This weekend on the show Evan Kleiman poses the question, “Why hasn’t Filipino food caught on in LA?” Compared to Korean, Chinese and Thai food, Filipino food has remained largely off the radar in Los Angeles, but native Angeleno Marvin Gapultos is determined to change that. Since he took his Filipino food truck the Manila Machine off the streets in 2011, he has been working on his new cookbook The Adobo Road. In the book he shares recipes like Classic Pork Lumpia (aka Filipino egg rolls) and the following recipe for Classic Chicken Adobo.
It makes sense that Gapultos is bringing his culinary heritage to home cooks. He says that Filipino food is mostly a cuisine of home cooks, which may partly explains why there are still so few Filipino restaurants in town.
Listen to his conversation with Evan Kleiman below.
Classic Chicken Adobo
Serves 4–6 as part of a multi-course meal
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes
¼ cup (65 ml) soy sauce
½ cup (125 ml) white Filipino cane vinegar, or distilled white vinegar
6–8 cloves garlic, smashed with the side of a knife and peeled
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
6 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
1. Place the soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, black peppercorns, and bay leaves in a large, nonreactive sauté pan, and then nestle the chicken thighs, skin side down, into the pan. Bring the liquid to a boil over high heat, and then cover and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes. Turn the chicken over, and then cover and simmer for another 10 minutes.
2. Uncover the pan, and then increase the heat to high and return the sauce to a boil. While occasionally turning and basting the chicken, continue boiling the sauce, uncovered, until it is reduced by half and thickens slightly, 5–7 minutes. Serve with steamed white rice.
VARIATIONS: While the sauce is reducing, transfer the chicken thighs, skin side up, to a foil-lined sheet pan. Brown the chicken thighs underneath the broiler for 3–5 minutes.
Use freshly ground black pepper instead of whole peppercorns.
For a “drier” chicken adobo, you can reduce the sauce until it is almost completely evaporated.
The chicken will then begin to fry in its own fat that is still left in the pan. This is how my grandmother finishes her adobo. For a saucier adobo, double the amount of soy sauce and vinegar.
To make this adobo as an appetizer, use 2 lbs (1 kg) of chicken wings instead of thighs.