Filipino Chicken Adobo

Another make-ahead RV-easy meal – this time a very traditional favorite from The Philippines. Adobo is probably the most famous dish from The Philippines and we had it regularly while living in Manila. No unusual ingredients, yet the flavor combination is exotic enough, you will want to prepare Chicken Adobo again and again. I use boneless, skinless thighs, but substitute any chicken you choose – bone-in or not – and simply adjust the cooking time. The sauce is quite salty if regular soy sauce is used, so I prefer a low-sodium soy sauce in this recipe. For best results, let the chicken marinate all day, or up to 24 hours. By the way, Filipinos eat with a spoon and fork – no knife – and that is how we eat Adobo at our house (or RV). No wine pairing for Adobo – beer, please.

1/3 cup soy sauce (low-sodium preferred)
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1½ teaspoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
4 boneless skinless chicken thighs (about 1.25 pounds)
Vegetable oil for frying
Lime wedges for serving, optional
Sliced green onion for garnish, optional
Steamed Jasmine rice, to accompany

Special equipment: ziplock bag

Mix the soy sauce, cider vinegar, cornstarch, sugar, pepper and garlic in a small bowl (I just use a glass measuring cup). Stir well, so the cornstarch is completely dissolved. Pour the marinade in a large ziplock bag. Add the bay leaves and the chicken pieces. Seal the bag well and give it a few turns to completely coat the chicken. Refrigerate 8-24 hours, turning the bag occasionally if possible.

Heat a skillet (with a lid) over medium heat and coat the bottom with a thin layer of oil. Carefully remove the chicken from the marinade with tongs, reserving the marinade, and brown the chicken, about 2 minutes per side. Reduce the heat and pour the marinade over the chicken in the skillet, including the bay leaves, and bring the sauce to a slow simmer. Cover and cook, turning occasionally, at a very low simmer for 15 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Sauce will be very thick. Remove from heat, and let rest, covered, for five minutes. Discard the bay leaves and serve chicken and sauce over steamed rice. Garnish with lime wedges/sliced green onion, if desired.

Serves 4 light eaters.