I got inspired to cook this traditional dish from the Phillipines after a friend of mine posted her recipe on her blog ‘Just One Cookbook‘. I hope all of you check out her blog – she does such a beautiful job with her photography and I love all of her recipes (she focuses on Asian recipes!). 🙂
The thing I love about this recipe is that it is healthy! Traditionally, Chicken Adobo involves browning the chicken in hot oil before simmering it in the vinegar marinade to finish the cooking. However, this is a no-fry recipe and just as delicious! You get the same crispiness from the broiling in the oven that you would from pan-frying it!
I did change a few things in the recipe a bit by adding some sweetness to the sauce through pineapple juice (but you can use brown sugar or even honey if you’d like), increasing the garlic amount (I love my garlic!), and adding peppercorns and bay leaves to the cooking liquid. However the original recipe is also just as delicious and involves less ingredients if you are looking for a more simple recipe.
6-8 chicken drumsticks (skin-on) or 6 chicken thighs (skin-on)
1 cup water
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce
8 cloves garlic, smashed lightly with a wide knife and sliced (Did you know: smashing garlic brings out the flavors!!)
1 tsp. black peppercorns
3 bay leaves
Either 3 tablespoons brown sugar or 1/2 cup pineapple juice
Combine all ingredients except chicken in a large pot and bring to boil. Add chicken pieces in a single layer and lower heat. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, turning chicken over once halfway through.
Heat oven to the ‘broil’ setting (or 550 degrees F).
Remove the chicken pieces from the pot and turn up the heat on the reserved cooking juice until it reduces and thickens a little more. (Discard bay leaves at this point if you want).
Place the chicken pieces on a wire rack on top of an aluminum foil-covered baking sheet on the center (or upper-middle) rack of your oven. [Note: putting them on the wire rack allows the juices from the chicken to drop down onto the aluminum for easy clean up later!]
Broil each side of the chicken for 3-4 minutes until browned to your liking. When the chicken is in the oven, be sure to watch it carefully so it does not burn! The ‘broil’ setting can get very hot!
[Note: You can bypass the broiling of the chicken and finish them off on a hot grill for a nice variation and some beautiful grill marks!]
Serve hot out of the oven by brushing the reserved (and reduced) cooking liquid over each piece of chicken liberally (I personally love eating this dish with a little bowl of the reserved cooking liquid and dip my chicken in it for every bite!). Finish your preparation by sprinkling Kosher salt over the chicken, also liberally and to your taste.
Best served on top of a bed of rice or quinoa (as pictured!) and make it a meal by adding a side of steamed or pan-cooked vegetables!