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Recipe: My Filipino Adobo
1/2 cup white cane vinegar
1/4 cup toyo (our local soy sauce)
3/4 – 1 cup water (you may not use all of it)
3 chicken legs (drumstick) and 3 chicken thighs (I like to use dark meat – this should come to about 600-650 grams of chicken)
350-400 grams pork belly (the part with the bone, skin on), cut into generous chunks (about 2 inches)
1 1/2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
8-10 cloves garlic, just slightly bashed, skin still on (do not peel!)
2 bay (laurel) leaves
Freshly cracked black pepper, a few twists
– Put all the ingredients except for the water in a Dutch oven or any heavy duty pot and leave for about 30 minutes to marinate.
– Place the pot over medium heat, add 1/2 cup water, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and simmer without stirring until most of the vinegar’s acid has been cooked off – you will know when this is done because it won’t smell as sharp and “sting-y”.
– Keep simmering over low heat until the chicken is very tender – about 40 minutes to an hour. Taste the sauce. If it’s too salty or too sharp for your taste, add some of the remaining water. I usually end up using 3/4 cup total.
– When chicken is tender, remove the pieces from the pot and set aside. At this point the garlic will be very tender as well – you can mash some (not all!) of the cloves against the sides of the pot to incorporate it into the sauce.
– Keep simmering on low heat a further 30 minutes to 1 hour or until pork is meltingly tender.
– When pork is very tender, remove from pot and set aside.
– Keep simmering sauce until reduced to your desired consistency. Taste the sauce and if you’d like a bit of sweetness, stir in a pinch of brown sugar – I like to do this but you certainly don’t have to.
– Heat a skillet with some oil over high heat. When the oil is hot, fry the chicken and pork pieces to brown.
– When the sauce has reduced to your desired consistency add the browned chicken and pork back to the pot. Toss gently and remove from heat.
– You can eat it at this point but it gains depth of flavour if you let it rest for a day.