Saturday, June 16

Philippine Style Chicken Adobo

Philippine cuisine is one of the world's melting pot cuisines. Beginning with it's original indigenous people, the cuisine was slowly influenced over time by the Spanish explorers and Chinese neighbors. The cuisine has continued to evolve over the centuries taking on flavors of India, South America, Malay, Japan, and America. This melting pot style cuisines has created a very diverse menu, ranging from simple meat and fish dishes to elaborate created for fiestas. One of my favorite Filipino dishes is chicken adobo.

Chicken adobo is a distinct cross between Japanese teriyaki and Spanish grilled meats. It combines the slow poaching of meat with a glazing and grilling finish. I love serving adobo summer nights, the flavors transport you to a summer vacation on the Island.

Serves 4-6
Full time: 45-60 minutes (includes grill preheat time)

You will need:

3 bay leaves
1 dried szechwan pepper
2 1/2 pounds chicken breast, cut in half or quarters depending on breast size
1 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/2 tbsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp white pepper

Let us begin:

In a high sided pan (or shallow pot) mix soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, pepper, and szechwan pepper

Add in chicken pieces and try to get them  fit into a single layer. You need one layer for good poaching, it may take a few minutes to work out the spacing.

Bring the liquid to a boil over high heat.

Once boiling add in bay leaves, cover, and reduce heat to simmer-low. You will now begin to poach over a slow simmer, you know the temperature of your stove top better. If low is a good slow simmer then go for it, but you don't want anything hotter.

Let poach in liquid for 20 minutes, then carefully remove lid. You may have what I like to call a poaching spot, it is the part of the meat where the liquids don't reach, so it looks pale. Rotate chicken over, placing the poaching spot side down. Recover and continue to cook for 10 minutes or until temperature reaches 180.

Once temperature is at 180, it is ready for the next step and should have developed a nice color.

Gentle and with tongs, remove chicken gently to a paper towel lined surface.
While this rests, return the heat under pan to high. You need to cook off the sauce to turn it into a glaze, doing this over high heat will kill any bacteria that may have been on chicken.

Reduce the liquid down to 1 cup, but don't over reduce or it will become extremely salty.

While this reduces, get your grill preheated to a medium-high heat and set your cooking rack 2 inches above flame.
Once glaze is reduced, move chicken to grill and glaze lightly.

Remember we don't need to cook the meat, just crisp up the glaze and outside, this will only take 5-8 minutes per side, rotating once will do the trick.
 before glaze added and crisped up
 after glaze has been crisped up      

For extra flavor, you can chop up fresh cilantro and sprinkle over chicken when serving. I don't but it is very common, enjoy!