My Filipino Roots and Chicken Adobo

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If you haven’t met me in person and you just happen to be reading my food blog…Well hello! Welcome, stranger from the outside!

And if you haven’t met me in person, then it is possible that you know absolutely nothing about me. Except what is written on my ‘about’ page...which isn’t that interesting anyway.

So let me begin by starting off with my roots…I’m a natural brunette. 

I was born and raised in London by a Filipino mother and an English father. Having lived in England my whole life, I would say that socially and culturally I very much identify with being English. I am a tea-guzzling, fish 'n' chips-eating, tennis-watching Brit.

But being half Filipino there are certainly some traits that I have picked up over the years. In particular, Filipinos are known for their abilities to host gatherings and cook. They are warm, generous hosts and if you ever find yourself in a Filipino home, there will always (repeat: always) be something to eat.

Back when I was in school, I remember friends would always want to come to my house knowing that there was essentially a three-course meal to be had. I swear my mother is probably the only reason I had any friends.

And so as an adult I spent time perfecting the recipes I enjoyed as a child, in the hope that I could keep the friends (and the boyfriend) I had so wonderfully obtained.

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Chicken Adobo is a famous Filipino dish and one of my favourite dishes. My adaptation is a touch sweeter than others because I like to add honey and paprika. Secret ingredients I learnt from my mother.

Unfortunately, they are no longer secret ingredients and have been posted on the Internet. Sorry.

Some people like to marinate the chicken overnight in a soy sauce and garlic mix. This will yield a more flavorful adobo but I rarely do this. It is still very tasty!

Don’t be afraid to cook this the night before, just like curry it will be even better the day after once all the flavors have been given time to soak in!

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Chicken Adobo (3-4 servings)

  • 2-3 pounds of bone-in skin-on chicken thighs
  • 2 tbsps. crushed garlic
  • ¼ cup of soy sauce (approximately 12 tablespoons)
  • 5 tbsps. white vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable or olive oil. I prefer coconut oil
  • ½ teaspoon ground peppercorns
  • 3-4 bay leaves
  • 1.5 cups of water
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 1 tsp., paprika (optional)
  • Steamed rice for serving
  1. Heat the oil in a pan and arrange chicken meat to cover the surface evenly. Brown each side for a couple of minutes until slightly browned.
  2. Add to the pan garlic, soy sauce, peppercorns, paprika, bay leaves and water. Once it has been brought to a boil, lower the heat and add the vinegar. Do not stir.
  3. Simmer over medium low heat, covered, for 25 minutes, or until tender. 
  4. Add the honey and then simmer again for another 10 minutes.
  5. Serve with white rice and enjoy!
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