Chicken Adobo is one of my favorite chicken dishes. Filipinos consider adobo (in general) as the national dish, and even though people have different ways of cooking this, for most parts of it I struggled. I just didn't know how to cook it the way my late father used to. They said adobo is probably the easiest dishes one can cook, but for some reasons, I just couldn't get the balance between soy sauce and the vinegar.
Before, my father would just put all the ingredients in one pot, marinade it a bit before cooking it. That's the kind of adobo cooking I grew up seeing, but whenever I would try it, I always fail. Fail in the sense that my father would just put it in a pot and serve it without adding anything more. Whenever I cook it the way he did, I would tend to put in more soy sauce or more vinegar. My dish was still edible, but really, the frustration about not getting it correct really stressed me out. How can I not cook a dish I love perfectly?
Funny, but "cooking the perfect adobo" was something I put in My Bucket List, and since then I have tried every possible way of cooking it.
March of this year, I finally got the balance I needed. I learned that putting it all in one pot is something I cannot really master, and that a different way was something that would make it easier for me. I learned that I found it really good if I saute the onion and garlic first and sear the chicken meat before adding the soy sauce. I learned that while some cooks can really get the balance by putting the same amount of soy sauce and vinegar, I preferred to add a little more of the vinegar, and that I have to put in the vinegar when the chicken is already cooked halfway. Since I love my adobo saucy and not runny and/or not oily, I learned it is best to add very little water (just to get the meat cooked) so that I won't have to boil or simmer it longer. Lastly, I have learned that it is much better that I use freshly cracked pepper instead of whole peppercorns.
Only my family got to taste my adobo. No complaints from them, so I assume they liked it. As for me, finding the best suitable way of cooking one of my favorite dishes is something to be happy about. Cooking the perfect adobo? Check!
*** Jenn ***