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[Recipe] Chicken and Pork Adobo Basic Recipe

Chicken and Pork Adobo
Adobo can be considered as one of the most readily recognizable Filipino dishes out there. The word adobo comes from the Spanish word adobar which means  "marinade," "sauce" or "seasoning." At its basic form, it is meat that is braised in a marinade consisting primarily of garlic, soy sauce, and vinegar. There are probably as many different ways to cook adobo as there are individual households in the Philippines. Some regions would incorporate coconut milk (adobo sa gata), or turmeric (adobo sa luyang dilaw), and even pineapple bits (pininyahang adobo). In fact, you are not limited to pork and chicken, some dishes would have catfish as the main protein (adobadong alimusan), and even vegetables (adobong kangkong). I could probably even dare say that the adobo style of cooking in Filipino cuisine encompasses a wide array of dishes with the same flavor profile which includes humba and paksiw na pata).

Growing up, I remember going on long boat trips to go back to Iloilo from Metro Manila lasting for more than a day. The family would almost always bring tupperwares of cooked rice and chicken and pork adobo to eat for the journey. The idea is that adobo, especially adobo with pork, doesn't spoil easily even without refrigeration. We would eat right there in our bunks (note that overloading in passenger boats was such a common thing back then that going to the dining area, people would claim the tables as theirs for the duration of the trip, not having any beds assigned to them). I can still imagine the smell of the sea breeze, chicken and pork adobo, mixed in with the slightest hint of bunker fuel scent in the air. Ah, good times!

1/2 Kilo pork (fat trimmed off and separated), cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 Kilo chicken (assorted cuts, gizzard should be thoroughly cleaned)
1/4 Kilo chicken gizzard
1/3 cup red cane Vinegar
1/3 cup Soy Sauce
1 medium onion, chopped
1 head of garlic, minced
2 Bay leaves
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Brown the pork fat in a bit of vegetable oil and let it render out and brown. Saute the onions and garlic until slightly caramelized. Add the rest of the pork meat. Let it cook covered for about 5 minutes until the pork is not pink anymore. You can add in the rest of the meat (chicken pieces and gizzard). The added meat should have enough moisture to have a layer of simmering liquid at the bottom. If not, you may add some water to cook and tenderize the meat. Simmer the pot covered for 15 minutes stirring occasionally. Add the freshly ground black pepper, bay leaves, vinegar, and soy sauce and let it boil uncovered (to boil off the excessively strong vinegar smell), testing for tenderness of the meat especially the pork and gizzard. Let the liquid reduce and thicken. Serve with freshly cooked steamed rice.

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