Thursday, February 19, 2015

Garlic Chicken Adobo Wings

One of my favorite Filipino foods is chicken adobo. I've eaten it since childhood.

There's a wide variance of chicken adobo levels. If you've had it and didn't like it, you probably had the bad stuff. After a lot of trial and error, I can say this is the good stuff.

It's gently simmered in garlic, soy sauce, and vinegar, and then the skin is crisped up before serving. The leftover liquid is thickened to form a nice sour garlicky gravy.

This variation uses the wings. I had some trouble with the meat falling off the bone too much during the crisping stage. If it falls off the bone, pull all of the meat, then crisp the meat and skin for some nice adobo pulled chicken.

Perfectly caramelized adobo wing skin.

Garlic Chicken Adobo Wings

8 chicken wings (2 of those Costco packages)
1 1/2 c vinegar
3/4 c soy sauce
4 c water
4 bulbs garlic
1-3 tbsp flour or chickpea flour (optional)

Place wings in a stockpot. Cover with vinegar, soy sauce, and water. Bring to a boil, then simmer.

In the meantime, peel all 4 bulbs of garlic. Put the garlic cloves through a garlic press, then add to the stockpot and stir gently.

Simmer for 1 1/2 hours total.

Just before serving, carefully scoop out one wing at a time into a large frying pan. When you have 4 wings in the pan, turn on the heat to medium and crisp up the skin on each side. The bits of garlic and sauce will caramelize as the skin crisps. No need to add oil, as the chicken crisps in its own fat.

Once you're done crisping, transfer the wings to plates. Pour some of the leftover cooking liquid into the frying pan to deglaze it. Optionally add 1-3 tbsp of flour as needed to thicken, and add water as needed. Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon to remove any flour lumps. It will still be a bit lumpy from all that garlic, which is okay. The thickening isn't absolutely needed; you can omit this and it will still be a fantastic sauce.

Pour the resulting sauce over the wings. Keep in mind that it's more garlicky and sour than your typical gravy, so serve less than you'd normally serve per plate. It looks like a normal gravy, but it's vinegar-based, not fat-based. The amount pictured here ended up being too much.

The lumps in the sour, aromatic gravy are pieces of garlic. Served with quinoa.

Typically this is served with rice to soak up the extra sauce and balance the sour flavors, but you can substitute cauliflower rice or quinoa depending on your tolerance for grains.

Assuming 2 wings per person, this makes for a nice dinner for 2 people with enough leftovers for a second meal the next day.

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