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For a lot of people, Adobo is nearly synonymous with Filipino cuisine. It is a dish that proudly waves the flag of local cooking, and shows off just how rich, well-seasoned and tasty our dishes are. And of course, you can’t forget about its global popularity. Tons of people who may not be familiar with Filipino food would know about adobo.
Now I definitely know it’s a special recipe in and of itself as proven by many cooks. But there’s no harm in trying to find other ingredients that might harmonize well with this classic dish. And when we do discover something that works, we end up with something that could be distinctly better, or in Filipino— “kakaiba.”
Right here is my take on Filipino Chicken Adobo, which shows off a tender, well-marinated chicken, as well as a thicker, even more irresistible sauce. Before that, here is a bit of the basics on the original dish.
The name of this dish often leads people to immediately assume that it is of Spanish origin. While that applies to its famous title, most everything else about the dish is from the Philippines. The name sprung up during the Spanish colonization because the marinating process somewhat resembled the one used by Spanish adobo dishes. “Adobo,” apparently originated from the word “adovar,” which means marinating.
This is also why there are Mexican dishes called “adobo,” which employ the use of a marinade, but are quite different from the Filipino Adobo. But the very beginnings of this Filipino recipe came from the need to preserve food well because of how hot it is in the country. Local cooks started to use copious amounts of vinegar for meat, and then soy sauce also became a popular ingredient when Chinese traders brought it over.
The makings of a Kakaibang Filipino Chicken Adobo:
You will first need just 2 cups of plain yogurt for this dish. This will really help distinguish your dish for an irresistible smoothness to the chicken.
Knorr Chicken Cube
Now for this recipe, we will actually be using one whole cube, but we will divide it into two. The first half will be used for the marinade, while the other will wind up in our delightful stew. This ingredient really helps bring out the flavor in your chicken.
For the rest of the Adobo:
As you may already be aware of, this ingredient plays a huge role in this dish, and so it is important that you pick out the right chicken. Whenever I go to the market, I definitely try to take a closer look at the meat options to make sure that I have one of the best quality for my dish. First on the list for properties you should look at is color. It would be great to go for nice and pink types of chicken without any gray spots or coloring.
I would also advise taking the chicken that is plump to the touch. Then you need to make sure you only get what you need, which would be 2 lbs.
Lemon lime soda
We will also add a dash of sweetness to our Adobo so go ahead, and prepare 1 ½ cups of lemon lime soda.
What is a great Adobo recipe without this favored classic? White vinegar is perfect for adding a sour element to your dish, and helping it stand out more. Also, it is actually quite healthy as it is known to be beneficial for balancing out your cholesterol levels. We’ll use up 3 tablespoons of white vinegar for this dish.
On to another tasty component, soy sauce is a condiment that can really liven up any dish. We will just need ¼ cup of this for our recipe.
When it comes to Filipino dishes, it is almost a given that we will use garlic. But it is important to select ones that are firm when you go shop for them to ensure they are not too dry, and are fresh enough. The color is yet another good indicator. Definitely try to go for white cloves rather than more yellow ones. Set aside 1 head for this recipe.
You will need 3 bay leaves for this. You can have a more aromatic, irresistible dish with the addition of this well-loved component.
For this, just make sure you have 2 teaspoons of cracked peppercorn.
Now with cornstarch, we will only use 2 tablespoons’ worth. But you really can’t forget about this ingredient because it provides the magic of a deliciously thick stew to coat all of our ingredients.
Have 1 bunch ready for this dish. You will know which one is good to pick when buying by touching the bunches. You should go for the ones that are firm. Also opt for the bunches that have greener, more vibrant leaves.
This is probably an ingredient you already have at home. Just scoop out 1 ½ teaspoons’ worth for our Adobo!
Cooking Oil and water
Of course, we have to keep the basics in mind as well. We will need ¼ cup of cooking oil, and 1 cup of water.
How to make it:
Marinating the chicken
Remember our yogurt and chicken cube from earlier? We will take just half of the cube, and then all of the yogurt, and place them in a bowl. Now mix them together nicely. Once they are well-incorporated. Now cut up your chicken into serving pieces if they haven’t been yet.
Then coat all of your chicken pieces thoroughly with the marinade. You can now cover your bowl, and refrigerate it for a minimum of 3 hours.
Frying the chicken
Is your chicken all marinated and good to go? Once it is done soaking up the flavors of the marinade, you can begin the next step. We will pour the cooking oil in a pan, and then add the chicken. Cook each side for your chicken pieces for 1 minute. Then take it out of the pan.
