Fine Cooking Chicken Adobo

I know I was lukewarm about Fine Cooking magazine at first, but I was wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong! It is officially my new favorite. Please forgive me, Fine Cooking.

Of all the ethnic food I have attempted over the years, I realized this week that I have never once made any Filipino food. Sorry, Filipino friends! Your food is awesome. This recipe was SUCH a huge hit with everyone in our family except for Nate. Usually I have leftovers, but we were fighting for thirds of this dish. The best part about it is you probably already have everything you need right in your pantry. The combination of soy sauce, black pepper, garlic and vinegar (so much vinegar) yields a flavorful, tender chicken. One commenter suggested adding a tablespoon of brown sugar if the vinegar is too much for you, but I thought it tasted perfect exactly as written. Keep that modification in mind, though.

I also realize I was just saying chicken thighs are far superior in the crock pot to chicken breasts, but I do think in the case of this non-crock pot recipe (which calls for thighs) that boneless breasts would be better. That’s me, ever the contrarian. I have a really hard time properly trimming thigh meat, and as a fat-phobic person, a lot of the chicken goes to waste. Even though the recipe calls for thighs, my instincts are telling me breasts might work better. (And I wonder why I get so many hits for porn on this website?).

It is not a pretty dish (hence the itty bitty picture), but it is simple and delicious. Four out of five of us give it an A++, the definition of a winner around here.

Fine Cooking Chicken Adobo with Rice by Adeena Sussman (original recipe here)

1 Tbs. vegetable oil
1-1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into 1-inch strips
Freshly ground pepper
4 large cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
1/2 cup lower-sodium soy sauce
1 dried bay leaf
1 tsp. freshly cracked black peppercorns

Cook rice of your choice. Remove from the heat and set aside with the cover on.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a heavy-duty 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, season with 1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until light golden-brown, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, 2 more minutes. Add the vinegar, soy sauce, bay leaf, and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium low, and simmer until the liquid reduces by about one-quarter, 8 to 10 minutes. Discard the bay leaf.

Just before serving, uncover the rice and fluff it with a fork. Serve the chicken and sauce over the rice.