If you have followed along for any moderate length of time with my gastronomical misadventures, then certainly you have seen the word adobo mentioned a time or three. Whether it be chipotles in adobo which are stewed, smoked jalapenos or the Puerto Rican culinary reference which can be a seasoned salt or a mixture of fresh mashed garlic, herbs and citrus.
This adobo my friend is all together different in that we are talking Filipino food and in the Philippines, adobo is a cooking method or style of cooking and not so much a combinations of ingredients. Well sort of. It basically means to stew or braise in vinegar. That definition may or may not be too simple but the important thing here is that it tastes awesome.
A couple of things to note about this recipe. The addition of the coconut sauce and hot peppers is specific to a particular province of Luzon which is one of the few areas of the Philippines that utilize spicy chiles in cooking. I used habanero here but you could use jalapenos, gueros or even banana peppers. You will need to adjust the quantity of chile pepper depending on which you use. The less heat the more pepper.
- 1 1/1 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 inch cubes
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 bay leaf
1/2 habanero, stemmed, seeded and minced
2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup coconut milk
1. Place everything except the oil and coconut milk in a medium stockpot and bring to a boil. As soon as it begins to boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes or until the chicken toughens up. With a slotted spoon, remove the chicken and reserve the liquid.
2. Now you get to use your seldom used wok. Hopefully you have seasoned it. If not you can use a large skillet. Heat the oil to medium high heat and cook the chicken for about 3 – 5 minutes until golden brown and the edges are just a tiny bit crispy. Remember to keep it moving so it doesn’t burn. Now add the reserved liquid to the wok and scrape up any fond (little crispy browned bits of chicken) that may have stuck to the bottom. Bring this to a boil then quickly reduce heat to a low simmer and cook until the liquid is reduced to about a 1/4 cup, about 25 minutes. Add the coconut cream and cook until warm. I served this with stir fried squash, zucchini and green onions.