by Sarah Strong
If you are like me — i.e. you live alone and almost always cook for one — you know that standard package sizes are not well suited for people like us. That’s why I gravitate towards recipes that can be repurposed throughout the week. In other words, you’ll almost always find some kind of chicken recipe in my meal prep plan. Cooked chicken can become rice bowls with Japanese barbecue sauce; spicy ramen with soft boiled eggs; a chopped salad; or a quesadilla.
But four days of chicken (since it often comes four or more to a pack) can get monotonous, even with all my tricks. So when I find a chicken recipe that I don’t get sick of after multiple meals in a row, I know I’ve found a winner (winner chicken dinner).
Lately, the recipe I can’t stop making is Amelia Rampe’s Chicken Adobo.
The Easy Filipino Chicken Recipe You’ll Want to Eat All Week
There are a few things that make this recipe the ideal meal-prep chicken. For starters, all of the ingredients are ones I always have in my pantry: soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, bay leaves and peppercorns. And I generally have chicken thighs in my freezer, so I don’t even have to plan ahead.
The dish is also so easy to make: Quickly marinate the chicken while you heat up the pan and sear it for a few minutes to get the skin crispy. Add in the braise ingredients, tuck it into the oven, and do something else. I’ve been known to do a quick workout and shower before the timer even dings for the next step – removing the lid from my dutch oven so the sauce can reduce to a glaze.
Most importantly? It’s insanely comforting. Seriously, a scalding hot plate of this chicken adobo feels like a warm hug to me. The meat is fall-off-the-bone tender and the punch of vinegar in the rich braise gives it an enticing salty, tangy and savory aroma that has my mouth watering — even on day four. In fact, the meat soaks up even more flavor as it sits.
Get the recipe: Chicken Adobo from Food52
My Cook’s Notes
1. Swap avocado oil for canola oil.
This recipe calls for canola oil, but I reach for avocado oil instead. It’s got very little flavor, is rich in antioxidants and has the high smoke point needed when browning the chicken. If it’s not already in your toolbox you should give it a try.
2. Skim (and save) the fat.
Once you refrigerate the sauce, the fat will come to the top and be easy to skim — but don’t throw it away! Use it to marinate soft or hard boiled eggs for a super savory treat. The flavor makes a great addition to toasts, salads and soups or grain bowls made with leftover chicken.
3. Switch up the grains.
Adobo is traditionally served with fluffy white rice or garlic fried rice, but once you’ve made the original you can adapt it to your taste with other grains like farro or quinoa or even cauliflower rice.
4. Pile on the veggies.
The adobo sauce is addictive and makes any vegetable you pour it on extra tasty. My go-tos are sauteed mushrooms (for a major kick of umami) and spinach, but use up whatever you’ve got on hand.
5. Make it for a crowd.
As I mentioned, I’m usually cooking for one, so I’ll halve the recipe (which calls for 8 bone-in chicken thighs). But if you’re cooking for more, make the full recipe. This dish could easily be a dinner-party showstopper. (Remember those?)