We are thrilled that Alex Van Buren of NY1’s Chow.Com decided to check out Purple Yam after seeing several positive posts by Chowhounds about us. Here is her feature on Filipino food which she believes is getting to be one hot cuisine coming up in NYC. (It’s about time because we have been doing this for the past 15 years! But better now than never, right?)
She loved the simple yet delicious food especially the chicken adobo, lechon kawali and buko pie — all classic dishes that Filipinos love. I had always believed that the road to making Filipino food part of the culinary landscape here in NYC (or anywhere for that matter) lies in the magic potion we call adobo.
Anyone can make adobo, but making a good one can be tricky. It requires using an excellent vinegar and I have personally discovered that the less soy sauce one uses the better. I confess that when I was a child in the Philippines, I was not an adobo fan and now I realize that I disliked it because it tasted of soy sauce and not of vinegar. So one can completely skip the soy sauce and just use sea or rock salt or just add small amounts of soy sauce (I just use a tablespoon for a whole chicken).
Adobo can be done with any meat, poultry, seafood or vegetable. When we first opened Cendrillon, Romy made rabbit and quail adobo. Although it is a dish that many loyal fans often think of, it was not until we changed it to a chicken adobo that it took off and has since become THE best selling menu item we have at Cendrillon and now at Purple Yam.
Here is the chicken adobo recipe that is in our cookbook,
Memories of Philippine Kitchens.
One can substitute the chicken with quail and skip the coconut milk.
Serves 4 to 6
1 1/2 cups rice vinegar
1 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup soy sauce
12 garlic cloves, peeled
3 bay leaves
3 whole birdseye chiles
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
One (3 1/2-pound) whole chicken, quartered, and cut into pieces
Steamed white rice, for serving
Sauteed mustard greens or bok choy, for serving
1. In a large, non-reactive bowl or heavy-duty, re-sealable plastic bag, combine all of the marinade ingredients. Add the chicken pieces and turn to coat in the marinade. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
2. In a large casserole or Dutch oven, 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.
3. Transfer the chicken pieces to a large bowl, raise the heat to medium-high, and reduce the sauce until it is the consistency of heavy cream, about 5 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and chiles. Return the chicken to the sauce and cook until just warmed through.
Note: the chicken or quail can either be fried, broiled or grilled before returning to the sauce. Or the sauce can just be served on the side and spooned over the rice. I prefer basting the chicken first and then broiling them to a golden brown.