The New York Times and Chicken Adobo

My cousin, Andrew, sent me a link to this article in The New York Times:

Chicken Adobo by Sam Sifton

It was an interesting and amusing article.  The author is so correct when he writes:

As a result, there is great fun to be had in asking Filipinos how to make adobo, particularly when they are in groups…Husbands argue with wives about adobo. Friends shoot each other dirty looks about the necessity of including coconut milk or soy sauce in the recipe. There are disputations over the kind of vinegar to use, over the use of sugar, over the inclusion of garlic and how much of it. Some use chicken exclusively in the dish, others pork, some a combination of the two.

My parents constantly argue – or rather my dad who doesn’t cook argues – about the proportions of vinegar to minimal soy sauce.

I remember an instance where a former colleague’s newly-arrived-from-the-Philippines-wife turned her nose up at 2 versions of adobo I had made.  She said the first adobo she tried was “very American” (delivered with a snotty sneer).  When she tried the 2nd version, she smiled and said, “This is more pinoy – the way it’s supposed to taste.”  I cannot tell you what glee I got in announcing that the “American-tasting” adobo was HER recipe that she said she preferred.  I probably didn’t win any points with her (who cares?) but I know her American husband got a very good laugh out of it.

I should also mention that one of the popular ways to make adobo in the Philippines is with cream of mushroom.   Don’t believe it?  Neither do I but the above referenced wife says it’s so.  I still haven’t found anyone to confirm that though.

I’ve posted my family’s version of adobo which is more dry/crispy/caramelized than other more stewy/wet adobos.

Reading this article yesterday led me to ask my Mom (who is still here visiting from NY) to make adobo with the chicken she was prepping this morning.

The answer?



Seriously?  How can a Filipina mother deny her child’s request for adobo?  Especially MY mom?  But no, my mom wants to do Auntie Kay’s baked chicken.  Italian.  LOL  If my cousin Barbara is reading this, please let your mom know that her baked chicken with peas won out over chicken adobo.


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