… from the California Kitchen
How you doin? I’m doing great this morning because last night I made Adobo-Fried Chicken for dinner. It has all the flavors of a traditional adobo with the added advantage of it being crispy fried.
Traditional Chicken Adobo is a Filipino dish made by braising chicken legs and thighs in a sauce made up of vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, and black pepper. It’s tangy, salty, garlicy, slightly sweet, and spicy—hits all the levels of flavor. The chicken is slowly simmered in the sauce making it flavorful and incredibly tender.
Pedro de San Buenaventura is credited with the “invention” of Chicken Adobo. The word adobo is derived from the Spanish word adobar, which means “marinade” or “pickling sauce.” The existence of the tangy dish was first recorded in 1613 in Spain or Portugal.
The original dish is slowly braised and simple to make in a Dutch oven, slow cooker or an Instant Pot. The result is wonderfully, full-flavored chicken in a yummy sauce that goes perfectly over rice.
My recipe for Adobo-Fried Chicken is a little bit more complicated than the traditional style. The process covers all the basics—the legs and thighs are simmered in an adobo broth of vinegar, bay leaves, sugar and soy sauce for 15 minutes, giving the meat a strong foundation in the Philippine flavor before the magic is added. It is then dunked in buttermilk, breaded and fried. I used a Dutch oven half filled with oil for frying.
To add another layer of flavor you need to make this spectacular dipping sauce. Make the dipping sauce and refrigerate it before you simmer the meat, so you can dig in as soon as the fried chicken has drained and cooled.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Braise time: 35 minutes
Rest time: 15 minutes
Fry time: 6 to 8 minutes
Cool time: 10 to 15 minutes
Yield: 6 servings
Allow: 1 hour 30 minutes
For the dipping sauce
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 fresh Thai bird or habanero chiles, thinly sliced
3/4 cup hot water
For the braising broth
1-1/2 cups distilled white vinegar (5%)
3 tablespoons finely minced garlic
4 bay leaves
1-1/2 teaspoons black peppercorns
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce (low sodium)
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1-1/2 cups water
For the chicken
2 pounds chicken pieces with skin— thighs and/or drumsticks, plus wings if desired (do not use breasts—they dry out too much—dark meat is moister and has more flavor)
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 cups buttermilk
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
About 8 to 10 cups peanut oil
To make the dipping sauce
ChefSecret: Okay, I realize this recipe is a little more complicated and you will have to scrub up the oil spatter, but your efforts will receive their just rewards—everyone will love your exotic cheffy efforts. I had a couple of pounds of disjointed chicken party wings in the frig. All I did was reduce the frying time by about 2 minutes.
Covid-19 Quip of the Day: “I don’t know about you, but I’m getting more telemarketing calls at home during the pandemic than ever before. My neighbor told me she just hands the phone over to her 3-year-old granddaughter and tells her to speak to Santa. They don’t seem to call back that often anymore.”
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