Often my Dad talks about how my Mom would fry her Chicken Adobo to finish it off, and that he liked it that way. When she fried the chicken, it was straight from the simmering pot of Adobo sauce straight into a skillet of hot grease. The chicken boiled over and sputtered and just made a huge mess. Dad said Mom would cover the stove top with newspaper to deal with the oil spill.
I don’t remember Mom frying Adobo. I don’t remember a stove covered in newspaper, with a hole cut out for the one burner she was using. That alone sounds crazy. The house should have burned down, or at the very least a kitchen fire. Dad swears to it. I don’t remember it. But the more I thought about fried Adobo, the more I wanted to give this a try. However; not wanting to catch things on fire, there were certain precautions. Let the chicken dry. Dredge it in a blend of flour and cornstarch. The cornstarch will absorb the liquid and reduce flair ups. I was up for the challenge.
I would make this again for my entire extended family, but it is a lot of work compared to a wet adobo. Then again, life worth living takes effort. If cooking for a large group, fry the chicken in batches and keep warm under an inverted metal bowl. Traps in the heat without drying out the chicken.
Oh, and one more thing – pressed garlic is not a favorite of most people. I think the problem with pressed garlic isn’t the pressing, it’s the cleaning afterwards. Presses are a pain to clean. Look for a press that comes apart for quick, easy clean. And a toothbrush is great for scrubbing the little holes.
Enough rambling – let’s get down to cooking . . .
Fried Chicken Adobo
1/2 cup Cider Vinegar
1 cup Soy Sauce
2 Garlic Cloves, pressed
1 teaspoon Black Pepper
2 Bay Leaves
6 Chicken Thighs, with skin
In a large bowl, mix together the vinegar and soy sauce. Press garlic into the mixture. Add the pepper and bay leaves. Whisk to combine.
Submerge the chicken in adobo marinade. Place in the refrigerator for 30-60 minutes for flavors to develop.
Empty the contents of the bowl including all liquids into a pot. Place the uncovered pot over medium high heat. Bring pot to boil, then simmer for 40 minutes.
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 teaspoon Black Pepper
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Oil for deep frying as needed
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Remove chicken from pot and set on rack over a baking sheet lined with paper towels to allow the adobo liquid to drain away. The chicken needs to be marinade, with the outside skin fairly dry. This will avoid the splatter.
Beat egg in bowl. Add dry ingredients in a different bowl. Dredge chicken in flour, then egg, then flour again.
Fry chicken in hot oil over medium heat for 15 minutes or until golden brow, turning once mid-way through.
Drain on paper towels before serving.
And if you are planning ahead, have some Lumpia, too. What a great Filipino Feast.