Adobo, perhaps the most well-known Filipino dish, is a brothy stew flavored with vinegar and soy sauce, bay leaves, and black peppercorns. The regional Ilonggo version that chef Dale Talde makes is soy-free and an aesthetic departure. Bone-in chicken simmers until the liquid has all but disappeared, transforming the mellow sauce into a thrilling concentrated glaze. In the slick of fat left over, garlic, onion, and chicken liver brown to provide even more flavor.
- 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp. annatto seeds
- 3 lb. whole chicken legs, separated into drumsticks and thighs
- 4 cups distilled white vinegar
- 1 tbsp. kosher salt, plus more
- 2 tsp. whole black peppercorns
- 3 bay leaves
- 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 large yellow onion, halved and cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
- 1 lb. chicken livers, rinsed and dried
- In a large Dutch oven, warm the oil and annatto seeds over high heat until the oil is colored a deep red from the seeds, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, scoop out and discard the seeds. Add the chicken drumsticks and thighs to the pot along with the vinegar, salt, peppercorns, and bay leaves, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a steady simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through and the liquid is reduced, about 45 minutes.
- Using tongs, transfer the chicken to a plate and return the pot to high heat. Add the garlic and onion, and fry in the fat in the pot, stirring, until they turn golden brown and sticky in the sauce, about 15 minutes. Add the livers in an even layer and cook, turning once, until just cooked through, 5–7 minutes. Return the chicken to the pot and stir gently until warmed through and covered in the sticky sauce, about 3 minutes more. Remove the adobo from the heat and serve while hot.