Mixing in the chicken and the sauce
Now let’s have fun with our seasonings and spices! Using the same pan, melt your butter with the oil left from earlier. Incorporate the garlic, and let this cook until it becomes brown. Then we will get the chicken, and place it back in the pan.
Incorporate your soy sauce, vinegar, lemon lime soda, and water, and then just let this boil. When it is boiling, you can toss the other half of the Knorr Chicken Cube, cracked peppercorn, and some bay leaves. Then cover your pot, and put the heat on low. Continue cooking everything for around 20 to 25 minutes.
Making the slurry
As we wait, we can create the deliciously goopy slurry by getting the water and cornstarch together in a bowl. Now just mix this up, and then if your 20 to 25 minutes are up, you can add this to the dish. Quickly stir this into the mixture.
Afterwards, just let everything cook until the sauce’s texture and thickness is to your liking.
Arranging the dish
Then that’s it! You can just pour everything onto a serving plate of choice, and top this with some chopped up green onions.
Some other types of Adobo:
You might have already heard of the term “inadobo,” which means you’re aware of how Adobo has mainly referred to a way of cooking as well in the Philippines. It is not just one recipe when you say Adobo because people also use the term to talk about vinegar-braised dishes. Normally, other Adobo dishes use the same seasonings to spruce up its flavor like soy sauce and garlic. Come look at a few of them!
I absolutely love a meaty stew with a strong, deliciously savory flavor. This is why Pork Adobo is also a very popular variation. But I would say that Adobong Manok or Chicken Adobo is just a little bit more famous. This may be because a lot of Filipino dishes already favor the use of chicken, but the white meat definitely goes well with our rich sauce. But you also cannot disregard the great appeal Pork Adobo has. It is tasty and filling because of how meaty it is. Plus it has that satisfying pork texture and flavor that makes it a lot heartier and delicious.
Integrating seafood is also another Filipino favorite in terms of Adobo recipes. Adobong Pusit is definitely a lunch staple for many households. While the reason for its popularity may vary from person to person, one of its perks is the satisfying texture it has when cooked right. It has a delectable chewiness to it, which goes perfectly with the sauce. The sauce also has a uniquely deep, savory taste to it because of the squid ink.
There definitely are vegan variations for this dish so you would not have to brainstorm too much on plant-based substitutes. A delicious go-to option is Adobong Kangkong. It utilizes kangkong or water spinach, which is very accessible and delicious, and so it is the perfect ingredient to integrate with our dish.
Now all of these recipes are great, but what about going for something a little different? I definitely love to experiment with classic Filipino dishes, and so this was a lot of fun to create. Let me show you what you will need to make a Kakaibang Filipino Chicken Adobo.
If you had any difficulties and questions while making this dish, don’t hesitate to leave a comment!
- 2 lbs. chicken cut into serving pieces
- 3 ounces chicken liver
- ½ Knorr Chicken Cube
- 1 ½ cups lemon lime soda
- 6 eggs boiled (optional)
- 3 Tablespoons white vinegar
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 1 head garlic crushed
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 teaspoons peppercorn cracked
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 cup water
- 1 bunch green onions
- 1 ½ teaspoons butter
- ¼ cup cooking oil
- 2 cups PLAIN yogurt
- ½ Knorr Chicken Cube
- Combine the marinade ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well. Add the chicken pieces and coat it with the marinade mixture. Cover the bowl and put inside the refrigerator. Let it stay for at least 3 hours.
- Heat cooking oil in a pan. Fry both sides of the chicken liver until it browns. Remove from the pan. Set aside.
- Using the remaining oil, fry the marinated chicken for 1 minute per side. Remove from the pan.
- Melt the butter with the remaining oil. Add garlic. Cook until it starts to brown.
- Put the chicken back into the pan. Add soy sauce, vinegar, lemon lime soda, water. Let boil.
- Add ½ Knorr Chicken Cube, cracked peppercorn, and bay leaves. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to low setting. Cook for 20 to 25 minutes.
- Add the fried chicken livers back into the pan. Stir.
- Combine cornstarch with ¼ cup water to make a slurry. Mix well. Pour into the cooking pot and stir right away. Add boiled eggs. Continue cooking until the sauce thickens.
- Arrange on a serving plate and garnish with chopped green onions.
- Share and enjoy!