My love affair with chicken adobo dates back to 2005. A friend who was born and raised in Guam had made dinner one night and served up a rustic-looking and extremely fragrant chicken dish. I had never eaten or even heard of chicken adobo before. But one bite of the juicy dark meat with all its tanginess, sweetness, and soy-sauce-savoriness and I was hooked.
I begged my friend teach it to me the following night. And then proceeded to make chicken adobo at least once a week for the next 2 years.
Over the years, I've made chicken adobo countless times, tweaking it along the way until I found a go-to version, changing it up with pork on a few occasions. But it wasn't until I went to Purple Yam, a Filipino restaurant in Brooklyn, a couple of months ago that I tried coconut chicken adobo. The sauce was darkened by soy sauce, very tangy and garlicky, a tiny bit spicy, with a faint coconut flavor. It was delicious, and it took a lot of restraint for my friends and I to not put in another order.
Now, there are countless ways to cook chicken adobo in the Philippines, and everyone who makes it has a strong opinion of how to cook it and what should go in it. Should there be coconut milk and/or soy sauce, and if so, how much? Should the meat become crispy via deep-frying, pan-searing, or broiling, or not even get crisp at all? And what about sugar? Even with vinegar, the one constant sauce ingredient, should it be coconut sap, rice, cider, or white distilled?Read More