Some months ago I wrote about how to make chicken adobo with a recipe that my friend from the Philippines taught me. Ever since I learnt how to make it, I’ve been cooking it several times because it is a house favorite. However, it takes quite a lot of time and I have a crockpot (slow cook) sitting at home and just grabbing dust. So I researched for a recipe of chicken adobo with the crockpot and found this very easy and simple one.
I should start by saying that I cooked 3 recipes on the crockpot so far, 1 of them was a complete failure (we had to throw it away), 1 was OK but not at all what I had expected (a roasted chicken that ended up as a chicken soup) and 1 that finally was good, but not better than the original version (pasta with meat and tomato sauce). So I was a bit hesitant.
As with many crockpot recipes, you just prepare a bit the ingredients and then toss them in all together. You cook it on low for many hours, or on high for a bit less of time. The food usually starts smelling really well, as you’re cooking it really slowly (normally at least 3~4h, if set on high).
After cutting the onions in small pieces, peeling the potatoes and cutting them in half in half, and with the chicken well washed and rubbed with salt, I set my slow cook on high for 3h and went to do other more exciting things. Just barely an hour in, I started to smell the chicken, and by the minute 140 (2h20m) I could no longer resist it and had to try one piece of chicken with some potato and onion. The potato was quite soft after 2h, and I could easily break it apart with the fork, while it didn’t just crumble all apart, so perfect. The onion was delicious too, all soaked in the sauce. The meat was already easy to tear apart and well cooked, so I think cooking it for maybe 2h30 min on high would be enough.
So how was the result? The smell was absolutely fantastic. The whole (small) house smelled like a blend of chicken with soy sauce and glazed onions. The taste… hey it was not bad! It was completely different from the other chicken adobo I had made, I would say this one just tasted oriental in general, but not particularly like adobo. Also the original recipe called for 1/2 cup of soy and 1/2 cup of vinegar, and the chicken tasted too much like vinegar! So next time I’m definitely cutting vinegar in half. Besides that, it tasted good, and I’m surely making it again. Even if it’s just for the smell. Oh, and the potatoes were delicious in the sauce with some onions!
I’m trying to analyze why the taste was so different, and I think one reason is that the original recipe uses 1 cup of water (together with the soy and vinegar), while my friend’s recipe uses coconut milk. When I cooked her way and added the coconut milk at the very end, the sauce would take a less watery texture and would also give it a lighter color. Like this:
So why would I still make this chicken adobo on the crockpot if I prefer the skillet version from my friend? Well, I believe in second chances. It smells much better. The potatoes and onions are so soft and yummy, I don’t think you can get the same texture in the skillet for 1h. And I will apply some changes to the original recipe, believing that next time it will taste more similar to what I like!
Original recipe, taken from Acerast:
Here are some of the things I’d change:
- Put the potatoes in after 1h (2h remaining) when cooking on high, or after 3h (3h remaining) when cooking on low.
- Use half the quantity of vinegar recommended, a bit less soy sauce and instead add a couple spoons of worcesthersire sauce.
- Around 10 minutes before the end, take out the chicken and potatoes and add in the coconut milk to the sauce. Stir a bit and put the meat and potatoes back. Let it cook for another 10 minutes.