Chicken Adobo

 photo IMG_0959_zpskdomizzq.jpg

Have I mentioned how much I love chicken? I can pull a Bubba from Forest Gump if you were to ask me what my favorite chicken dish is… chicken nuggets, chicken stir-fry, orange chicken, chicken adobo, chicken ice cream.. Ok, I’ve gone too far. And I think I’ve just about told you my age by referencing the movie Forest Gump. Nevermind that. What’s most important is this chicken adobo.

I’ve had many chicken adobos in my lifetime and quickly found out how simple it is to make. I can count the number of ingredients it takes on one hand, if my hand had 6 fingers. All that’s needed is vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, bay leaves, peppercorn, and chicken. Now, chicken adobo is slightly sweet and tangy and 100% of the time, the end result is some tender ass chicken. It’s basically chicken that’s been stewed/braised in all of those ingredients listed and in it’s own tasty juices until the chicken is cooked through. Authentic chicken adobo is made with cane vinegar (the brand I’ve seen is Datu Puti) versus white distilled vinegar, but if you don’t have cane vinegar at home, white distilled vinegar is perfectly fine. It’ll just be a little tangier. Chicken adobo is one of those dishes you play with to suit your taste.

 photo IMG_0970_zpswecl7k4p.jpg

So…not that this recipe is spot on authentic, but I add one ingredient that totally throws the authenticity of this recipe right into the dumpster. ONIONS! Guys… in my household, we LOVE cooked onions that have absorbed all of the flavors the party in the pot can offer. The sweetness from the onions also replaces the sugar a lot of recipes ask for. Trust me, my fellow chicken connoisseurs. Tender braised chicken and onions packed with flavor on top of rice is the fricking best. I must say no more.

 

Chicken Adobo
Servings: 6

2 Tbsp. oil of your choice
12 chicken drumsticks
1 C. light soy sauce
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
4 small bay leaves
1 Tbsp. black peppercorns
1 medium sized onion sliced
3/4 C. vinegar

1. In a large heavy duty pan, heat oil of medium high heat.
2. When the oil is heated, brown the chicken drumsticks flipping them every few minutes until all sides are browned.
3. While the chicken is browning, add the soy sauce, garlic, bay leaves, and black peppercorns in a medium bowl and mix together.
4. When the chicken drumsticks are browned, sprinkle the slices onions inbetween the chicken pieces and let them find their way to the bottom of the pan. Let the onions cook down in the chicken fat and cook until their translucent.
5. Pour the sauce into the pan making sure every piece of chicken is sitting in the sauce.
6. Next, pour the vinegar over everything. MOST IMPORTANT STEP: DON’T mix or stir the chicken in the sauce. After pouring the vinegar in, let the sauce come up to a boil before mixing the contents of the pan. If you mix the sauce it comes to a boil, the dish comes out more sour.
7. Simmer for 30-45 minutes until chicken is cooked and tender.
8. Enjoy over rice.

Advertisements

Red Beans and Rice

 photo 9cf831ac-53bd-468e-8963-263889eb7cd4_zpsxpw5wbdc.jpg

Doesn’t it feel like Thanksgiving 2014 was just a couple months ago? Where has the time gone? Something about the crisp air, decorations on people’s homes, and Fall treats give me fuzzy feelings inside. I try to stay away from the malls since I can’t handle much of the Christmas music. Let’s just say Christmas music makes me cringe (I know, that makes me sound like such a scrooge). I used to work multiple retail jobs throughout my college years and listening to the same Christmas tracks from the beginning of November to the end of January drove me nuts. Anyways, red beans and rice definitely add to the warm fuzzy feelings and I won’t let anything get in the way of those fuzzy feelings! I mean, I practically wait all year for this. It’s a hearty dish and is something I wouldn’t mind having in my bowl while snuggled up in a blanket. A friend was smoking some meats in his new smoker and suggested some red beans and rice when asked what side dish to bring. I’m so glad he suggested red beans and rice because this has become one of the family’s faves!

Leftovers are even better! Enjoy with your most favorite hot sauce.

 photo 23219bf8-a669-4869-9674-70709f788640_zpsawzg8g6o.jpg

Red Beans and Rice
servings:6-8

16 oz. dry red beans, soaked overnight
2 strips bacon
1 red bell pepper, small diced
Half an onion, small diced
2 stalks celery, small diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 smoked turkey sausage, sliced into circles
1 smoked turkey leg
2 tsp. dried thyme
2 tsp. dried parsley
2 bay leaves
1/4 tsp. cayenne
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
5 C. chicken broth

Cooked rice

1. Pour beans into a large bowl and cover with water until all the beans are submerged at least 2 inches. Set aside overnight. When the beans have absorbed most of the water, strain and set aside.

