take out a chicken

I got the very best sort of e-mail from my husband Mark last week. The subject line said “take out a chicken.” The body contained just a link. I clicked it, gave it the once over, and eagerly proceeded to the freezer to pull out one of our Pasture Perfect Poultry chickens (of which I can’t speak highly enough – and I am not an overly huge fan of chicken). And then I waited for it to thaw. Finally, on Thursday evening, I had Mark do the dirty work of piecing up the chicken while I got the marinade ready for an overnight soak.

It felt like Friday night would never come. But five o’clock eventually rolled around and I took the opportunity to mix us a couple of my favorite winter time cocktails – a shot of Sailor Jerry’s mixed with grapefruit juice and a splash of soda. And then we got to work – if you can even call it that. We simmered the chicken in the same pot that it had been marinating in. While it cooked, we put on a pot of jasmine rice and rustled some Valentine green beans out of the deep freeze. We left things to simmer while we sipped our drinks and reflected on what felt like a very long week. (I even used our titanic ice cubes. Having little ice bergs float in my drink and watching the big ship slowly go down is a sure way to cheer me up.)

And thirty minutes later things were indeed looking up (ice cubes aside). We sat down to a steaming hot platter of Chicken Adobo. It looked heavenly and smelled even better. It’s a good thing we did our chit-chatting over cocktails, because conversation rapidly died off when we picked up our forks. At some point I did mutter that the recipe reaffirms my belief that anything involving a can of coconut milk is bound to be good. We did give the chicken a quick spin in the broiler while the marinade reduced – which I highly recommend. It caramelized and crisped up the chicken just perfectly. The sauce meanwhile, was creamy, slightly tangy, and loaded with flavor. And the tender, coconut milk simmered garlic cloves were outta this world.

I only have one piece of advice to offer on this bitterly cold Wednesday afternoon. Take out a chicken.

Chicken Adobo
(Adapted from the Purple Yam’s Memories of Philippine Kitchens)

2 cups coconut vinegar
(or rice vinegar, but I would add an extra 1/4 cup, as it is less tangy than coconut vinegar)
2 cups coconut milk
1/3 cup soy sauce
20 garlic cloves, peeled (the more the merrier – you won’t regret it)
4 bay leaves
5 whole birdseye chiles (the cutest little chiles I’ve ever laid eyes on)
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

One (5-6 pound) whole chicken, quartered, and cut into pieces

Combine all of the marinade ingredients – ideally in a stainless or enamel pot with a lid that is large enough to hold the chicken pieces.. Add the chicken pieces and turn to coat in the marinade. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight. If the pieces are not completely submersed, flip them once or twice throughout the day.

Heat the chicken and the marinade over high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally to make sure the chicken is covered in the marinade, until the chicken is cooked through and tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

Transfer the chicken pieces to a broiler pan and broil for about 4-5 minutes. Flip the pieces, spoon a little marinade over them and return to the broiler for another few minutes, While the chicken is broiling, raise the heat under the marinade pan to medium-high, and reduce the sauce until it is the consistency of heavy cream, about 10 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and chiles. Return the now lightly browned chicken to the sauce and cook until just warmed through.

2 Responses to “take out a chicken”

  1. 1 Nancy S. February 9, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    Yea! Our Pasture Perfect chicken is thawed in the frig just waiting for our attention. Thanks for such good timing! n.

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