Obachan’s Chicken Adobo

2 Dec

I feel as though many cultures have their own version of chicken adobo. Even my Mexican boyfriend feels as though these flavors are familiar. To me, adobo is one of the simple meals that require almost no attention, makes your home smell delicious, and the juices from it are o.m.g. over gohan (white rice). Perfect for a lazy Sunday dinner.

Boyfriend and I spent four days at my Obaachan and Ojiisan’s house in Napa and ate great food for every meal. When we are there, she always teaches me a few things to make so that I can return home and be a good Japanese girl with some new recipes up my sleeve. Every meal has gohan (which freaks out boyfriend) and miso soup. I love it.

For chicken adobo, there is hardly any explanation required.

– Chicken (you can really use any cut that you like — deboned and without skin. I think we used chunks of breast and thigh meat)
– Shoyu
– Sugar
– Garlic
– Apple cider vinegar

1. Chop up your chicken meat and place in your crockpot.

2. The amount of the above ingredients you use totally depends on the amount of chicken you have. My Obaachan seriously just poured each in — no measurements, just eyeballed everything. We had enough chicken for 8 adults and 5 kids (a lot of family!) so she used several pounds of chicken. For all this meat, she added probably 10-12 whole garlic cloves. Then, start pouring the shoyu and apple cider vinegar so that it at least coats all the chicken, but it is not necessarily drowning in it. As it cooks, more juices will come out so you aren’t filling the crock pot, just coating the meat.

3. Add in about 1-2 teaspoons of sugar, 1-2 teaspoons of dashi and let the chicken cook on medium for several hours.

4. As the chicken cooks, taste the juices and adjust with shoyu, vinegar, and sugar to your liking. I also commonly see people cook adobo with a bay leaf if you want to include that flavor.

5. The chicken is done once all the meat is white and it breaks apart easily — again, depending on how much you cook, this time will greatly vary.

6. Serve with gohan and be sure to pour lots of the adobo juices on your rice! Since I was at Obachan’s, of course we ate this with miso soup also!

The Boyfriend Rates It:5
This is a very simple dish (not to take away from the many trials I’m sure it took Obaachan to get it just right), so there’s not much to say except that the chicken was full of flavor and just about melted in you mouth and the rice was cooked to perfection.


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