Home on a Plate

Home on a Plate, originally uploaded by krisalis903.

The last few weeks have been mentally draining. Not in a bad way, but in a good way. I love the new office and the new colleagues. And having a Mediterranean place, a pizza place, a sushi place, and now an English pub all within walking distance of the office makes lunchtime a cinch (usually). But because of all the changes taking place, it’s taken a toll on other parts of my life, the creative parts in which I make things (both in the kitchen and at my crafting desk).

Working in Addison now has really made it way too easy to order take out. Today I decided I’ve been eating out way too often and needed to make a home cooked meal.

But then as I rifled through my mental recipe box, I couldn’t think of one dish I absolutely wanted that didn’t take a lot of steps or a lot of ingredients. Except for one: chicken adobo.

Chicken adobo is a very traditional Filipino dish that my mom used to ALWAYS make in a variety of ways, but the most traditional, most classic way I know is using chicken thighs. And the good thing is it only requires a few ingredients that I usually keep on hand anyway: chicken thighs, soy sauce, white vinegar, garlic, black pepper (or black peppercorns), and bay leaf. And even though it’s not a beautiful, fancy dish, it’s a dish that’s near and dear to my heart. It’s something I always make when I just want to cook but I don’t want to think about what I’m cooking because it’s one of the few recipes I know by heart.

My mom’s chicken adobo is usually more flavorful than mine–flavor that reaches straight down into the bone mostly because she marinates her chicken ahead of time in soy sauce and garlic. I rarely get a chance to do this because I’m usually making it the day I crave it.

This time however I added an extra step to the process that my mom’s never done before: after thoroughly cooking the chicken, I placed it in a shallow pan under the broiler for about 10 minutes. This crisped up some of the skin and browned it even more which meant TONS of flavor. I will probably have to mention this to my mom since she might want to try it as well. Below is the recipe which I’ve tried to put together on paper to the best of my ability.

Chicken Adobo

6-8 chicken thighs, bone-in, skin on
1/2 C low sodium soy sauce
2-3 Tbs white vinegar
1/2 C water
6 garlic cloves (adjustable if you like/love garlic)
Sprinkling of black pepper or black peppercorns
1-2 bay leaves

Brown the chicken skin-side down first in a large saute pan. Add soy sauce, water, vinegar, garlic, pepper, bay leaf. Cover with a lid and cook on medium high heat, turning chicken every few minutes, for about 30 minutes (turning the chicken frequently while cooking will allow the soy sauce to absorb on both sides).

Once the chicken is thoroughly cooked and the sauce is reduced, remove the chicken and place in a shallow baking pan. Put the chicken under the broiler for about 10 minutes or until the skin deepens in color and crisps. After browning, return chicken to saute pan and serve with rice.

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