Last night I made chicken adobo for the first time. It was great, and easy peasy to make. In fact, it’s so easy to make, I made it (or at least prepared it) while I was also making applesauce. (Note: This is not recommended unless you are a very focused cook. More than once onion, garlic, and ginger almost went into the applesauce.)
Here’s what you need (and the amounts I used):
4 chicken drumsticks (1.5 lbs.)
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 medium-small onion, sliced
3 large cloves garlic (crushed/chopped)
black peppercorns (I used 13)
2 bay leaves
2 tbsp thinly sliced ginger (with skins on—hurrah!)
Put the chicken in a roomy pot or dutch oven. In a bowl mix together all the other ingredients. Pour the mixture over the chicken and marinate (covered) for 1-3 hours (in the fridge). Note: Thighs are more traditional, but I had drumsticks. Also note: I used a hunk of ginger root about the size of two of my thumbs (which are average size). I did not actually measure the sliced ginger, but it seemed like about two tablespoons. Further note: White vinegar will also work.
Heat on stovetop over high heat until it comes to a boil. Lower heat, cover and simmer for an hour or so, stirring and turning chicken over occasionally. This is usually served over rice, but I served it over orzo (which worked very well and also made for good leftovers today).
I reviewed several recipes before I came up with this one (which is a combination of at least three plus my own preferences). Cooking times varied from about half an hour to an hour and a half. One said this is a very forgiving recipe, and can hardly be overcooked. That was comforting (most particularly when I started over after cooking for 20 minutes when I decided my pot was too small).
Use a decent-sized pot. One of the recipes I consulted suggested using a small pot, which I did. Big mistake. It was very hard to move the chicken around in such tight quarters—things kept falling out, and the chicken on top didn’t appear to be cooking at all. So after about 25 minutes I switched to a larger pot and started over. It was much easier.
A couple of other things I learned while cooking: Most of the recipes I consulted required less liquid than I used. In fact, the amount above was recommended for 4-5 pounds of chicken in one recipe. This is something you can play around with according to your preferences.
Next time I will grate the ginger instead of slicing it. My slices were not thin enough and every once in awhile I’d run across a massive piece of ginger. I love ginger, but I still think grated would work better to distribute it more evenly. Also, a larger onion. And perhaps just a tad more garlic. Oh, and next time I will at least double the amount of chicken. There weren’t nearly enough leftovers!