In New Haven County I have sadly found no Filipino restaurants. If we want food from my homeland we have to venture of to New York.
Since Filipino food is a rarity in Connecticut many people ask me what it is like. I typically tell them that it is a wonderful blend of Chinese and Spanish food with a dash of Malaysian and hints of Indian.
Historically, the Philippines has always been a port of trade for many Asian countries, for 300 years it was a Spanish colony, and for 35 years it was an American sovereignty. All the different cultural exposure has influenced Filipino cuisine.
When I was growing up in the Philippines we had a live in cook who made us all our meals so I never really got an opportunity to learn how to cook Filipino food.
Living in the US, and not having household help, has been an education in domestic life. I have learned not only to clean, but I now have a couple of staple dishes under my belt, like Filipino Chicken Adobo.
Today I would like to share with you my Chicken Adobo recipe. Please note that every household has a different Adobo recipe. Some people add sugar, some hot sauce and others use different kinds of meat like beef or pork. The recipe I use is a simplified one that a novice cook can execute.
3-4 lbs. of chicken (I usually like using the dark meat)
1/3 cup of vinegar
1/3 cup of soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
2 bay leafs
1/2 a cup of water (enough to cover the chicken)
3-4 cloves of garlic finely chopped (you can add more if you like it more garlicky)
1/2 tablespoon of oil
What to do:
1. Put the oil in the pot you are using and have the heat up to medium
2. Put the garlic and the chicken in the pot and then brown
3. Add all the other ingredients and cover the pot
4. Cook for 45 minutes in medium heat
Note: Some people like to fry the chicken right after to give the skin a crispness. This dish is best eaten with plain white rice. You can prepare this dish the day before as the flavors are even better the day after.
Marinating the chicken is not necessary because the vinegar “cooks” the chicken and the meat becomes a bit tough.
Adobo is a signature Filipino dish. If you have a Filipino friend, chances are they have already introduced you to it, but now you can brag that you can make the dish on your own!
Buono Appetito! Sarap ng buhay! Have a great meal!