Herbed Fried Chicken with Spicy Sauce

The chicken is flavored with herbs; the sauce is made with more herbs. I don’t know which my daughters liked better. As things turned out, they were spooning the sauce over their rice so I suppose that’s a show of preference. Not that there was leftover chicken. On the contrary, the platter was wiped clean.

The ingredients are very basic most are staples in any modern pantry. You can use other herbs if you like no harm in going with your personal preference. If your family likes sauces as in likes them enough to spoon them rather than merely dip the chicken in them I suggest allotting about 1/4 cup of sauce per person. Mix all the sauce ingredients. Transfer to a jar, cover tightly, and leave in the fridge to allow the flavors to develop.

Place the chicken in a bowl. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and tarragon. Mix well, working the seasonings and dried herbs into the meat. Cover and let sit in the fridge for at least two hours. Heat the cooking oil until it starts to smoke. Dredge each piece of chicken in flour (don’t forget to shake off the excess) and cook in the hot oil. To avoid overcrowding and temperature drops, cook them in batches of four or five. Drain the cooked chicken on a stack of paper towels. To serve, drizzle some sauce over the chicken. Serve the rest of the sauce on the side.

Chicken adobo with hard-boiled eggs

Adobo is sauce in Spanish and it is used in many Latin American cuisines, including Mexican and Puerto Rican. Then, there is Filipino adobo which varies from one region to the next. This is probably the most popular version, a sour and salty stew cooked with vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, peppercorns, and bay leaves. There is no strict proportion between vinegar and soy sauce as it always depends on the preference of the cook. Some like their adobo more sour than salty; others prefer just the opposite. I am among those who like my adobo more salty than sour so I add more soy sauce than vinegar. If you prefer your adobo not to look too dark, use light soy sauce (eg., Kikkoman). If you’re not very particular about the appearance, go ahead and use dark soy sauce. Of course, whether you use light or dark soy sauce will also affect the amount of soy sauce you add because dark soy sauce is saltier than light soy sauce. So, taste, taste, and taste as you go along. And remember that you can always add more seasonings but you cannot take back what you have already added.

In a pan (please don’t use aluminum to avoid a reaction with the acid in the vinegar), arrange the chicken pieces in a single layer, skin side down. Add the vinegar, garlic, peppercorns, and bay leaves. Boil without stirring. When the liquid has reduced, turn over the chicken pieces and continue cookies until most of the liquid has evaporated. Pour in the soy sauce. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 40 to 50 minutes or until the chicken is done and the sauce has reduced and thickened.