Ahhh, this was the best adobo I've ever had so far. The recipe also involves more ingredients than the previous ones I've tried, and owes a lot to the recipe my friend, Lola, sent me. Most of all, I think the key addition was coconut milk, which makes the soup richer and balances out the vinegar. Beyond that, the other ingredients add more dimensions to the flavor. Lola's version was pretty distinct, and after trying hers, I ended up making my version somewhere between hers and what I'd done before.
A technique note: ever wonder how to sauté on a steel (or other non-non-stick surface) pan without the meat's sticking? I finally did a little research to figure it out since sometimes I'd be fine and others not without knowing why. First, make sure you pan, skillet, wok, what-have-you, is at your hot cooking temperature before you add your oil (be it medium-high or high heat). Once you add the oil, it shouldn't be long before the oil reaches cooking temperature (add oil after pot is hot so it doesn't break down as much over a long heating time). It's ready when the surface of the oil is rippling. Then, when you add the meat, don't overcrowd the pan or the temperature will drop too much and the meat will stick.
Anyway, I don't have too much to say about this adobo except that it was really rich and savory. It was weird, though, that the meat was very tender and juicy rather than at a fall-off-the-bone consistency despite its being cooked even a little longer than my previous attempts (which resulted in fall-off-the-bone consistency). Not really something to complain about since tender and juicy is great, too. I wonder if the thickness of the soup has something to do with it. Also, you can see that I left all the ingredients in the soup in the picture above, rather than straining the soup as was called for in previous recipes. I think that straining it out may be correct practice (makes pouring the soup on your rice simpler rather than having to pick out peppercorns), but I like how it looks better since the apples (!) provide points of contrast. My recipe is below.
1.5 lbs. chicken parts (bone in, skin on)
3 cloves garlic, smashed
1/2 small onion, sliced thin
1/2 tart apple, sliced
1 TBS ginger, grated
1/4 cup soy sauce
~1/4 cup vinegar (a little less)
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp black peppercorns
1/2 cup coconut milk
1. In a large pot, brown chicken on both sides and remove chicken from pot.
2. In the same pot, sauté garlic and onion over medium-high heat until fragrant and onion is translucent.
3. Add apple and ginger and sauté a minute longer.
4. Add chicken back into pot along with soy sauce, vinegar, coconut milk, lemon (squeeze juice out), bay leaf, and peppercorns.
5. Bring to a boil and turn heat down so that it simmers with lid on. Simmer for 30 minutes.
6. Remove lid and simmer for another 20-30 minutes.
7. Add 1/2 cup coconut milk and simmer for another 10-15 minutes, remove from heat and let rest a couple minutes before serving.