maybe this coconut milk chicken adobo isn't the best for the post spring break diet. because all i did was eat when i was home (what’s new?). but it's hard to get back into the swing of things without anything to look forward to, and i need some gentling into the new quarter. voila, an inauthentic (depending on who you ask) take on chicken adobo. everyone makes it differently. from what i understand, one of the most polarizing ingredients is coconut milk; some people use it, some people don’t. i love it with and can’t imagine the sauce without that creamy note.
this recipe for coconut milk chicken adobo hails from rick, my mom’s co-worker. it’s been adapted a little (mostly by my mom, a little by me). for starters, i don’t like using whole peppercorns; i always end up biting into one, and find that ground pepper is a much safer bet. after making this a lot, my mom settled on the ratio of 3 T datiputi to 2 T soy (i like using low sodium here). i like to the pan-fry meat first for more flavor- that fond tho. also, i think simmering the peeled hard-boiled eggs in the sauce helps them soak it all up and make them really really tasty. it’s an easy, dump and stir recipe even with all these little extra things i like to do.
i don’t like the meat (but i use it anyways because the rest of my family does, and it adds good flavor to the sauce; you can ofc leave it out if you’re vegetarian), and the egg and saucy rice are my fave parts. the sauce is creamy and salty and a little tangy, with other flavors that you can’t really pick up on but adds to everything. it’s total comfort food for me, even though i didn’t technically grow up eating it.
Creamy Coconut Milk Chicken Adobo
adapted slightly from Rick, my mom’s co-worker
* In a pinch, you can substitute 1 ½ T each of balsamic vinegar and white vinegar for the datiputi. I highly recommend trying to track down some datiputi (I’ve seen it in my local Chinese market) since the sauce isn’t as complex, but the adobo is still tasty otherwise.
** How much coconut milk you use depends on how creamy you like things to be, and whether or not you’re cool with an open can of coconut milk in your fridge. I’m into super creamy coconut milk things, and if I leave part of a can in the fridge it will get forgotten, so I go for the whole can.
2-3 lbs chicken and/or pork (I like skinless, boneless chicken thighs)
3 T Datiputi (coconut vinegar)*
2 T soy sauce (I like low sodium; then you can control the salt better)
13 cloves garlic, minced
3 bay leaves
10 peppercorns (I like using ground black pepper instead)
1 cup - 1 can coconut milk (I use 1 can full fat)**
6 hard-boiled eggs, peeled (or soft boiled, if that floats your boat)
- In a large pot, pan-fry the protein (in batches if necessary) until browned on both sides. Move it to a large plate. It doesn’t need to get cooked all the way through, since you will cook it in the sauce later.
- Simmer the sauce ingredients in the pot until reduced to your desired consistency and flavor (you can add more water if you over reduce it). Add the protein and eggs; cook until the protein is cooked through and the eggs are the color of the sauce. Remove the bay leaves and peppercorns. Serve hot over rice. Leftovers are great, since the sauce gets more flavorful, and the eggs have a chance to marinate in the sauce.