February 24, 2014

Adobong Manok, Atay at Balunbalunan (Chicken adobo with liver and gizzard)

"You are not defeated when you lose, you are only defeated when you quit!"
~Paolo Coelho

Of all the Filipino food I know, adobo is the hardest to cook! I have high standards in adobo and I admit I can't cook a perfect adobo. My kuya (brother) and my in-laws are the best and I can't copy their versions. The secret to a perfect adobo is the proper proportion of saltiness and sourness. It should never be sour or salty, these two flavors must complement each other to achieve the classic adobo taste, ah! and don't forget the garlic, it should be garlicky! It's a must!

Oh well, I've tried so many times and so many versions, but to no avail. I nearly gave up but the little chef in me keeps on telling me to try again. Ok fine! What I did is I used measuring cups for the soy sauce and vinegar. I think I need it so that next time when I make adobo again, there'll be no more estimation.  I tried a couple of times and am proud to say that this version is somewhat close to my kuya's adobo (less the laurel or bay leaf). I'm missing my kuya Alberto so... kuya, this is for you. I'm sure if you tasted this, i will hear again the magic phrase "ang sarap!!! (it's delicious!)" with matching thumbs up!

1 kg chicken, thigh, breast and legs, chopped
300 grams chicken liver and gizzard
1/4 cup vinegar
3/4 cup soy sauce
4 heads garlic, about 40 cloves, crushed (with skin or without)
pinch of peppercorns
canola or any vegetable oil
salt and pepper to taste

1. Put half of the garlic (about 20 pcs), vinegar, soysauce, peppercorns, chicken, chicken liver and gizzard in a bowl. Marinate it overnight or for at least 1 hour.

2. Put in a pan or sauce pan. Bring to a boil then turn off the heat. Heat a little oil in another pan. Brown the chicken, liver, and gizzard and the remaining uncooked garlic. Do it by batch. Don't overcrowd the pan. 

4. Once all done, return the chicken, gizzard and liver in the pan and pour the sauce. Simmer it for a couple of minutes (about 5 to 10 minutes). Taste and season with salt and pepper, if needed. You may strain the sauce if you don't want garlic on it.

5. Serve with rice. Share and enjoy!

1. You may add potatoes in adobo. Quarter the potatoes and fry it or just put in the pot and cook it together with the chicken.
2. You may also use pork or combination of pork and chicken. I recommend to use liempo (pork belly).
3. If you love eggs, you may also add hard boiled eggs.
4. Some versions add onion and bay leaf. It's up to you if you want to add it. It'll still tastes delicious.

Happy day always,


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