In Spanish cooking, adobo refers to a technique to preserve food by immersing it in a stock or sauce made of paprika, oregano, salt, garlic, and vinegar, which also enhances its flavor. It’s also the name given to the popular Filipino dish, Adobong Na Manok, by the Spanish explorers who stumbled upon the Phillipines, and observed a preparation very similar to theirs. Today, adobo is considered the national dish of the Phillipines, and there are as many ways to make it as there are shoes in Imelda Marcos’s famed collection.
While looking for a fitting Filipino dish to prepare for Pan Asian, I forgot that adobo is one of my favorite goto dishes because of its ease of preparation and awesome taste. I use Corinne Trang’s recipe in her awesome cookbook, Essentials of Asian Cuisine , which provides a wealth of great information and amazing dishes. Adobo is also one of those dishes that tastes even better the next day, so it’s no problem making it just for yourself–you’ll eat well for a couple of days. If you cook a lot of Asian food like myself, you should not even have to go out of your way to get any special ingredients. But because I always like some heat, I added some sliced red chilies to the festivities.
From (Essentials of Asian Cuisine by Corinne Trang)
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 large head of garlic, cloves
2 oz. fresh ginger, thinly sliced lengthwise
1 1/2 – 2 lbs. chicken legs
1/2 cup coconut vinegar or Chinese Rice Vinegar
1/4 cup Chinese light soy sauce
5 scallions, trimmed and chopped
1 Tbsp black peppercorns
2 fresh Bay leaves
5 green chilies or 1 habanero, sliced (optional)
1) Heat the oil in a large clay or heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat.
2) Stir fry the garlic and ginger until fragrant and golden (about 5 min.)
3) Add the chicken, vinegar, soy sauce, scallions, peppercorns, bay leaves, and 1/4 cup water; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until chicken is fork tender and the juices have reduced by half (about an hour).
Serves 4 to 6