Slow Cooker Chicken Adobo

Flavour of the moment: Bay leaves, a flavour that adds depth and another layer to many a dish across many cuisines. Today that cuisine is from the Philippines. This dish is a favourite of mine from my childhood.

Cook book of the week: is still ‘Homemade with love – Jennifer Perillo’ I finished reading through it yesterday and there is scarcely a recipe I don’t want to make as soon as possible. For those who love cooking from scratch it really is a bible. On my day off on Monday I will be hitting the cookware shops with a vengeance in search of cheese cloths and a pizza peel. I’ve been making my own pizzas for several years but this book offers so many tips, I can’t wait to try them out.

Growing up in the Middle East made for a multicultural extravaganza of people, cuisines and festivals. Every culture was celebrated and there was room for everyone and  as such there was always a plethora of international foods to choose from, whether it be at the mall, the cheap restaurant down the road or a much classier affair. For me though one of my favourite dishes was from a dear friend and colleague of my dad’s, Lourdes, who made hands down the best chicken adobo I have ever eaten. I have very fond memories of dad’s work parties and sleepovers with Lourdes when she babysat and there was always chicken adobo involved.

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I have used many different recipes to try and recreate this dish and whilst craving it the other day decided that maybe a slow cooker was the way to go, to really develop those rich flavours further. Luckily Pinterest provided me with a recipe which I adapted very slightly below:

Ingredients: (Serves 3, but only because I only had 6 chicken thighs, add two more and it will serve 4, no need to adjust the other quantities but omit the potatoes, I put them in to soak up the extra sauce, yum!)

  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 medium-large baking potatoes, skin on, chopped into chunks
  • 1 tsp of olive oil
  • 6 gloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp of brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 ground cayenne pepper
  • 2 bay leaves (I added an extra one for luck)
  • 1/2 cup of chicken stock
  • 1/3 cup dark soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 6 chicken thighs (skin off as you don’t want too much fat in a slow cooker, I left the bones inside the thighs as these will most definitely add flavour, I will save them to make a chicken stock in the future)
  • Florets from half a large head of broccoli
  • 2 carrots, chopped as you desire

Method:

  1. Rub the olive oil around the inside of the slow cooker pot.
  2. Add the shallots, garlic, black pepper, cayenne, bay leaves and brown sugar to the pot.
  3. Add the chicken, vegetables and potatoes to the pot and pour the stock, vinegar and soy sauce over the chicken into the pot.
  4. Cook for 6 hours on a low heat.

I’ll admit that this is my first slow cooking experience and I loved how the meat and potatoes came out, I put the broccoli on the top of the rest of the food and this worked well to ensure the broccoli wasn’t over done. I’m not a huge fan of black pepper so may omit this in the future but it was a tasty dish. Nothing will ever be as good as Lourdes’ adobo but this definitely satisfied my adobo craving.

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