This comes from The Househusband’s recipe box and he is graciously allowing me to post it. I have had experience using his recipe, but I far prefer his results over mine. The picture shows this recipe using stir-fry cut pork, which is how we ate it a couple of nights ago. It works equally well with cut up chicken thighs. We usually use boneless, skinless thighs, but it works with the skin and bone just as easily. One other thing—The Househusband hates it this way, but I make him butter my rice before he puts the meat and gravy on it because I think it cuts the tang of the vinegar just a bit. We learned this recipe from an old Filipino friend down in Los Angeles whose father cooked at the Filipino center there. Adobo is like spaghetti in that everybody has a different take on how to make it. Some recipes omit the onion. Some add bay leaves during the cooking process. I find it tedious to pull them out of the mix even with them held in a bouquet garni bag and they don’t seem to add much flavor. Two more points: If you store this in the fridge overnight, the flavor is intensified with the juices having more time to permeate the meat. We have on occasion made this in a large batch for potlucks and always come home with empty dishes.
- Finely dice the onion and garlic (note that this is a whole head of garlic, not just a single clove.).
- Brown the finely diced onion and the garlic in a large pot with a little oil.
- Cut the pork or chicken into 1”x1” to 1”x3” pieces. If using bone-in, just cut away some of the larger pieces from the bone.
- Add the 1 cup of vinegar and 1 cup of water to the onion/garlic.
- Bring it to a low boil at about medium-high.
- Add the meat and continue to cook at or near boiling for a minimum of 20 minutes.
- Sometime during the 20 minutes, add the balsamic vinegar (to taste). I usually cook it for more than 20 minutes. The extra time doesn’t hurt the meat and actually makes it tenderer (Probably because of the vinegar).
- With about ten minutes left, add the soy sauce.
- If you cook it as long as I do (30-40 minutes), you will want to have an extra cup of water and some vinegar (white) on hand since the mixture will probably reduce too much.
- When the meat is tender, pull it out of the gravy and brown it in a little oil in a separate pan. I sometimes sprinkle a little bit of paprika on it at this point for both color and flavor.
- While the meat is browning use a cold water roux made from a one-to-one ratio of cornstarch and water to thicken the remaining gravy.
- The meat can be remixed with the gravy after browning or served separately. I usually put the meat and gravy together and serve it over the rice. Sometimes I serve the chicken and rice separately, dousing both with gravy.