Adobo has got to be the Philippines' national dish. Whether that's official or not, I'm not really sure, but it practically is. Ask any Filipino if they know how to make adobo, and I'm almost sure they will say yes. Adobo can be cooked in different methods with different ingredients in it, but what I am doing today is the very basic and classic of them all. I made it with chicken, but you can definitely make it with pork or a combination of both.
So what is adobo? Adobo is a Spanish word that has been adopted into the Philippine language, and it probably lost its true Spanish meaning through the years. The way I will define it here is the Filipino way. Adobo is a type of food preparation wherein you can say the chicken is cooked adobo style. What that really means is that it's cooked in a combination of garlic, soy sauce and vinegar --- the basic ingredients of adobo. So for today, it's chicken adobo. One last thing, adobo is best cooked one day in advance. The longer the meat soaks in the sauce, the better it tastes. It is best served with steamed white rice. Enjoy! -GG-
2 packs of chicken drumettes (about 15 pieces)
5 cloves garlic (chopped)
1/2 cup vinegar
1/8 cup soy sauce
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
3 bay leaves
1/2 cup cooking oil
1. Wash the chickens thoroughly under running water, then drain.
2. Heat up about 3 tablespoons of oil in a pan. Brown the garlic. Set aside and remove any excess oil from the pan. Save the oil.
3. Using the same pan, place all the chicken drumettes and vinegar into the pan. Sprinkle half of the black pepper over the chicken. Cover the pan and cook on low to medium heat for about 10 minutes. Turn the chicken in order to cook the other side. Cover the pan again and simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off heat. The chicken drumettes may look uncooked, but that's OK as there is more cooking in the next steps.
4. Remove the chicken drumettes from the pan and set on a plate. Leave the vinegar on this pan. Cover the pan to prevent evaporation. Using a different pan, preferably non-stick, heat up the rest of the oil. Carefully lower the chicken drumettes into the hot oil. Brown the chicken drumettes quickly and evenly on its sides. Expect splatter so be careful. Set the fried chicken on a separate plate. Again, the chicken drumettes may look uncooked, but that's OK as there is more cooking in the next step.
5. After all the chicken drumettes have been fried. Turn the heat back on, on the pan where the vinegar is. Add the soy sauce and the rest of the black pepper. Add in the browned garlic. Add in the chicken and the bay leaves. Simmer for about 15 minutes, turning occasionally to make sure the chicken is cooked thoroughly.
Note: To summarize, the classic adobo process is simmer, fry, and simmer again.
|Brown about 5 cloves of chopped garlic.|
|Wash the chicken thoroughly under running water, then drain.|
|Simmer the chicken in vinegar and pepper.|
|After simmering in vinegar, the chicken is still half cooked, but that's OK.|
|Give the chicken drumettes a quick even browning. Now you are ready for Step 5 of the procedure above.|