This past weekend, I saw the effects of the chicken wing shortage that was reported earlier this year.
I was all set to grill wings for a last-minute July 4th/Birthday gathering, but one look at the Trader Joe’s meat department derailed my plans. Brooklyn Fare didn’t have wings either. Or Associated Supermarket. Forget shrimp. Chicken wings may be this season’s most sought-after commodity.
What every store had, however, was plenty of chicken thighs. At ridiculously low prices. It’ll set you back $1.99/lb for “natural, hormone-free” chicken, and just a bit more for the organic, free-range variety. Legs and thighs may be awkward to pass around while sipping a beer outdoors or pretending to care about the World Cup, but are perfect for a braising dish I like to make even in the summer.
I posted a recipe last year for pork adobo. But it is the chicken version that I make again and again (and again and again.) I first learned to make this Filipino chicken adobo from an ex-roommate. Certain friends have gotten sick of it after the 20th time, so now I learn to space out my cooking of it. Instead of twice a week, I’ll indulge in my craving twice a season.
But with the wing shortage and chicken thigh abundance spreading across the country, chicken adobo will make a comeback as my go-to comfort food dish. First of all, who doesn’t like braised chicken? (Heartless people, that’s who.) Second, the 30 minutes of braising will give your kitchen this wonderful cidery, soy aroma, and make it smell like a rustic hearth somewhere in the vicinity of the Spice Islands (just imagine). Third, the dish tastes even more amazing reheated. Like tonight. When I blast the AC and rewatch the first season of Mad Men.
Chicken adobo + Don Draper & Co. circa 2007. An evening of revisiting old friends.
- 1 1/2 to 2 pounds chicken legs or thighs
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 large onion, chopped or
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup white or apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- With a paper towel, pat the excess moisture from the chicken on all sides (otherwise, watch out for splattering oil when you sear the meat.) In a large wok or skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Sear the chicken on one side until the skin is light golden brown, about 5 minutes. Flip the chicken over and sear the other side for another 5 minutes.
- Add the onions over the chicken. Pour the vinegar, soy sauce, and water over everything and bring to a simmer. Add the honey, bay leaf, paprika, and pepper. Allow everything to simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Enjoy the aroma.
- Serve hot over rice and vegetable sides.