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  • Chloe Grabham

How to cook a Filipino classic- Chicken Adobo

If I could travel my way around the world and try every country's national cuisine, I would be standing at the airport with an extra pair of stretchy pants in my luggage. Unfortunately, due to the restraints of being a grown up and my bank account disagreeing with extravagant gourmet travel plans, I am going to have to live through other peoples kitchens and dining rooms vicariously through the help of Pinterest and the hundreds of thousands of international food blogs to curtail my wanderlust cravings.

I have been fortunate enough to try many great cuisines from around the world, but it is one cuisine in particular that I really wanted to explore and cook from home, this being traditional Filipino food.

Having many friends with Filipino heritage, I wanted to learn more about this mysterious Asian cuisine that I never have really had the pleasure of trying. I came across this interactive, and mouth-watering video posted by Bon Appetit and knew this was going to be the start of my adventure into Filipino cooking. You can watch the clip here

The video was for chicken adobo, a dish which seems to be a well-loved staple of the Filipino people ( just check out how many hashtags this meal has on Instagram!). So I followed this super-easy and flavoursome recipe from Bon Appetit with a few changes here and there, and these are the results!

How to make chicken adobo

1- First you want to marinate the chicken with the garlic, chillies, vinegar, soy sauce, peppercorns, palm sugar and bay leaves in either a resealable bag or a large dish that covers all the chicken pieces. I left this to marinate for two days, but you can marinate it for just 24hours.

2- Make sure the chicken is turned about twice a day

3- Heat the oil in a sauce pan til it starts to sizzle, add the chicken but reserve the marinate.

4- You want the skin to crisp up and go golden, turn a few times and turn the heat down if it starts to burn too quickly

5- Once the pieces are caramelised, add the marinate to the saucepan and 1/2 cup of water, you want the liquid to start to simmer.

6- Cover the saucepan and cook for 35minutes

7- Take the lid off and cook uncovered for 25minutes until the sauce is reduced to a glaze like consistency and the chicken is tender

8- Serve the chicken on top of a bed of steamed rice with spoonfuls of the sauce, sprinkle the scallions on top and enjoy


8 Free-range chicken drumsticks

10 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped

3 Birds eye red chiles, halved lengthwise

Medium sized piece ginger, peeled

1 cup unseasoned rice vinegar

¾ cup soy sauce

2 tablespoons black peppercorns**

2 tablespoons palm sugar/ brown sugar

3 bay leaves

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Serve with sliced scallions sprinkled on top and steamed rice

**Peppercorns: You can leave the whole peppercorns in the sauce, however, I did find them very over powering and would probably strain them out just before serving the dish

Suggested serving ideas: A light cucumber salad on the side and a glass of a dry Riesling

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