky... Post-It flags. (This is getting unsavory, sorry, time to reel this post back in.)
Anyhoo, thanks to a wonderfully placed blue Post-It flag, I found the chicken adobo recipe that I was reminded of earlier that day. It was in the March 2007 Sunset issue, yes, not that long ago, but my memory is terrible at remembering memories -- and forming sentences good.
Of course, I fidgeted with the recipe a tiny bit, but the end result was... SARAP! That means delicious for you non-Pinoys. It was a straightforward, easy recipe with basic adobo ingredients like my mom would use: soy, vinegar, black pepper, garlic, bay leaf, and absolutely NO COCONUT MILK! And it only took about 45 minutes to make. My wife and I liked this recipe so much, it is now in our regular rotation.
(adapted from March 2007 Sunset Magazine Easy Chicken Adobo recipe)
1 Tbsp. achuete oil (you can also use canola or vegetable oil, but I have lots of achuete left)
8 bone-in chicken thighs, with skin
5 cloves garlic, minced
2/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup soy sauce
1 tsp. whole black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. When the oil begins to shimmer, place the chicken in the pan, skin-side down, and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Flip the chicken over and brown the other side, another 5 minutes.
Remove the browned chicken from the saute pan and place in a large bowl. Pour off all but 1 Tbsp of the drippings from the saute pan and return to low heat. Add the garlic and saute until lightly brown and fragrant, about 1 minute. Deglaze the pan with the soy and vinegar, making sure to scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine. Return the chicken to the pan, along with any accumulated juices from the bowl, and bring to a gentle simmer. After the liquid reaches a simmer, cover the saute pan and cook for 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes, uncover the pan and increase the heat to medium, cooking for 15 minutes more or until sauce thickens to your liking. While the chicken cooks, occasionally stir and spoon sauce over the chicken. Remove the bay leaves and serve over white rice. Drizzle chicken and rice with sauce.