Category Archives: Stews and Braises

Chicken Adobo

This take on a Filipino favorite takes on a deep reddish-brown hue from a quick braise in a soy sauce and vinegar marinade and stock and a smoky grilled flavor from finishing over a hot grill or cast iron grill pan.

Chicken Adobo

Serves 2-3


  • 6 skinless drumstick pieces
  • 3 large cloves garlic
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon of black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon of ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon Sichuan pepper
  • 1 cup coconut vinegar
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 2/3 cup light soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sweet soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of Chinese black vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • 1 tablespoon of palm sugar
  1. Wash and thoroughly dry chicken pieces then place in a large glass or ceramic bowl
  2. Place all of the other ingredients except the palm sugar  and chicken broth in a blender and pulse until liquefied to create the marinade/cooking broth..
  3. Reserve an 1/8th cup of marinade and set aside.
  4. Pour the remaining marinade over the chicken and massage in well.
  5. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at lest 3 hours.
  6. One hour before cooking remove the chicken from the fridge and mix the reserved marinade with the palm sugar until it dissolves
  7. Place chicken and marinade into a medium sized saucepan.
  8. Add enough chicken broth to nearly cover the chicken and heat over medium high and simmer for 10-12 minutes or until legs are just cooked through.
  9. 5 minutes before chicken is done simmering, put a cast iron pan over a medium high heat.
  10. Once chicken is nearly done, remove from broth and allow to drain for a few seconds.
  11. Transfer chicken to cast iron pan, and brush with sauce.
  12. Sear for 2-3 minutes then turn a 1/3 turn and brush with sauce until all surfaces are grilled nicely and lightly glazed.
  13. Remove from heat, and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
  14. Serve with steamed rice or a fresh salad.




Easy Beef Stew

Nothing is better on a cold and grey winter day than a steaming bowl of hearty stew served with fresh-baked crusty bread.  The tender chunks of beef, potato and carrot, combined with the thick rich onion-laced gravy create a delicious meal that will warm the soul, if not the temperature outside.  This sumptuous and easy to make stew gets its depth of flavor from sweet-savory caramelized onions, red wine, and long, slow simmering.  When it comes to stews the most important ingredient is time.

I like to use a heavy enameled dutch oven to cook the stew as it provides more even heating (which prevents sticking and burning) and it does a much better job of caramelizing the ingredients than a non-stick pan.  Do not use a crock-pot to cook this recipe; while crockpots may be convenient, these do not heat up enough to produce the depth of flavor that makes a great tasting dish.

  • 1 1/2 lbs of stew beef cut into 1/2″ cubes.
  • 3 medium potatoes roughly chopped into 1 inch cubes.
  • 1 medium onion cut in eights lengthwise.
  • 1 large onion roughly diced.
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely minced.
  • 1/4 cup of tomato ketchup. 
  • 3 large carrots chopped into 1 inch pieces.
  • 1 celery stalk, finely sliced.
  • 1 pinch of dried oregano.
  • 1 pinch of dried thyme.
  • 1/2 teaspoon of paprika.
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried parsley.
  • 1 bay leaf.
  • Beef broth.
  •  1/4 cup of your favorite inexpensive red wine. 
  •  Olive oil (or bacon drippings).
  1. Heat an enameled  dutch oven over medium-high heat until hot.
  2. Add ~ 1 tsp of oil or drippings and the roughly diced onion,  reduce heat to medium and slowly cook the onions until they begin to caramelize to a light golden color.  Add the finely minced garlic and cook for another 2 minutes or until garlic no longer smells raw.
  3. Add wine to the pan to de-glaze.  Scrape the fond off the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.  Cook for another minute or so until the alcohol is cooked off then remove the caramelized onions from pan.  Wipe the pan clean with a paper towel. 
  4. Add another teaspoon of oil to the pan, turn heat to medium-high and brown the meat in several batches.  Don’t stir meat too often, you want the meat to brown nicely and leave its fond on the bottom of the pan. 
  5. Once all of the meat has been browned, add the carrots, cooked and raw onion, and bay leaf .  Cook until the onion just starts to turn translucent.
  6. Add enough beef broth to just about cover meat, stir in herbs, spices, and ketchup then season well with kosher salt.  Bring to a slow simmer, layer the potatoes on top and reduce heat to low.
  7. Cover and cook on low heat for 2 hours or until meat is tender and the potatoes have started to cook down. Remove bay leaf and season to taste with salt and pepper.   Allow to cool and place in refrigerator overnight; this allows the flavors to mingle and intensify.
  8. Before serving, heat stew over medium-low heat until hot.  If you like, a cupful of frozen peas or mixed vegetables makes a tasty addition.   
  9. Serve with fresh crusty bread and a glass of your favorite red wine.