How to make Chicken Adobo sa Gata, a classic creamy dish from the Philippines

Emerald Pellot
·3 min read

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Home chef and founder of Be Fat Be Happy Caitlin Sakdalan is back to school In The Know with another cooking class.

Follow along as Sakdalan makes Chicken Adobo sa Gata, the national dish of the Philippines, and answers all your burning questions. This week’s lesson covers the basics of cooking chicken. 

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“So there’s many different varieties of adobo in the Philippines, but they always have these core ingredients: soy sauce, vinegar, lots and lots of pepper, bay leaf and then we’re gonna chop up some garlic,” Sakdalan explained, as she put all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl. 

She made sure to taste the marinade before moving forward with the recipe. 

“One thing my mom always taught me was you have to taste your marinade before adding it to your chicken to make sure that it tastes good and you’re not ruining your raw meat or having to start over,” she said.

She poured the mixture over a bowl of uncooked chicken thighs. Then she placed the chicken in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. 

“A lot of In The Know users have been asking me why they still end up with flavorless chicken and what are they doing wrong,” she said. 

There were actually a couple of factors according to Sakdalan. It could be the chicken you’re buying. She suggested if you can spring for it, opting for organic, quality chicken. 

“People also ask why the chicken still tastes a little bit under-flavored even though they’re seasoning it,” Sakdalan explained. “That’s actually why we’re marinating our chicken, right now. It will help get all of those flavors and juices inside of the chicken so that when it gets cooked you still taste that seasoning.” 

While the chicken is marinating, Sakdalan prepped some white rice and a soft-boiled egg for some “extra creaminess and lusciousness.” 

Next, it was time to cook the chicken thighs. She started by browning them in a pot for just a few minutes.

“The temperature of a chicken is very important,” she said. “This is why a thermometer is really important so that you can check the temperature. We want to make sure that we have an even 165 degrees Fahrenheit throughout.”

Sakdalan used a Saferell Instant Read Meat Thermometer to make sure the chicken was cooked evenly. When the chicken browned, she added the rest of the marinade and let it simmer for another 20 to 30 minutes. To finish things off, she poured in coconut milk and some sugar to create the creamy brown sauce. 

After the Chicken Adobo sa Gata cooked a few more minutes, it was ready to plate. Sakdalan served it with classic white rice and made sure to spoon on some of the sauce. She topped it with the soft-boiled egg, chopped chilis and fried garlic chips. 

“Your Adobo sa Gata is ready to eat,” Sakdalan said. “This is a great staple for dinner time, for lunch, the egg it could be breakfast. Really whatever time of day you want.” 

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