In Fried Chicken, Rebecca Lang takes a closer look at the staple that has roots everywhere from the Philippines to Jamaica to Nashville.
Adobo is a popular and ingenious Philippine cooking method begun by marinating the meat, simmering it in the marinade, and then frying it until crisp. Coconut vinegar gives this authentic flavor, but apple cider vinegar also works well. You’ll want to use a splatter screen and wear long sleeves for frying the coated thighs, which will erupt in a storm of popping and spewing when they hit the hot oil. If there’s any sauce leftover, don’t let it go to waste: use it as a dip for good bread.
- In a large Dutch oven, whisk together the vinegar, soy sauce, broth, garlic, pepper, sugar, and bay leaves. Add the chicken thighs and arrange so they are submerged in the mixture. Cover and refrigerate the pot for 4 hours.
- Uncover the Dutch oven and bring the mixture to a boil. Decrease the heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Line a plate with paper towels. Transfer the thighs to the plate, reserving the liquid in the pot. Increase the heat to high and simmer until the liquid is reduced to 2 cups, about 15 minutes, using a gravy separator or spoon to skim excess fat from the liquid.
- In a large heavy skillet, heat coconut oil over medium heat to 350°F. It should be ½ inch deep when melted. Set a wire rack over a rimmed baking sheet.
- Pat the chicken skin dry with paper towels. Carefully place the thighs in the oil, skin side down. (It will spatter like crazy.) Cover the skillet with a splatter screen and fry for 3 minutes, or until the skin is golden brown and crispy. Turn and cook for 1 minute on the second side.
- Drain the chicken on the wire rack.
- Serve with the reduced sauce and steamed rice.
Reprinted with permission from Fried Chicken, by Rebecca Lang, copyright © 2015, published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.