2. In a medium heavy pot, heat bacon on medium high heat and let the bacon grease cover the bottom of the pot.

3. Add the diced bell pepper, onion, celery, and garlic. Stir and sautee for until the onions are translucent.

4. Add the sausage and turkey leg to the vegetables and let the meat heat up. Stir occasionally.

5. When the sausages are browned and warmed through, add the thyme, parsley, bay leaves, cayenne, black pepper, and salt. Stir for about a minute.

6. Add the chicken broth and soft red beans.

7. Bring the chicken broth to a boil. When the broth starts to boil, set the heat to low and simmer for an hour, stirring occasionally.

8. When the beans are completely soft, use a fork and smash at least half of the beans. The smashed beans will thicken the broth!

9. Continue to simmer for at least another hour.

10. Taste the beans and add more cayenne, pepper, or salt to your taste.

11. While the beans are cooking, cook your rice either in a rice cooker or over the stove in a pot.

13. Serve the beans and rice immediately together.

 photo 302afb21-01ce-442b-904a-e581b6024ea6_zpsxswfrgzm.jpg

Enjoy!

Korean Tofu Soup – Soondubu Jjigae

Need some spice in your life?  Well… Soondubu Jjigae will give you just that, along with the feeling of wanting to cuddle up in a soft blanket and plopping onto the couch.  Having tofu soup (it’s actually a stew, but a lot easier to say “tofu soup!”), always gives me that “home-y” feeling even when I’m eating it at a restaurant.  I’m always looking around the restaurant in hopes that there’s a couch hidden in the corner somewhere, a couch I can jump onto and enjoy my bowl of tofu stew. Perhaps it makes a person feel this way because it’s a type of stew and stews often have that affect on people…

The spicyness and the hot flavorful tofu accompanied with a scoop of rice leaves you full, content, and in a state of laziness.  Totally perfect for a cold, foggy, or rainy day.

There are many types of soondubu jjigaes with different types of meats and vegetables.  My friends and I have tried making it with zucchini and squash, which was a horrible fail by the way.  Not because of the zucchini or squash, but because of the simple fact that none of us knew how to actually make this super yummy bowl of goodness.  In the end, we only knew how to make a large pot of grossness, but I reassure you that it came out quite well this time.

Since there are so many different types of tofu soups, I had a little trouble finding the perfect recipe online.  I must’ve looked at over ten different recipes, but finally decided on this one.  My friend has made a few of Aeri’s recipes and every single thing has always turned out delicious!  I decided to make my tofu soup with the same ingredients, such as beef and enoki mushrooms, as I already had those things on hand.  The only thing I didn’t have was kelp for the soup stock.  I’ve never bought kelp from my local Asian supermarket and was a little intimidated.  Does it come dry in a package or fresh in a box?  I also didn’t want to go swimming in the ocean to fish for kelp either (JUST KIDDING).  I decided to use water with hon-dashi as an alternative.  The soup still came out delicious.  Thanks Aeri!

The soup came out pretty spicy so if you prefer a less spicy soup, I say use 1.5 or even 1 Tablespoon of the hot pepper powder.

 

Beef Marinade:

1 clove garlic, minced

1 Tbsp. light soy sauce

1 Tbsp. mirin

 

Soup stock:

2.5 C. water

1 tsp. hon-dashi

 

Ingredients for Stew:

1 clove garlic, mined

1 Tbsp. oil

2 Tbsp. Red Pepper Powder

Half a small onion, sliced

About a cup of beef

1 C. kimchi, cut into bite size pieces

1 Tbsp. soy sauce

Salt, if needed

1 egg

 

 

Use any cut of beef and slice into thin strips then dice into small pieces.  Add the ingredients of the marinade and set aside for about 20 minutes.

 

As you’re waiting for the beef to become tasty, boil the water and add the hon-dashi to the water.  Turn the heat off.

You can now take the time to slice your onions and garlic.

To a heated heavy skillet or wok, add the oil, garlic, and red pepper powder.

 

Cook for a few seconds then add the beef.  When the surface of the beef starts to turn brown, add the onions, and kimchi.  Stir-fry for a few minutes.

Add the broth and soy sauce.  Look at that beautiful red!  When the soup starts to boil, turn down the heat.  This is the perfect time to taste the broth.  Add salt if needed.  Add the enoki mushrooms and tofu by the spoonfuls and turn the heat back up to medium high.

 

Let boil for about 5 minutes then crack an egg on top (I cracked two since WL loves eggs with his Korean food).  The egg thickens the broth so make sure you don’t add too many of them!  I say two would be the max.

 

Finish your spicy meal with a plateful of yummy fruits to cool down the heat.

Cheesy Mac n Cheese next!