Chicken adobo - a Tasty Thursday video

I write this and memories flash in my head. Julian, age 3, asking if we were having "chicken in dobo" for dinner. Me, age about 7, inhaling the soy/vinegar combination and immediately salivating, Pavlov's dog in human form. The Calypso and Osprey crews sitting around a campfire at Knoebels, nestled deep in folding chairs with bowls of this stuff in our laps. 

Chicken adobo has been a part of my life since I was 6 and living in Hong Kong, where our maid at the time cooked from her homeland and shared with us dishes that are part of our world even today. It is authentic? I am sure there are those who will say no. That I'm missing some critical aspect of frying, or roasting, or something else. I suppose I should say this is a dish inspired by adobo.

Adobo is a Filipino dish, though when I was researching the background to share on this blog I discovered it comes from the Spanish term "adobar", which means to marinate. It's soy, vinegar, pepper, and garlic. And yes, you marinate in this deceptively delicious combination.

As far as cruising goes, this to me fits the bill of a close-to-perfect dish. The ingredients, the soy and vinegar and pepper and garlic, are ones that have a place in any galley, at any time. They last forever and are findable most places. It tenderizes and masks the flavor of chicken that might have sat in the freezer a tad too long, meaning in places like the Caribbean, where  5 pound boxes of frozen bird are the norm EVERYWHERE, you can create a delicious dinner easily.

And it's forgiving. Mess up with the vinegar amount? (watch the video - I do it right there!) It still tastes awesome. Add more veggies if you want. Try it with tofu, or jackfruit. Cook it in the thermal cooker (which I call the magic pot). 

Adaptable, simple, and totally delicious. Yep, it's Tasty Thursday!

Chicken Adobo (serves 4-8, depending on how hungry they are!)

  • 1 cup water
  • 6 TBS soy sauce
  • 6 TBS vinegar (red wine or cider vinegar ideal)
  • 1 TBS ground pepper (fresh ground will have more of a bite)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 3 bay leaves 
  • 8-10 pieces chicken, combination bone-in thigh and drumstick (or boneless white or dark meat - if you do boneless, the time will be less)
  • 2 thin pork chops, cut into bite-sized pieces

1. Mix marinade ingredients in a pot large enough to hold the meat, then add meat and mix well. Marinate for a while, at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.

2. Bring to a boil then turn down to a simmer, top off (or on, if you like), for 35-40 minutes or until the meat is cooked through and falling off the bone.

I like to serve this with rice and broccoli.