When I lived in the Philippines, this quickly became my favorite dish. For my 21st birthday, even though this wasn’t the main dish being served that evening by the Datoon family, Nanay made a special plate of adobo just for me. I first made it for Rachel when we were dating and she also fell in love with it (she was hopefully already in love with me but, if not, the food sealed it).
In the culinary world you hear the term “adobo” used frequently in the past few years. This got me excited until I realized that many ethnic cuisines have their own definition of the word. The name “adobo” was taken from the Spanish but the cooking method is indigenous to the Philippines. It means stewing with vinegar.
Chicken Adobo with Potatoes
3 chicken breasts cut into pieces
3 medium size potatoes, cubed
1/2 cup vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 3/4 cup water
4 cloves garlic
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1. In a wok or large fry pan, saute garlic until brown. Add chicken, saute until browned, about 5 minutes.
2. Add all ingredients except potatoes.
3. Cover and simmer until chicken is tender.
4. Add potatoes; continue cooking until they are soft and the stock reduced to a light brown gravy.
5. Serve hot over rice.
When I first cooked this for Rachel back in 2003, it had been a while so I went a little heavy on the garlic. It took days to air out my apartment.
The vinegar and soy sauce gives this dish a lite bitterness that makes your mouth water. The potatoes do a perfect job of soaking up just enough moisture-that precise moment when they are soft enough but not falling apart.
I always make extra because it is delicious as leftovers. Hopefully you will enjoy it as much as we do. It’s a quick dish to make.