Last Updated: July 7, 2020
Prior to dating my fiancé, I have never tried adobo. Using mainly either chicken or pork, my first taste of this traditional Filipino dish was when his mum made it for a family dinner. Her version was full-bodied with rich umami notes, and I immediately understood why this homemade dish is so celebrated.
Given that many of us have been honing our cooking skills in the past few months, it only made sense that I tried my hand at making this dish for the first time. I wanted to attempt to re-create her dish—without her help—so I scoured the Internet before landing on one that I felt would do the replication justice.
From my research, I discovered that the biggest dividing factor from one adobo recipe to another is the amount of vinegar used; some prefer a milder tang, while others welcome its potent zing. I also chose to use SADIA Frozen Chicken Thighs as they come in just the right amount required by this recipe, are conveniently packed, and have no artificial flavours or preservatives. More importantly, their pedigree livestock chickens are fed a balanced diet rich in cereal, bran, vitamins and minerals, so you know you’re only using healthy chickens in your homemade recipes!
Since this was my virgin attempt, I stuck to the ratios accordingly and found out this No-fuss Chicken Adobo recipe was crazy easy to make!
Preparation time: 5 minutes + at least 1 hour for marination; Cooking time: 40 minutes
Step 1: Peel and crush garlic cloves. I recommend crushing the cloves using the side of the knife blade.
Step 2: In a large mixing bowl, add in chicken, soya sauce, and crushed garlic cloves. Make sure to coat all the chicken parts liberally.
Step 3: Set aside to marinate for at least 1 hour, or up to 3 hours, if you prefer.
Step 4: Once the marination is done, heat up oil in a hot pan. Pan-fry all the chicken for about 2 minutes on each side, for colour. Do not throw away the remaining liquid marinade; save it for the next step.
Step 5: Pour in remaining marinade—together with crushed garlic cloves—and also pour in 1.5 cups of water.
Step 6: Bring the entire pan to a boil and proceed to add in dried bay leaves and pepper. At this point, you can also add the vinegar. Stir well.
Step 7: Sprinkle in the sugar and salt, to taste. Make sure to stir everything well. Allow the pot to simmer for another 5 – 7 minutes before turning the fire off, and serving.
The kitchen smelled amazing throughout the cooking process and I was so excited to taste my attempt at making my fiancé proud! I was also eager for his input as to whose adobo recipe was better—mine or his mum’s.
I sipped on the gravy and there it was—that distinct sharp vinegar punch that adobo is famous for. Mine was a lot more pronounced than my fiancé’s mum’s version, and that was honestly the only major difference. Personally, I really enjoyed the tang, however, my fiancé prefers a version that’s slightly mellower.
Vinegar aside, the chicken thighs were cooked beautifully and there was even a hint of smokiness to the dish. The best part about creating an adobo recipe is that you can adjust the ratios of vinegar, soya sauce, and sugar, according to your liking, so it’s easily a recipe anyone can attempt without fear of messing up.
The next time I cook this Chicken Adobo recipe, I’ll try marinating it for longer and reduce the vinegar by one tablespoon. I might also add in the dried bay leaves during the marination process to see if that makes any difference in the flavour.
I highly recommend everyone try this No-fuss Chicken Adobo recipe at least once; it’s certainly a taste of home and may just help you win over your in-law’s heart (and tummy)!
Expected Damage: S$7 – S$9 per portion (feeds 3 pax)