The Nestle All Purpose Cream #CreateWithCream event I attended last July 9 has done nothing but inspire me to cook up a storm. While I’m typically in the kitchen baking during my free time, these days I surprise even myself with how I feel twice more motivated to cook.
Obviously one of the things I’ve been wanting to make is the Creamy Chicken Adobo recipe Chef Rob Pengson demonstrated during the event. I didn’t get to volunteer as one of the blogger-chefs for the day, but thanks to this beautiful #CreateWithCream Kit Nestle gave us, I can make it right in the comforts of my own home!
I’m not quite sure how new the Creamy Chicken Adobo is as a recipe, but to me, the adjective “creamy” is not something I would associate with an adobo dish. Nestle All Purpose Cream changed all that by putting the spotlight on this dish and bringing it to everyone’s attention. Suddenly adding cream to your adobo doesn’t seem so foreign anymore. Pretty sure a lot of people’s tastebuds are thankful for that!
Before I set out to recreate the recipe in my kitchen, I tried to visualize the Creamy Chicken Adobo dish Chef Rob made during the event. I was aiming to replicate it as much as I possibly could. I followed most of the measurements and instructions of the recipe found on the #CreateWithCream website, but I also made some tiny minor tweaks. Apart from the ingredients provided in the kit, I decided to add some chilli for a bit of heat.
Let me walk you through how I prepared my version of the Creamy Chicken Adobo recipe!
First off, I mixed the 1/3 cup vinegar, 1/4 cup Maggi soy sauce, and 1/4 cup water in a small bowl. You don’t really need to do this in a separate bowl, but this is what my Mom taught me so it was an impulse on my part. However, since you are going to pour them into the pan to cook you can just add them straight in!
Garlic, bay leaf, and peppercorns are what will add flavour and cut through the saltiness of the other ingredients. I decided not to add the Maggi Magic Sarap stated in the original recipe, although you absolutely can if you want to.
The 1/4 cup minced garlic is really important because it gives the adobo a bit of depth. As you can see, apart from the 6 peppercorns and 2 bay leaves, I also added some thinly sliced green chilli pepper. I would’ve preferred bird’s eye chilli but this was what we had at home.
Pour in the vinegar-soy sauce mixture and give it a little stir to spread the garlic and chilli all over. Next just place your cut-up whole chicken on top of the sauce. The pieces will be only partly submerged. Once you start boiling your chicken with the vinegar, they say that it’s best not to touch the meat so that it stays tender. Haven’t been able to verify if that’s true, but following it has not hurt one bit!
Over high heat, allow the sauce to boil for a little bit since that helps eliminate any unwanted metallic taste from the vinegar. Then lower the heat and simmer with the lid on until the chicken is tender, about 6 to 10 minutes.
Ta-dah! When you lift up the lid you will immediately see that even the non-submerged part of the chicken is cooked and white already. You’ll see that there seems to be more liquid than before now that the chicken has released a lot of its juices and added more flavour to the sauce.
Poke the chicken with a fork to determine if it’s tender enough, and then transfer the chicken pieces onto a plate. You can transfer the sauce onto a bowl as well, or use another pan if that’s easier for you.
In a clean pan, heat some oil for pan-frying your chicken. This step helps keep the chicken’s texture nice. (There’s nothing worse than a dry chicken in an adobo!) You’re going to want to just brown the chicken all over. The chicken releases a lot of juices so it might sputter as it touches the oil, so proceed with caution! It’s better to do this by batches to avoid overcrowding the pan.
So now you’ll want to remove the excess frying oil from the pan, but you don’t need to get the fond (caramelized bits) at the bottom of the pan off. Return the chicken and the reserved adobo sauce back into the pan and simmer.
The original instruction says simmer until the sauce is almost dry but I didn’t do that. I just let it bubble away for a few minutes until the sauce has reduced a bit. (Couldn’t resist turning all that bubbling action into a gif!)
Finally we add the Nestle All Purpose Cream. Aka the magic ingredient! Don’t add all the Nestle All Purpose Cream at once. I would suggest adding half of the 250mL pack first and then giving it a little mix until incorporated. It’s important to mix it properly so the sauce doesn’t separate!
At this point, it’s important to give this a taste. Since the Nestle All Purpose Cream has already been added, it helps balance out any overly salty flavours from the vinegar and soy sauce mix. I ended up adding a little over half of one 250mL pack of Nestle All Purpose Cream, remembering that Chef Rob mentioned you didn’t need to add the whole pack in.
When I went in for the taste, it was perfect. It had just the right punch from the vinegar and soy sauce, plus a bit of heat from the chilli. But most importantly it had that creamy, almost buttery element to it that you can feel in your mouth. Not too much, not too little. Simply put it was a lovely sensation!
That’s how I knew that this was it! There was a salty punch to my Creamy Chicken Adobo, a hint of heat, and that very nice mouth-feel Chef Rob kept mentioning during the cooking event. The chicken was not dry but was nice and tender, thankfully!
I was really excited, because up until the day I cooked this Creamy Chicken Adobo recipe, my family has not tried this particular dish either. Since I was feeling quite satisfied with the way my Creamy Chicken Adobo came out, I was confident they were going to love it.
When dinnertime rolled around, I couldn’t lift my spoon to eat until I watched my family take their first bite of the Creamy Chicken Adobo. The verdict? Thumbs up all around! And of course, it’s all thanks to Nestle All Purpose Cream’s magical effect!
- 1 whole chicken, cut into pieces, approximately 1 kg
- 1/3 cup vinegar
- ¼ cup Maggi Soy sauce
- ¼ cup water
- 1 green chilli, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup minced garlic
- 2 bay leaves
- 6 to 8 peppercorns
- ¼ cup oil
- 1 250-mL pack Nestle All Purpose Cream, to taste
- 1. In a pan, mix together vinegar, soy sauce, water, chilli, garlic, bay leaves, and peppercorns. Place chicken on top and allow to boil, uncovered, over high heat.
- 2. Lower the heat and allow to simmer while covered, about 10 minutes or until chicken is tender. Reserve the sauce.
- 3. In a clean pan, heat oil. Pan-fry the chicken until golden brown on all sides. Be careful as the natural juices of the chicken might cause the oil to sputter.
- 4. Remove excess oil. Return the browned chicken and the reserved sauce into the pan and simmer until the sauce is a bit reduced. (Or almost dry if that's what you prefer.)
- 5. Pour in half the pack of Nestle All Purpose Cream first, mixing well before giving it a taste. Add more Nestle All Purpose Cream as needed. Once you're happy with the flavour of the adobo, remove from heat and serve immediately with rice.