Cooking with Tito Len: Chicken Adobo

If you are Filipino and you can’t cook Adobo, you need to feel REAL BAD after watching this clip. And not because his Tagalog is better than YOURS!

Not only is it the National Dish, but it’s also pretty damn easy.

Here’s how Tito Len makes it (notice no measurements listed):


1. Get a Pot

– I mean a pot you cook in, you weedhead.

2. Get some fresh raw chicken and Chop that shiz up

– And I don’t mean breast with no skin! Keep it real and get legs, thighs WITH THE SKIN coz that’s where the taste comes from, fool. If you really want to represent the real, don’t forget the backs and necks. Word!

3. Chop up some Garlic

– I’m so streamlined at this that I don’t even chop it anymore, I just BONK it with the bottom of a mug and throw it in, skin and all. It’s not meant to be pretty.

4. Sautee the Garlic in the pot with some oil

– You know how some Filipinos smell like garlic? This is why.

5. Brown the Chicken

– Toss it in the pot with the garlicky goodness and let it fry for a while. You know everything is better BROWN.

6. Add Vinegar

– Adobo is sour meat and it’s up to you how sour you like it. I like to cover about 1/2 the meat (as opposed to covering all my meat – aww wait that sounds bad)
– Oh and if you all you have is white people vinegar, then don’t EVEN. You are now making garlic sauteed chicken, because Adobo just ain’t right if you’re not using a pinoy brand like Datu Puti (which means ‘white king’ but don’tworryboutdat).

7. Add some Soy Sauce

– Some Filipinos tell me they don’t do this, but to me that is just weird. How much Soy Sauce? I shake until my hand gets tired (oh that sounds bad again).
– No need to go for expensive Soy Sauce either — just the regular Kikkoman will do.

8. Add a couple of Bay Leaves

– I’m not sure what this does, but my mom said so.
– Apparently, if you’re cooking PORK Adobo, this is supposed to remove the ‘porky’ taste, which doesn’t make ANY sense at all.

9. Add some Pepper

– Again, the shaking thing.

10. A Spoonful of Sugar helps the Adobo go down

– Didn’t you know this is the secret to Filipino cooking? We add it to the spaghetti sauce, so why wouldn’t we add it to our own national dish? I mean, we obviously aren’t concerned with pissing off the Italians. Don’t add hot dogs to this though (wait a minute that sounds good actually)
– This is also good if you messed up and put too much vinegar or soy sauce. It’s like drinking pop – you make it so sweet that you don’t know you’re drinking pure crap.

11. Simmer it until the broth turns into a nice sauce

– Well, its not really sauce… its the evaporated Soy Sauce, the Vinegar and the grease from the chicken fat (aren’t ya glad you left the skin in there). WHATEVER! Don’t you know what gravy is made of. Same thing!
– If you’re a cooking geek, you could refer to this as a “Soy Sauce/Vinegar/Chicken Grease Reduction”.

Now have it with heaping amounts of steaming white rice. None of that brown rice stuff. You’re already eating chicken grease so screw it. It’s best with white rice anyway. Just don’t waste it because there’s a rice shortage, plus — the St. Peter thing.

Oh – and if you can’t cook white rice — then Tito Len can’t help you.


~ by Leonard on April 13, 2008.

6 Responses to “Cooking with Tito Len: Chicken Adobo”

  1. I know this is sacrilegious but… I put tomatoes and pineapple chunks in mine. That way you have a balanced meal without the extra white sugar… and we all know we need less white sugar.

    Man.. I’m hungry now.

  2. I don’t think its a sacrilege to throw pineapple in filipino food…

    Filipinos throw pineapple on the roast ham, in the macaroni salad…

    I’m not even going to talk about raisins.

    Adobo with Pineapple is actually in Let’s Cook With Nora as “Hawaiian Style” Adobo, so its an official variation, along with “Ginataang Adobo” when you add coconut milk.

    The only sacrilege is NOT knowing how to cook this oh so simple dish!


  3. In my family, this is one of the first dishes we learn to cook. My papa’s mom makes it dry–as in the soy sauce and vinegar has seeped into the meat and all that is left is flavoured oil. It’s adobo-infused oil and it’s amazing. On rice. Hot, white rice.

    Tito Len, with regards to browning the meat–yes, it helps. You know where else I recommend doing this? For nilaga. If you brown Alberta beef before you “laga” it, well, it’s just heavenly.

    I’m hungry now. Damn. Well, I’m going to Spadina with the lolo and lola to pick out veggies. They’re stocking up our fridge this week.

  4. I’m picky with the soy sauce. I want Marca Pina. hahaha
    Oh and I use cannibus instead of Bay leaves…I’m joking.
    I’ll have to try Reese’s pineapple suggestion. While I’m at it, I might as well try throwing in spam.

    As for the dry version, that is more common in the visayan region. I grew up with both versions since my mom is Batangas and my dad is from Cebu.

    Pork or chicken adobo? c’mon…oink oink of course.

  5. Jon, if you’re gonna use pineapples in your recipe… buy pineapple chunks in juice and put the whole thing in there. When it reduces.. it’s delicious!

  6. if its a toss-up between Pork Adobo and “ADOBONG MANAK” – I would also have to choose Miss Piggy over Camilla the Chicken.

    and HALE NO will I cut off the piece of taba attached the pork piece.

    hehe my dad is Ilonggo so he always gets annoyed that we have to eat Tagalog food all the time. Once he made the dry Adobo and I wasn’t feelin’ it.

    There’s even one with no soy sauce. I wonder where that’s from.

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