Adobo is a traditional Filipino cuisine that has already been there before the colonization of the Spaniards. The Spaniards were the ones who gave a name to this cuisine because it is similar to their own method of marinating called adobar.
In Pre-Hispanic Era was pork or chicken was immersed in salt and vinegar. The aim of this cooking method during that time was not to create a delectable dish with salt and vinegar but to preserve the meat by immersing it in these two ingredients.
The Filipinos learned how to cook the adobo which is a little similar to how it is done today when the soy sauce became one of its main ingredients. On the other hand, the soy sauce was introduced to the Philippines by the Chinese through the barter trade system.
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Here’s how to sous vide cook a Filipino-style chicken adobo.
- 2.5 pounds of Chicken, fabricated into several parts (You may use 1 Kilo of chicken drumsticks, breast, or wings. It’s up to you. You may also use pork instead.)
- Crushed garlic
- ¼ Cup Vinegar
- ¼ Cup Soy Sauce
- 1 Tablespoon of sugar
- 1/2 to 1 Tablespoon of pepper
- Bay leaf
- Chili (optional)
- Salt to taste
- Preheat the sous vide machine at 156°F
- Sear the chicken parts until golden in color (alternatively, use a sous vide torch). Just use enough oil for searing and sautéing. If you’re cooking pork instead of chicken, the pork will exude more oil that’s why you don’t need much of it.
- Set the chicken aside when it turns golden brown in color while retaining the oil.
- Sauté the crushed garlic in the oil. Sauté it just enough. Be careful not to overcook the garlic because you don’t want it to taste bitter.
- Add all the other ingredients (vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, pepper, bay leaf, and chili) except the chicken and the salt. You may use white vinegar, white wine, balsamic, rice vinegar, or coconut vinegar.
Remember not to mix all these ingredients right after you add the vinegar to the sauce. Let the sauce simmer and reduce for about a quarter before mixing them. The sauce will taste unpleasantly sour if you mix the ingredients right away after putting them all together. Furthermore, the sauce will become more flavorful and richer if you reduce the sauce.
In a stove-top adobo, the sauce is reduced along with the meat until it is done and ready to serve. However, this procedure is not possible with sous vide cooking because you don’t like to overcook the chicken. That’s why you have to reduce the sauce separately.
The chili is not necessary unless if you love eating a spicy dish, but you may not add it if you don’t want to.
- After that, combine the sauce and the chicken properly inside a plastic wrap, and use a vacuum sealer if you need to.
- Plunge the chicken adobo in the sous vide machine for one day or more. The dish will take a long time to cook in a sous vide machine. However, the time you spent waiting for it is worth it because the chicken becomes more flavorful when you cook it for a long time.
- After that remove the chicken adobo from the plastic wrap, you may add salt to taste.
- The chicken adobo is now ready to serve with rice or mashed potato.