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Jilly’s Chicken Adobo
July 18, 2011, 11:58 pm
Filed under: Cook, Drink | Tags: , , , ,

In 2008, we had a rotating potluck going and it was Jilly’s turn to cook the main. I’d been craving Filipino food so I requested that she make chicken adobo because all Filipinos know how to make amazing chicken adobo, right? Riiight. All Filipinos know how to make amazing chicken adobo just like all Japanese are ninjas. That first stab at chicken adobo? Let’s just say it was… less than successful. Blame it on the fact that she used boneless skinless chicken breasts, or that she used full sodium soy sauce, or that she hadn’t yet learned what brining was. One diner actually asked, “Is this beef?”

Then one day, she posted this picture, and I knew she’d finally figured it out:

Two years, it took, but she finally perfected the recipe and when I begged her to let me try the new and improved version of her chicken adobo, she had me over for dinner. As I walked into the apartment, the aroma of garlic and ginger wafting through the air, the sound of the chicken sizzling in the pan, and the sight of my lovely hostess smiling at me… it all had me a little weak in the knees.

You’ve come a long way, baby.


  • 3 lbs bone-in chicken legs (drumstick/thigh combos), brined overnight in solution of 1/4 cup salt + 1 gallon of water
  • 8 large cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, thinly sliced
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 3/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 3/4 cup white vinegar
  • Coconut oil OR canola oil to fry chicken
Preparation (as written by Jilly)
  1. After brining chicken for 24 hours, remove and let sit in a bowl for 1 hour (to let the water soak into the chicken and away from the skin…we want crispy skin!)
  2. Marinate chicken for 1 hour in all of the above ingredients (minus the brine, of course) in a large pot
  3. Begin cooking; let simmer and stir regularly until chicken appears cooked, opaque and white. Turn off heat.
  4. Have a frying pan ready with oil, preheated till oil is shimmering (supa dupa hot)
  5. Begin frying chicken in batches as pan allows–this will be messy, but worth it! If possible, a brave soul with long arms (and long sleeves) should be the one doing this step
    • Fry till crispy, golden, and brown.
    • As each piece is perfectly fried, put it back into the pot with the soy/vinegar/garlic mixture
  6. When done frying, cook the chicken back up in the soy mixture, and simmer until mixture is thick and chicken is cooked through (the poke-with-a-knife test, etc.)
    • Jill likes to add a teaspoon of sugar in there as it simmers at this step to make it a little richer and caramelized-ish
Recommended wine pairing: 2008 Pfaffenheim Pinot Blanc d’Alsace.
Grape: 100% Pinot Blanc
Region: Pfaffenheim (Alsace), France.
Notes: 100 growers created a co-operative called ‘The winegrowers of Pfaffenheim’, whose grapes are never sold outside of the Co-op. Several Grand Cru vineyards. 2010 is the first year these wines are sold in the U.S.Description: Beautiful golden-yellow color with clean aromas of peach and apricots. The palate is surprisingly dry for such intense aromas and richness. Lovely minerality and starfruit character that yields to red plum on the finish.

Serve with mango salad:
  • 3 Jersey tomatoes OR 4-5 plum tomatoes, diced into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/2 red onion, also diced
  • 1 mango, diced (use a firm mango to avoid smushiness..we like crisp!)
  • as much or as little cilantro as you’d like, finely chopped
  • dash of white vinegar, to taste
  • dash of soy or fish sauce, to taste
  • squeezed 1/2 lime or 1/4 lemon
  • 1/2 tablespoon sugar
Dice it up and throw it all together.
I like mine extra crispy.
To balance it all out with a starch, I like garlic rice, although any rice will do. For garlic rice, just take a crapload of minced garlic and saute it in a crapload of butter before stirring in cooked white rice (I like it kinda mushy). Nom.

Mediterranean orzo salad
September 1, 2010, 10:20 pm
Filed under: Cook | Tags: , , ,

Another in the easy summer salad series! I must be getting supremely lazy. I’m not going to bother listing any measurements for this salad. I’m going to assume that you can figure this one out as most of it is to taste anyhow. (Clearly, no one is going to be banging down my door to write a cookbook anytime soon since I’m not really good at this whole recipe documentation thing.)

Cook up a box of orzo in boiling water spiked with a touch of olive oil and some salt. I picked up some great-looking yellow and green beans from the Tompkins Square Park farmers’ market on Sunday, along with some cucumbers the size of my thigh. While the orzo is cooking, wash and trim the beans, wash and dice some cucumber – but not a whole thigh’s worth. These will be your crunch. Chop up some red onion, kalamata olives, and tomato for color and salt. As the orzo has right around 3 minutes left to cook, add your trimmed beans and blanch them until the orzo finishes – they should be brightly colored and still have that nice crunch. Drain the orzo and beans and toss in a large bowl with more olive oil and some lemon juice, the rest of the veggies, and a generous amount of crumbled feta. Refrigerate immediately and serve cold.

Southwest potato salad with corn, cilantro, red onion
August 16, 2010, 12:12 pm
Filed under: Cook, Eat | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

[tweetmeme]Potato salads are great for summer gatherings because they are so easy and inexpensive to throw together, they’re quite filling so that’s great when there are lots of guests, and you can make everything ahead of time and chill overnight – no mad rush to cook after work or as guests are arriving.

The key to a great potato salad is threefold:

  1. Use Yukon Gold potatoes. They are less starchy than baking potatoes so they taste creamier and hold their shape better when boiled.
  2. Use good mayo. I like to use Kewpie Mayonnaise, usually found in Asian/Japanese groceries. I think they use more yolk as it’s more yellow than most American grocery store mayos. It tastes eggy with a touch of tang to me, which is something I really enjoy. I use it sparingly, just enough to keep the potatoes moist and lend some of that creamy, tangy flavor. The worst is an over-mayoed potato salad. Ick.
  3. Add something crunchy. This way, your potato salad will not taste like cold mashed potatoes with mayonnaise.

Recipe after the jump:

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