Sunday, November 4, 2012

Adobong Manok sa Suka ni Lola Caring (Chicken Adobo in Vinegar by Grandma Caridad)

We just had dinner at home and I can't help but remember my Lola Caring (Grandma Caring/Caridad) with fondness because we just had one of her signature dishes -- Chicken Adobo in Vinegar or Adobong Manok sa Suka.  I grew up nourished by my (maternal) grandmother's delicious dishes for she lived with us.  This is one of my favorites; and today, I decided to have this as part of our menu aside from the Prawns in Garlic Butter that I cooked for my family.  I think it's very timely that we ate it this weekend since we just celebrated All Souls' Day the other day.  Eating this simple and easy-to-cook but very delicious dish brought back happy memories of my childhood with my Grandma Caridad (Lola Caring).  It was also an opportunity for me to share the recipe and some stories about her to my eldest son and husband.

So, as a tribute to my grandmother and her cooking, let me share this recipe.  This is not my grandmother's original recipe.  She didn't use measuring cups or spoons when cooking before; but her dishes usually turned out good.  I tried my best to recreate some of her signature dishes including this one.  Like her, I don't always measure my ingredients.  I gauge the dishes that I cook by their taste, very much like Grandma Caridad (Lola Caring).  So, what I'm about to share here is an estimate.  Just tweak or modify according to your taste.
Adobong Manok sa Suka ni Lola Caring
1/2 kilo chicken cut-ups (tinola or adobo cut)
1/2 cup of white vinegar (I like using Datu Puti vinegar)
1/2 bulb of garlic (or 6-8 cloves of garlic crushed)
2-3 pieces laurel leaves (torn into smaller pieces)
8 pieces whole black pepper corns
1 cup water (or enough to have the chicken covered by the vinegar-water mixture)
salt to taste
cooking oil  
1. Combine all ingredients in a pot and simmer in medium heat.
2. Make sure that you check the chicken every now and then so that it will not become overly tender as the liquid boils or that it will not get burned as the liquid evaporates.
3. Let the chicken simmer in the vinegar mixture until cooked/tender or until the liquid evaporates.
4. Once the chicken is done and tender, pan fry in just enough cooking oil to make the outside turn golden brown and crunchy.
5. Serve hot with cooked rice.

One of the things I like about this dish is that it's crunchy and not so oily.  I like using less salt too so it's a healthier alternative to the usual Chicken Adobo recipe with soy sauce.

Let me end with a message to my Lola/Grandma:

Thank you, Lola/Grandma, for taking care of me and my brother watching over us -- cooking for us, bringing us to school, teaching us good manners, and many other things -- when we were still kids until we grew up to become teenagers.  Thank you for the delicious dishes you cooked for our family including this recipe.  Thank you for your example of hardwork and dedication in the things that you do or to the people who are dear to you.  Thank you for inspiring me and teaching me to cook.  I pray for your soul.  I pray that you experience eternal rest and peace with God in heaven.

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