The Most Famous Philippine Dish
Annatto is Key Here
Adobe, a soupy stew flavored with Vinegar, Soy Sauce, Bay leaves, and black peppercorns, is perhaps the best-known Philippine dish. This version, based on an Ilongo original, omits the Soy Sauce and is lower in Salt than some more familiar versions. In this recipe the bone-in Chicken is simmered until the liquid has all evaporated, and turning the rich sauce into a mellow glaze.
This recipe serves 6 to 8 and involves about an hour o cooking time, with about an hour and fifty minutes total preparation time.
In this version of Adobo, Chicken Livers are browned with the Garlic and Onions in the fat to provide even more flavor. This would go well with plain steamed white rice.
Annatto Seeds provide a unique and essential flavor, color and fragrance to this dish.
Adobe with Chicken Livers
Adobo Sa Mga Livers Ng Manok
6 Garlic cloves
1 large yellow Onion
2 tablespoons Vegetable Oil
1 tablespoon Annatto Seeds
3 pounds whole Chicken Legs, separated into drumsticks and thighs
4 cups Distilled White Vinegar
2 Bay Leaves
2 teaspoons whole Black Peppercorns
1 tablespoon Salt, such as sea Salt or Kosher
1 pound Chicken Livers. wshed and dried
First peel the Garlic and slice thinly. Set aside
Cut the Onion in half, then into thin slices about a quarter inch thick and set aside.
Rinse the Chicken Livers and set aside in a Colander to drain and dry while making the rest of the dish.
When ready to cook the dish, take a large Dutch oven and heat over medium fire. When the Oil is hot, put in a tablespoon f Annatto seeds and cook until te Oil takes on a deep red color from the seeds. This will take about 4 minutes.
Using a slotted spoon scoop out the seeds and discard them.
Then add the Chicken drumsticks and legs to the pot, along with the Vinegar, Salt, Bay Leaves and Black Peppercorns – The Mixture. Bring to a boil.
Reduce the fire to a slow steady simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the Chicken is cooked and the liquid substantially reduced – about 45 minutes.
Using tongs, transfer the Chicken to a plate. Return the pot to high fire.
Add the sliced Garlic and Onion. Fry in the fat in the pot, stirring, until they turn golden brown and sticky, about another 15 minutes.
Put the washed and drained Chicken Livers in the pot, arranged in an even lleyer. Cook, turning, once, until just cooked through, another 5 to 7 minutes.
Return the Chicken to the pot. Stir gently until warmed throgh and covered in the sticky sauce, about 3 minutes more.
Remove the Adobo from the pot and serve while piping hot, ideally with steamed white rice.