Chicken Adobo

chicken adobo

I am so tired tonight.  As an exercise in pure self-absorption, here's some speculation about why I'm so tired:

6:30--Wake up with the kids, work until 8:00 while the kids watch cartoons
8:00 --Make breakfast (whole wheat toast with almond butter, scoop of yogurt), get kids dressed, take a shower
9:00--Drop Wyatt off at school
9:30--Go the office supply store with Loretta, decide I could buy 10 new printers for the price of the ink I'm buying to keep my old  one afloat
10:00--Give Loretta some Swedish fish in the car if she promises to be quiet while I make a work phone call
10:30--Come home, fix the printer (thank God), more work while I try to keep Loretta happy with art supplies.  We get in a fight  (fighting with three-year-olds is a serious low point) for which I apologize while putting her to bed later
11:30--Eat some cheese and crackers while changing into work clothes, leave to drop Loretta off at Uncle Michael and Aunt Naomi's house
12:30--Get to my first meeting downtown
2:30--Get to my second meeting at Northgate
4:30--Pick Loretta up in West Seattle
5:15--Pick Wyatt up at Mary's house
6:00--Get home, make patty melts before we all melt down with hunger
6:45--Clean kitchen, make soup for the next two nights when I'll be home late
7:30--Get kids ready for bed, read books, set out clothes for our early morning tomorrow
8:00--Put kids to bed, pack my lunch, get ready for tomorrow's meetings
9:00--Insanely sit down to record my day here
10:00--Stupidly stay up to watch stupid TV
11:00--Bed

I know I'm not alone when I say this was a normal day for me.  Especially where the rest of you mothers are concerned.  I always say, "Give a mother 10 minutes and she'll change the world (or at least organize most of it)."

Even if you can't can't change the world or help your three-year-old with her watercolors without falling apart, you will be able to make this chicken.  This is my favorite thing I've made in a year.  The Exaggeratress is not exaggerating.  I've meant to try Chicken Adobo a million times, but never got around to it until now.  The Filipino dish, "Chicken in Tart Garlic Sauce," begins with marinating chicken thighs in soy sauce, ten cloves of crushed garlic, oodles of vinegar, and crushed tomatoes. You dump the whole bag of marinade and chicken in pot, simmer it until the chicken's done, then pull out the chicken and brown it while you're reducing the sauce.  Then you pour that darn sauce (I am salivating right now) over the tender, tangy chicken and haul out a pile of napkins.  Unfortunately, it's an 18-24 hour marinade, so you have to think ahead. But you moms are used to that.

Chicken Adobo
Serves 4.  Adapted From Lynne Rossetto Kasper's How to Eat Supper. I used apple cider vinegar, but you can use plain old white vinegar, too. Don't skimp on the garlic.  It seems like a lot, but the marinade and the cooking mellows it out.  YOU HAVE TO START THIS A DAY AHEAD FOR MARINATING TIME.

1/4 c. soy sauce
10 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tb. freshly ground black pepper
1 1/4 c. cider or white distilled vinegar
1 c. whole canned tomatoes with their liquid
2 bay leaves, broken
8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 whole scallions, thinly sliced (optional)
Hot cooked rice for serving

The day before you will be cooking the chicken, combine the soy sauce, garlic, pepper, vinegar, tomatoes (break them up with your fingers as you add them to the bowl), and bay leaves.  Put the chicken into a large Ziploc bag, pour the marinade in, seal tightly, and let marinate for 18-24 hours.

When you are ready to cook the chicken, dump the whole Ziploc mixture into a big pot.  Bring it to a gentle bubble, cover, and cook for 25 minutes, or until the center of  a chicken thigh registers 175 on an instant-read thermometer.

With tongs, remove the chicken to a plate.  Skim as much fat as possible from the cooking liquid, increase the heat, and start briskly boiling it.  You want to reduce it by half.

While the liquid reduces, film a straight-sided 12" saute pan with olive oil.  Heat over medium-high heat.  (I did 4 thighs in two pans so as to avoid crowding).  Arrange the chicken, skin side down, in the pan, and let them brown.  Stand back--they'll splatter.  Adjust the heat so the chicken doesn't burn.

When the chicken pieces are a deep, rich brown on one side, turn them over and scatter the onions around them.  Contine browning the chicken, moving the onions around so they don't burn.  Then, with a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken and onions to a serving bowl. Pour the boiled-down pan juices over them, garnish with scallions, and serve with hot rice.