Monday, December 22, 2008

Herminia's Chicken Adobo

This is another one of those recipes I learned from my friend Shantall's mother. It is chicken cooked in a savory but slightly sweet and tangy sauce made if vinegar, soy sauce, and sugar and it has lots of delicious garlic and potatoes.

I have seen lots of Filipino chicken adobo recipes and I have had Chicken adobo from other Filipino people and places, but I really like Shantall's mom's version of Chicken Adobo.

Serve this with hot jasmine white rice and whatever other side dishes you'd like :)

Main Ingredients:
-1 whole chicken (cleaned, cut into sections, skin on)
-salt to season chicken to taste
-soy sauce a bit to season chicken just to give color a couple light splashes
-pepper to season chicken to taste
-1 onion julienned
-1 head of garlic, cloves peeled left whole
-4 potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
-Olive oil

Ingredients for the sauce

-1 1/2 cups water
-1/2 cup white vinegar more or less to taste (they use cane, or coconut vinegar, white distilled works here to)
-1/2 cup soy sauce more or less to taste
-1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar more or less to taste (I use 1/2- 3/4 sp does Hermi but some people like using less like 2 tablespoons it's to taste)
-6 small bay leaves (or 3 big ones)
-1 teaspoonful of black peppercorns
-salt to taste (if needed)


(1)Wash the chicken and clean well, (you could wash it with vinegar and salt and then rinse well again) now put in a bowl cut into medium sized sections, LIGHTLY season with salt, pepper, and soy sauce (big emphasis on lightly remember the sauce has salt to, just enough soy sauce to give color and light on the salt) now set aside.

(2)Mix sauce ingredients EXCEPT black peppercorns and bay leaves. Taste it, if you'd like add more soy sauce or sugar or vinegar this is all to your taste, the proportion of vinegar, soy sauce and sugar is all to taste set aside.

(3)Heat olive oil in a deep-pot on medium high, sautee onions and garlic until browned and onions are a bit translucent, add chicken and stir and let it release some juices and change color a bit.

(4)Add the sauce ingredients and bring to a strong boil on high, add bay leaves and whole peppercorns, cover and simmer on medium low for about 30 minutes.

(5)Add potatoes, taste if it needs more salt, soy sauce, vinegar or sugar and you can add more to taste, but it should be fine I added a little bit more salt to mine didn't wanna over power with soy sauce. Boil for another 10-15 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

(6)Now your done, enjoy!

The chicken skins are for flavor you don't have to eat them when your eating the dish you remove and set them aside as you eat.

I know it seems like a lot of soy sauce and vinegar but it's diluted with water, and she likes to add a lot of potatoes to it so they thicken and soak up the sauce.

Ginataang Kamoteng Kahoy (Cassava Root in Sweet Coconut Milk)

I have never cooked Cassava (Yuca) in a sweet way. On Saturday I went to my friends house (Shantall) who is Filipino and her mother had this delicious Yuca in coconut milk that was sweetened with sugar. I fell in love with it, why wouldn't I after all it is also one of the most loved starchy root vegetables Cubans love. I could have never imagined it sweet, but let me tell you it is amazingly delicious and comforting for something so simple to make.

So anyways, this week a had bought 2 medium fresh Cassava roots that were on sale, let me tell you how to pick them. You should choose one that is firm, doesn't have tooo many lines all over, and also to check if it's good you.... GASP.... have to snap off a bit of the top part, if you snap it off and it's firm, and white the root is good inside. (Haha atleast I snap only a bit of the top this Peruvian lady at the store snapped it in half haha and if it was not good back to the shelf haha.) or you can take the really practical easy way out and buy frozen Yuca that is peeled.

I bought the fresh one though because it was so fresh and good, after peeling the Cassava I picked it was perfect white and beautiful.

So on seperate note to all my fellow Cubans reading this I suggest you give it a try I know you'll like it :)

-1- 1 1/2 lbs. Yuca (frozen or fresh)
-1 can coconut milk
-3/4 cups white sugar (more or less to your taste)
(1)If using fresh Cassava root, have a pot with water on the side, cut the Yuca into 3 sections, lay it on it's flat round side, and with a knife cut off the peel, cut in half, then place in water to prevent discoloration. (I peeled both Yuca's but I only used 1 and a piece of the other, the rest I froze it so I can use it soups or steam witha Cuban garlic lime sauce)

(2)Now drain it and wash Cassava, add water just enough to BARELY cover, bring to a boil on high and cover to cook on medium heat until tender but not falling apart, you will see the Yuca will sort of open a bit.

(3)Now when Yuca is tender, crank up heat to high, add coconut milk, and sugar to taste now bring to a boil and let it boil uncovered on medium heat for about 5-10 minutes.

(4)Enjoy this simple, comforting, and delicious dessert.

-Do not consume raw cassava root/ yuca/ yucca whatever you wanna call it (we call it Yuca in Spanish) it is very poisonous when raw, and will turn into cyanide in your body and kill you, it's strong enough to knock out a cow ha ha. So unless you wanna die don't taste it raw :) but when cooked it is perfectly safe and delicious.