What is that one dish that, when you’re at a loss about what to cook, you automatically choose without a second’s hesitation? For me, it’s adobo. Pork adobo or chicken adobo, or a combination of both.
Adobo is easy to cook. It requires pantry staples that no Filipino kitchen are ever without. Prep time is almost negligible. And, once the ingredients are bubbling in the vinegar-soy sauce mixture, they need very little supervision. Besides, everyone in my family loves adobo.
So, a week before Christmas, I was in a rush to prepare lunch because we had to go out to buy a replacement for the busted air con in our bedroom and to order blinds for all the windows on the ground floor of the house. Tail end of the renovation.
There was a kilo of chicken thighs and a kilo and a half of pork belly in the fridge, partially thawed, and I had to make a choice between them. The pork would take twice as long as the chicken so I decided on the latter. Adobo. And I’d serve the chicken adobo with halved hard-boiled eggs.
Chicken Adobo and Egg Rice Bowl
- Heat a large non-stick pan.
- Arrange the chicken thighs, skin side down, in the skillet. Cook until the skins are browned and a generous amount of fat has been rendered.
- Flip the chicken thighs over and brown the meat side in the rendered fat.
- Add the garlic, peppercorns, bay leaves and oregano. Stir the chicken thighs around to give the spices a chance to touch the hot fat and fry a little in it.
- Pour in the vinegar and let boil until reduced by half.
- Pour in the soy sauce and bring to the boil.
- Cover the pan, set the heat to low and let the chicken thighs braise until done and the sauce has reduced to less than half a cup.
- Reserve three tablespoons of the adobo sauce along with as much fat as you can skim from the pan.
- Sccop out the chicken thighs and transfer to a serving bowl with the remaining sauce.
- Reheat that fat and reserved sauce in the same pan.
- Add three to five cups of crumbled cold rice and stir fry until heated through.
- Scoop adobo rice into bowls, top with the chicken thighs and arrange egg halves on the side. Drizzle in a tablespoon of adobo sauce, sprinkle with scallions and serve.