In the flurry of the holidays, I depend on the old reliable family recipes. I add something more to make it special—like in this Chicken Adobo A La Pobre. I knew this would be a festive addition to our holiday dishes.
The Filipino Adobo is a regular dish at our dinner table. I have a container of cooked chicken and pork adobo in my refrigerator all the time This particular recipe was festive. The base of adobo flavors – garlicky, tangy from the vinegar and salty from the soy sauce was a good contrast to the additional ingredients. There was tartness from the tomatoes, hints of citrus from the calamansi, and sweetness from the saging saba (plantains). What I love best about adobo is that you can cook it ahead. The flavors are even more robust days after.
Christmas will be upon us in a few weeks. I admit we are not ready. The holiday decorations around the house are not yet complete. I am still planning the menu. I will shop online to avoid the mall and traffic altogether. But one thing is certain. No matter how busy, I want to savor each moment. You will probably go to holiday parties or host your own Christmas reunion. Remember to cherish every minute, and every friend or family member.
As you sit around the dinner table, challenge yourself to pay attention to a relative telling a story during the holidays. You connect with people when you do this. Keep your mind in the present. Sometimes, these family stories seem boring, especially if they’ve been repeated a hundred times every Christmas. But it is those very stories that are gems which you will need to take out from your memory box in a few years. Those are the basic stories about life, living and loving which nurture our hearts and the Christmas spirit.
Chicken and Pork Adobo A La Pobre - Instant Pot + Stove-top
- Large saucepan or wok: 12 inches diameter or larger
- Large baking sheet: 9 x 13 inches or larger
- Instant Pot multicooker - 6 quarts or 8 quarts.
- 6 whole pieces Asian eggplants, roasted and sliced or use 1 large aubergine
- 1 teaspoon salt for eggplants
- 4 pieces ripe, fresh saging saba (plantains)
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 whole bulb garlic about 6 to 8 cloves; peeled, chopped
- 1 whole white or yellow onion chopped
- 3 large tomatoes sliced
- 1/2 pound pork belly or shoulder cut into 1-inch cubes
- 4 to 5 pieces chicken thighs, bone-in, skin-on or use any parts of chicken
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 cup vinegar
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon calamansi juice (or lemon)
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1 whole red or green bell pepper sliced, seeded, white membrane removed
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 2 pieces bay leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- steamed rice for serving
To cook eggplants:
- Preheat oven to 375 F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the sliced eggplants on the baking sheet. Sprinkle salt all over the slices.Roast the eggplants on 375 F for 25 to 30 minutes. When done, remove from the oven and set aside.
To boil plantains:
- Peel the fresh, fully ripe plantains. Place in a medium-sized stockpot. Cover the bananas with enough water. Add 1 teaspoon of brown sugar.Cover and cook over medium-high heat for 10 to 12 minutes till soft. When soft enough (not mushy), turn off heat. Remove from stove top and set aside.
To cook the Chicken and Pork Adobo A La Pobre:
- In a large saucepan or wok, add the oil. Over medium-high heat, when the oil is hot enough, saute the garlic. onions and tomatoes.Add the pork belly and chicken to the saucepan. Brown the meats for 5 minutes.
- Pour the soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, calamansi, and chicken broth.Add the bell pepper slices, peppercorns, bay leaves and salt. Cover and continue cooking over medium heat till the meats are tender and cooked completely. This should take about 45 to 50 minutes.
- Arrange the roasted eggplant slices and boiled plantains around a a large, rimmed platter. Place the chicken and pork adobo in the middle. Pour the adobo gravy on the meat.Serve warm with rice.
To cook the Plantains in the Instant Pot:
- Place the peeled, ripe plantains in the inside pot. Add 1 teaspoon brown sugar. Pour 3 cups of water on the bananas. It should be enough to cover the fruit.Close and lock the lid. Set the valve to Sealing.Click Manual + High Pressure + 5 minutes.When buzzer sounds to announce cooking is done, do a Quick Release with the valve. Click Cancel to turn off.Carefully unlock and open the lid. Set the lid on a safe place on the counter.Using a ladle, or slotted spoon, remove the plantains and set aside.When temperature of the inside pot has cooled down, discard the water.
To cook the Chicken and Pork Adobo in the Instant Pot:
- Open the lid and set aside on the counter.Click Saute function on keypad.Add the oil. When oil heats up in 1 to 2 minutes, saute the garlic, onions and tomatoes.Add the pork and chicken pieces. Brown the meats for 5 minutes, turning around occasionally for even browning.Click Cancel to turn off Saute function.To the inside pot, pour the soy sauce, vinegar, broth, brown sugar, calamansi. Add the bell pepper slices, bay leaves, peppercorns and salt.Close and lock the lid. Set the valve to Sealing.Click Manual + High Pressure + and cook for 35 minutes.When the buzzer sounds, do a Quick Release.Click Cancel to turn off.Carefully unlock and open the lid. Put the lid on a safe place on the counter.Using a ladle, remove the adobo from the inside pot. Plate according to directions above with the roasted eggplants and boiled plantains.Serve warm with rice.
Notes on the Instant Pot:
- After the initial saute, it takes about 15 to 17 minutes for the Instant Pot or multicooker to preheat to High Pressure and for cooking time to begin. For other brands of multicookers, check the product manual.Safety: Use accessories recommended for the Instant Pot or multicooker like silicone or metal. Do NOT use glassware. Read the manual for complete information.
Quick Release for the Instant Pot
- This is when you release the pressure instantly. Press Cancel on the keypad and turn the Steam release handle on the lid to a Venting position. Allow steam to release about 3 minute.
Notes on Nutrition: The nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.
Did you like this recipe? I have more Filipino Instant Pot recipes in my newest cookbook Instant Filipino Recipes: My Mother’s Traditional Philippine Cooking in A Multicooker Pot by Elizabeth Ann Besa-Quirino. Buy my cookbooks and books on Amazon.com sold worldwide in paperback and Kindle format.
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Disclosure: Instant Pot is the brand name of a multi-cooker that cooks in high and low pressure. I was not paid by the Instant Pot company to mention the product or brand nor endorse it. This is not an ad. My views and opinions are my own.