Chicken Adobo

adapted from Cook's Illustrated

June 2013 - The issue of CI has been open to this page for a year. Last night I finally decided to make it. Carol Gutoff joined us and we found the dish heavenly. The flavor is rich and meaty with a bright tang. The coconut milk disappears into the velvety sauce - this is not some Thai curry, but the Filipino style. Cooking left a bunch of dirty pots, but oh was it worth it!

Cooking time: 60 minutes
Serves: 4-6

A. chicken thighs 8 bone-in With skin on them.
soy sauce 1/3 cup  

Place the chicken in a bowl and pour the soy sauce over it. Place in the refrigerator for 45 minutes. Every 10 minutes move the chicken around so that it all gets a good chance to soak in the soy sauce.
B. chicken from above  

Remove the chicken from the bowl and place skin side down in an unheated skillet; non-stick is best. If your pan is not, then brush a little bit of vegetable oil on it first. Allow the soy sauce to drip off the chicken before putting it in the skillet. Save the soy sauce.

Place the skillet on a burner and turn the heat to medium-high. Cook for 8 minutes.

C. marinade from above  
coconut milk 13 1/2 ounce can  
cider vinegar 3/4 cup  
  ground black pepper 2 teaspoons  
  bay leaves, dried 4 leaves  
  garlic 8 cloves Peeled and sliced thick

While the chicken is cooking, to the soy sauce marinade add the coconut milk, vinegar and pepper. Mix it together well.

Add the bay leaves and garlic.
D. brown rice 1 cup  

In another pot, bring 8 cups of salted water to a boil.

When the water boils, add the brown rice.

Reduce the heat slightly, but keep the water at a steady boil.
E. enhanced marinade from step C.  

8 minutes after the rice has started to boil...

...remove the chicken to a plate. Try to pull up the chicken with the skin intact; a spatula might help if the chicken skin is sticking.

Pour out all the oil from the pan.

Put the chicken back in the pan, skin side down. Add the coconut mixture and bring to a boil. Then turn down the heat and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes.

Now turn the chicken over and simmer for another 15 minutes.

When the time is up, turn off the heat under the boiling brown rice.

F. scallions 2 Very thinly slice just the white parts

Remove the chicken to a serving platter and cover with a tent of aluminum foil to keep warm. (The aluminum doesn't trap the heat, but it keeps the air near the chicken moist, slowing evaporative cooling.)

Remove the bay leaves and skim off all the fat you can. Then bring to a strong simmer for 6 minutes to thicken the sauce.

While the sauce is reducing, drain the brown rice and put into a serving bowl.

Pour the sauce over the chicken and sprinkle with the scallions.

Let your guests take a scoop of brown rice and a chicken thigh.

Dig in!