Adobo Manok – Filipino Chicken Adobo
The blog’s moving really slowly these days. In fact, I’d not blogged about anything for almost 2 weeks. Been kinda busy lately with quite a couple of things. First is of course to help Vonne and her family with their major move from Singapore to UK. That spanned over quite a number of days and it has been massive on many accounts. First is the number of things we’d needed to pack, which took us quite a while. Wouldn’t have been possible without the help of her good friends Linda and Cecilia. It is really through times when we are in need, that we see true friends indeed. Couldn’t have said it better. Then there is of course the emotional dimension of it. The initial stages were overwhelming with stress and anxiety if we could finish packing in time before the movers came and if there was enough cargo space to fit everything. And when everything’s finally loaded up onto the trucks, the feeling of the inevitable parting begins to hit hard. As the day draws nearer to the eventual departure, the sense of loss sets in. In fact, she and her family are leaving for UK today. I won’t be sending them off, for the sadness would have been too overwhelming. I’m not good at holding back emotions, and emotions it would seem too painful to bear. Its better off that way. But I’m going to miss Vonne and her family so much. Her lovely children Emily, Jasmine, James, Anabel and of course cute and chubby little Daniel. I pray that she and DQ would be blessed with a fresh start in UK. It would indeed be challenging for both of them. But there is also a promise of new opportunities and possibly new adventures for both of them and their family. It is not goodbye forever of course as we would definitely still be in touch. We’ll see her when we see her.
I’d cooked Adobo Manok for lunch yesterday. A quiet Monday, as usual… a quiet start to a quiet week. I like the flavours, a really simple dish to cook. It is often dubbed as the national dish of the Philippines and many regional varieties have developed, using different ingredients and sometimes even different procedures involved. Whichever the case, the method is fairly straightforward. I’d used chicken because it seems to be the most common version around. Then there is the pork and pineapple version which I’m quite curious about actually. Another day perhaps. Offal is added as a student of mine from the Philippines told me that it is popularly done so where she lives. And I love chicken liver so this is the perfect excuse to enjoy some!
The flavours are quite simple but yet exotic at the same time. White vinegar with dark soya sauce, typical Asian but quite an unlikely combination come to think of it. Then there is bay leaves and black peppercorn which is distinctively European, a reminder of the country’s Spanish influence. A truly fusion dish Adobo Manok turns out to be.
Adobo Manok – Filipino Chicken Adobo Recipe (serves 3-4)
4 sets of chicken whole thigh (including drumstick), cut into large chunks
4 sets of chicken offal (optional)
1 large red onion, peeled and sliced
3-4 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
4 bay leaves
1 tbsp black peppercorn
4 tbsp white rice vinegar or apple cider
2 tbsp dark soy sauce
1/2 tsp salt (adjust to taste)
1 tbsp sugar (adjust to taste)
2 tbsp cooking oil
water as required
In a heated wok, add cooking oil and saute onion slices until soften and translucent.
Add chicken chunks, skin side down and pan fry each piece until skin turns slightly brown and begins to crisp up slightly.
Add garlic slices and saute until fragrant.
Add dark soy sauce and stir fry slightly until all the chicken are evenly coated.
Add white rice vinegar, peppercorn, bay leaves and sufficient water to just cover the chicken chunks.
Bring everything to a boil and lower flame to simmer for 5 min covered.
Adjust the flavours with salt and pepper.
Continue to simmer for another 20-30 min under medium-low heat until the sauce is reduced and chicken is tender to the bone.
Serve with rice and other dishes.