I loved this dish the first time I tasted it years ago. With its simmer sauce of vinegar, garlic and soy sauce, adobo is the hallmark dish of the Philippines.
The marinade does all the heavy lifting here. You marinate the chicken overnight or for 4-6 hours, turn everything into a pot and simmer it. One of the cooking techniques that sets Filipino adobo apart is that you brown the meat after it is cooked, not before. That aroma of a browning, marinade-saturated chicken can drive you crazy.
- 1 cup white wine vinegar
- 1 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 12 chicken drumsticks
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 3 tablespoons arrowroot
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from 2 large limes)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
- Lime wedges
For the marinade: In a medium bowl, combine the vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, garlic, red pepper flakes, and bay leaves. Whisk until the sugar has dissolved. Arrange the chicken in a single layer in a 9-by-13-by-2-inch glass baking dish. Pour the marinade over the chicken and refrigerate for 2 hours, turning the chicken over halfway through.
Place the chicken and marinade in a large, high-sided skillet or oven and add the chicken broth. Bring the liquid to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 45 to 50 minutes, turning the chicken every 20 minutes, until cooked through and a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat registers 165 degrees F. Remove the chicken from the liquid and arrange on a serving platter. Discard the bay leaves and garlic cloves. Whisk the arrowroot and lime juice into the liquid and bring the mixture to a boil. Cook until the mixture thickens, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Pour the sauce over the chicken or serve alongside as a dipping sauce. Sprinkle with chopped parsley or cilantro, if using, and garnish with lime wedges.