When I was growing up, my dad would make a delicious dish that he called “Filipino Chicken,” which was basically a bunch of dark meat chicken pieces cooked up with potatoes in a savory/sour sauce with bay leaves and whole peppercorns. I never did get the recipe from him (I don’t think he ever writes his recipes down, they’re all in his head), but as an adult I came across recipes for “Filipino Chicken Adobo,” which seemed to have a fairly similar flavor profile, and I really enjoyed them.
This particular recipe is an adaptation of one I found somewhere but can no longer locate the source for (my apologies, unknown recipe creator!), and it’s a wonderful, warming dish to serve when the weather turns chilly. Juicy chicken thighs are bathed in a rich, creamy coconut-milk sauce that’s seasoned with soy, garlic, and bay leaves, sharpened with a healthy dose of vinegar, and spiced with plenty of black pepper. It’s a one-pan recipe so it’s easy to make, and while you’ll have a ton of leftover sauce you won’t regret it! Served over steamed rice with some snowpeas or broccoli on the side, it’s a perfect weeknight dinner.
Filipino Chicken Adobo
6-8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 tbs. vegetable oil
1/3 cup soy sauce
1 can coconut milk (lite works fine)
2/3 cup apple cider vinegar
4 cloves garlic, crushed or finely chopped
4 bay leaves
2 tsp. ground black pepper (yes, 2 whole teaspoons)
1. Marinate chicken thighs in soy sauce for 30 minutes, then remove the chicken, reserving the soy sauce.
2. Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat and brown the marinated chicken thighs on both sides.
3. Mix soy sauce, coconut milk, vinegar, garlic, bay leaves, and pepper together (the mixture will just fill a 2-cup measure) and pour over browned chicken.
4. Turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer until the chicken is thoroughly cooked to 175 degrees F.
5. Remove chicken to a plate and turn up the heat to high. Reduce the sauce to your desired consistency. Return chicken to the sauce to warm up and serve over steamed rice.