Here is a standard recipe for M (my friend Precy's daughter). This is probably considered the "national dish" of the Philippines. Very popular as an everyday dish hence there are hundreds of variations. Even I myself have about 3-4 variations - and that's only for the adobo with meat. Like most stews, this is best served a day after making it. The flavour develops and becomes richer. If you are going to make a pork-chicken adobo, add in the pork first and simmer for about 45 minutes before adding in the chicken. This is so that the chicken won't get overcooked. So here is the standard recipe for this well loved Filipino food.
1 kg chicken or pork - chopped into serving size pieces
1/2 cup vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
5 cloves garlic - minced or mashed
1/2 cup water
2 bay leaves
1 tsp peppercorns
1/2 Tbsp brown sugar (optional)
- In a non-reactive pan or pot (glass, ceramic, or enameled), combine the meat, garlic, peppercorns and bay leaves. Pour vinegar on it - do not stir.
- Bring to a boil and turn down the heat - simmer for about 3-5 minutes. Stir and turn meat and simmer for another 3-5 minutes.
- Stir in the soy sauce, water and sugar (if you're going to pan fry the meat add the sugar later).
- Bring back to boil and then lower heat to lowest setting. Simmer until meat is tender (chicken - 30 mins., pork - 1.25 hours). Add more hot water if you want more sauce or if it is drying out too much.
- [Optional] Pan fry or deep fry the meat very briefly just to brown the outside and bring back to the sauce. Add the sugar (if you haven't yet) and simmer the sauce for another 3-5 minutes.
- [Optional] Add some thickener like cornstarch dissolved in water to the sauce. Simmer again for a few minutes. Serve.
Substitute the following procedures for steps 1-4:
- Increase soy sauce to 1/3 cup and then combine all the ingredients in a pot and bring to boil.
- Turn heat down and simmer until meat is tender (chicken - 30 mins., pork - 1.25 hours).
- Continue with steps 5 and 6.