Yesterday was my birthday, and now that I am an empty nester it was a pretty quiet one. Since my husband had to be at his practice in Pensacola on Tuesday, we decided to celebrate on Monday by having a day date. We went to Destin Commons to see Lincoln (which was awesome, and I recommend you see), and dined at Tim Creehan’s Cuvee Bistro (update … now Cuvee Kitchen + Wine Bar), an early dinner and delicious as always. Cuvee has the best Happy Hour in Destin, with terrific drink and appetizer menu items half-priced from 5-10pm.
My parents took on the task of my birthday dinner as they do most years. Growing up, they always asked my sister and I what we wanted to eat on our special day and then made it for us (doing the same for their grandchildren). The last few years my choice has been chicken fried steak with saw mill gravy, buttermilk biscuits, and a mess of greens; but after a heavy Thanksgiving meal, and with Christmas around the corner, I went back to our 1970’s roots and chose Chicken Adobo.
We were stationed in the Philippines when I was a young girl, and this dish was prepared for us by our friend and appointed house staff Lourdes. It is so easy to make, healthy if you remove the chicken skin and use light soy sauce, and one your family will devour. Serve over fragrant Jasmine rice and enjoy!
Dad’s Chicken Adobo
4 pounds cut up chicken pieces, skin and fat removed
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce, light
1/2 cup water
4 cloves garlic crushed
salt to taste
1 tsp. black peppercorns, ground
2 bay leaves
Note: chicken thighs and legs are most popular used in this dish, but I throw in a couple of breasts, and remove them a bit earlier so they don’t dry out.
Clean chicken of fat and put in a pot covered with cold water in the refrigerator for an hour. Rinse and pat dry. Combine all other ingredients in a bowl. Lay chicken in a large flat pan and cover with marinade liquid from bowl, place back into the refrigerator marinating chicken for 30 minutes. Turn the chicken for 30 minutes more, marinating a total of 1 hour. Place covered pan on burner. Bring to boil and then lower the heat. Keep covered and let simmer for 30 minutes, stirring and turning occasionally. Uncover and simmer until sauce is reduced and thickened, and chicken is tender, about 20 more minutes. Serve over steamed Jasmine rice, with additional soy sauce and hot sauce such as sriracha or tabasco as desired.