Adobo refers to a common and very popular cooking process indigenous here in the Philippines. The most famous of all here in the Philippines is the chicken adobo.
According to the history (reference: research only),when Spanish colonizers first took over the Philippines in late 1500s and early 1600s, they encountered an indigenous cooking process which involved stewing with vinegar. Spanish called or identify this as an “adobo,” the Spanish word for seasoning or marinade. Thus, giving way to the famous Chicken Adobo.
All dishes prepared in this manner eventually came to be known by this name, with the original term for the dish now lost to history.
Thus, the adobo dish and cooking process in Filipino cuisine and the general description “adobo” in Spanish cuisine share similar characteristics, but in fact refer to different things with different cultural roots. While Philippine adobo can be considered adobo – a marinated dish – in the Spanish sense, the Philippine usage is much more specific.
Chicken Adobo Recipe
- 2 lb chicken pieces, cut up or whole
- 1 head of garlic, coarsely chopped (yes, an entire head!)
- 4 Tbsp soy sauce (or more to taste)
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 cup vinegar (rice vinegar or white wine vinegar work best)
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 Tbsp cooking oil
- 1 cup chicken broth
- Put vinegar, bay leaves, pepper, soy sauce, and water in a saucepan. Cover and cook slowly about 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat the cooking oil in a large, heavy-bottomed frying pan. Peel the garlic, break the cloves into chunks, and brown them over medium-low heat (about 5 minutes).
- Add the chicken to the frypan and brown it over medium-high heat (about 5 minutes).
- Add the broth to the frypan and simmer, partly covered, until the chicken is done (about 30 minutes). Do not let it come to a boil.
- Remove the bay leaves and serve over rice.
You can substitute pork for the chicken, or mix the two. Here in the Philippines, it is the custom to marinade the meat for two days rather before simmering.
To marinate the chicken, mix in the broth and 3 of the garlic cloves after step 1, then put the chicken in a glass dish and pour the marinade over it.
Adobo is the most unique national dish of the Philippines. Most warm-weather countries have through the centuries developed recipes that preserve food while flavoring it. This dish is different than many because of its strong component of vinegar. It is at once sour, salty, and drenched in garlic.
Thus, the recipe is very well known in many countries. This Filipino recipe of chicken adobo is just the very basic and simple step. As time goes by, many varieties, ingredients and style are being added to the original recipe to add some flavor.
Looking for other Lutong Pinoy Recipes to try on? Feel free to check out our pork recipes, chicken recipes and desserts.
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