Sunday, March 6, 2011

Chicken Adobo

*updated 4/27/11* Took a re-take since original post's shot was borderline awful. Still could be better, but I'm still trying to figure out food photography. :)

We're going back a decade ago with this one, when a co-worker from the Philippines brought this in for a potlock. I was hooked, got the recipe, and was making it for Mr. Wonderful the next day. The interesting thing to me was his reaction/comment to the aroma created in the kitchen that first time. He came in, with a curious eye, asking why it smelled JUST like Hong Kong. (Where he was a missionary before we got married.) Now, that's not the Philippines, I know. But apparently, the Filipino population is quite large there and this dish was a staple. Or at least, the flavor combos were common, I don't know. But he was intrigued, having been instantly transported back to that time and place with just the smells of dinner-prep. 
It's always been a great one to share with company or just family dinner with our 3 crazy silly boys, who gobble it up every time. (Don't you love it when you know you're serving something that won't get any complaints thrown in your ever-underappreciated direction??)

Holla! I got those drumsticks for a dollar a pound! Thanks to my 4 year old for pointing out the coupon. He goes, "Did I help you spend LESS money? Can I have the dollars you saved?" Oh, ever the opportunist....

What you need:

3 T. oil
8-10 chicken legs (or a bag of frozen ones, no need to defrost)
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 small piece of ginger, peeled and grated (or 1/4 tsp. ground ginger.) I LOVE using the fresh grated ginger. The flavor is so much more intense, but the stuff in a jar works fine in a pinch.
1 onion, sliced
1/4 C. soy sauce (La Choy or other wheat-free kind if avoiding gluten)
1/4 C. vinegar (the original recipe said "vinegar to taste")
1/2 C. water
3 bay leaves

Heat oil in large skillet. Sauté ginger, garlic and onion together. Add chicken. Season with pepper. Continue sautéing till chicken is browned. Add in the soy sauce, vinegar, water and bay leaves.
Simmer till chicken is cooked through. But really, you can leave it on a very low simmer for even longer if needed, or transfer to a crock pot/slow cooker. It gets even better, the longer it goes. But you can serve it anytime after the chicken is cooked through. 
Best over rice. The juices are so scrumptious soaked in with the rice. 
Our side dish was some sweet peas.

I had to include a picture of this very used scrap of paper that my friend/co-worker scribbled the recipe on before giving it to me. I love the random spots of soy sauce, and for some reason, red ink from a stamp.

It's actually on the back of a "cash ticket" we used back in my bank teller days. I'm sure I won't transfer it to a real recipe card or anything. I like the nostalgia. It's been that way for 10 years, no need to change it now. 


  1. Yummy - sorry we missed it!

  2. And ... you gotta watch those boys of yours; with their quarter and dollar collections.

  3. Okay so Johnny served in the philippines and this is one of our favorites. We also like to americanize it and add in potatoes and pineapple chunks. Sooo good!!!

  4. Ash, that sounds delish! I'm gonna try that next time. Have you ever made it with pork? My friend who gave me this recipe said she uses pork too.

  5. Thanks Marissa, Made it this week and the kids and husband loved it:)

  6. Thanks for the feedback, Benee! That's great to hear!