Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Years and years ago Mark Bittman wrote about chicken adobo. He quoted a friend as saying it was the best chicken in the world, or something. I didn't make it, but it stuck in my head.

So when I saw a recipe for chicken adobo in The Cook's Canon, I decided to try it. The Cook's Canon makes me a little crazy. First, it describes this as a stew. Um, it's more like pieces of chicken. They're cooked in a liquid, sure, but then that liquid is reduced to a sauce. And then he spends a whole page going on about his theories on the origins of this dish, without any sort of anthroplogical documentation. Just, "I thought that actually this dish probably originated back then." And no discussion of why he called it a stew.

Anyway, you cook pieces of chicken (I wanted to use thighs, but TJ's didn't have any, so I used breasts) in soy sauce, cider vinegar, garlic, peppercorns and crumbled bay leaf for an hour. I cooked the breasts for less, since they were very tender after 35 minutes or so and didn't want them to turn to rubber. Then you take out the chicken and run it under the broiler to brown. Then, he says, reduce the sauce by half and spoon over the chicken. However, I'm not sure if he meant by half of what you first started with or half of what's left after 35 minutes- hour of simmering. It was already reduced by more than half of what I started with, and there wasn't much left. So I didn't reduce it fully by half again. The chicken didn't really "brown" under the broiler, either. It was already pretty lacquered and mahogany looking from the sauce, and I was scared of broiling it too long. My instinct would have been to brown the chicken first in the pan and then simmer, but what do I know?

It was, nonetheless, delicious. Wonderful over rice, and without rice, I bet it'd be a great Atkins meal. Jeff stole the leftovers from me for his dinner tonight (I have class). I'm a little miffed.