Did you know that the adobo, a dish Filipinos are well-known for, is of Spanish and/or Portuguese origin? Though entirely different from the Spanish Adobo of preserving meat in a dry-rub of spices, early Spanish conquerors termed the local Philippine stew as adobo.
Filipino adobo is basically a meat dish stewed in a vinegar and spice broth. Though variations came up across the different Philippine regions, the staple ingredients always included a meat as a main component, vinegar, garlic, and black peppercorns.
For my take on this dish, I merely added Worcestershire sauce to a typical marinade to add a sharp hint of flavor.
As I always do, I started off with a quick sear on the chicken breasts for added color and flavor. Make sure to pat them dry before searing to maintain a that good high heat in the pan when they hit it. Deglaze the pan with the remaining marinade and chicken stock. Scrape all those drippings off, they’ll all translate into a deeper tasting sauce.
Our current favorite slow cooker is the Crock Pot 6.5 quart touchscreen slow cooker. It’s a perfect size for an individual who likes to make more for leftovers, or for a small family. Plus, it’s got a very cool, digital touchscreen so it looks perfect in any modern kitchen. You do pay a bit more for cool-factor though, so if you want a more budget-friendly option, you should check out the 6-quart manual slow cooker from Crock-Pot. It’s a winner too, at about 1/2 the price.
Next would be to put them all in the crockpot and let the slow cooker do its job. Time to work on the mango salsa. Nothing too fancy in here. Just get those tomatoes, onions, mangoes, and cilantro into a bowl, add some lime juice to freshen it up, and some salt. The salt will actually aid in drawing out some moisture from the salsa’s components combining into a natural dressing. You may add in any particular element you find fit at this point. Some chopped chilis, scallions, nuts . . . be creative!
Next, let’s work on the aioli. This will provide extra flavor and moisture to our tacos. Some chop their garlic finely with a knife. I think, running it over a zester works better. There are actually a couple of ways to do this. You may use a food processor too. For those who find the flavor of fresh garlic too pungent, you may use granulated garlic instead.
You may use a mixture of equal parts of mayonnaise, sour cream, and yogurt for the base of this aioli. I chose to use pure mayonnaise, trying to avoid any further sour notes which is already present in our chicken which was stewed in vinegar, and in our salsa which contains mangoes and lime juice.
A variation I would recommend for this would be a Chipotle or Sri-racha infused mayonnaise.
This chicken adobo will come out perfectly juicy and tender. You may take it up a notch by crisping it up a bit in a pan or under a broiler. You may ladle some of the cooking liquid into those chicken slices to keep them from drying up.
Time to assemble the tacos. Lay out a piece of tortilla, spread on some of the aioli, arrange a few chicken pieces, top with fresh salsa. You may add some Romaine lettuce for some crunch, a little rice pilaf much like a burrito, some extra lime juice, have it your way! Get creative! Get messy! Celebrate this fusion of Filipino and Mexican flavors!