Chicken Adobo – Red Cross Foodie Fest

July 15, 2016
Chicken Adobo

Chicken Adobo is a recipe that is from the Philippines. It is chicken cooked in a pepper sauce but uses a pepper called Grains of Paradise. This pepper has slightly more floral notes that black pepper but is still just as hot. It became popular in the 15th Century with spice traders as a black pepper alternative. Black pepper at that time was very expensive. Chicken Adobo is a lovely tangy chicken with a pepper taste that is not overpowering. It is also quick and easy to prepare.

Chicken Adobo

Red Cross Foodie Fest

Chicken Adobo is one of the recipes being showcased by the British Red Cross as part of their Foodie Fest. Foodie Fest is a free hosting pack put together by the Red Cross to enable you to host a dinner party in your home. It features recipes from some of the areas where the Red Cross do their work and the ingredients to make them. The idea is to share the recipes with family and friends and raise some money for the Red Cross with a small donation from your guests.

I was sent one of the packs in order to try out the recipes. The pack contains five recipe cards with recipes from Nepal, Syria, Sierra Leone and The Philippines. These are countries where the Red Cross carries out their humanitarian work. The Phillipines, for example, was hit by Typhoon Haiyan in Novemeber 2013 which destroyed homes and livelihoods. As well as the recipe cards the pack contains a number of herbs and spices to help you create the recipes, place mats, cards to place in front of the dish to identify it and information about the Red Cross. Foodie Fest for friends is a celebration of international food and a chance to have a dinner party with a difference.

Foodie Fest pack from the Red Cross

Red Cross Foodie Fest

Chicken Adobo

There are five recipes included in the pack, Chicken Adobo,Jerk Chicken, Jollof Rice, Kibbeh Bil Sanieh and Tarkari vegetable curry. They all looked delicious but I decided to try the chicken adobo for two reasons. I had all the ingredients and I was interested to see the difference between black pepper and grains of paradise. I am sure I will be trying the others at a later stage.

Chicken Adobo

Chicken Adobo was a quick and easy meal to make. Most of the time was spent marinating the chicken before cooking it. The chicken was added to a mixture of soy sauce, garlic and crushed grains of paradise. The chicken should be marinaded for at least an hour or overnight. The chicken is then cooked in oil until brown. Once it has browned the remaining marinade is added with a mixture of sugar, salt and vinegar and it is left to simmer until tender. The chicken takes on a lovely peppery taste with a floral hint in the background. To finish the dish the chicken adobo is garnished with spring onions and served with rice.

Chicken Adobo


  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp grains of paradise
  • 3 dried bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • cooking oil
  • Spring onions


  • Crush the grains of paradise using a mestle and mortar.
  • Peel and crush the garlic cloves
  • Combine the soy sauce, garlic, grains of paradise and a pinch of salt in a bowl.
  • Cut the chicken into pieces and marinade in the sauce for at least an hour or overnight
  • Heat the oil in a pan.
  • Add the chicken and brown on all sides
  • Add the rest of the marinade liquid, sugar and salt along with 225ml water
  • Bring to the boil
  • Add the vinegar and bay leaves and simmer for 20 minutes until the chicken is tender

If you like this recipe you may also want to try chicken and chickpea curry. For a more exotic recipe Ayam Areh is an Indonesian chicken recipe.

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4 responses to “Chicken Adobo – Red Cross Foodie Fest”

  1. Galina V says:

    That’s a new spice to me, haven’t tried this recipe before. Sounds delicious.

  2. Ooh I love the sound of the exotic recipes. Great way of raising awareness for the coutries they work in too 🙂

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