Recipe: The Return of Chicken Adobo (dairy-free & delicious)

Adobo Chicken. Dairy-Free and Delicious.

So…a recipe for Chicken Adobo was one of the earliest recipes I posted on this blog. And–BONUS!–it’s dairy-free! Which fits into our current food allergy dictated diet!… But…I cannot repost that original post because, well, it was not something I’d want my now-10 year old son to stumble upon. He can learn all about how much I love Anthony Bourdain when he’s older. Maybe.

Below is the recipe,mostly stripped of its Anthony Bourdain-ness…but it’s still delicious. Enjoy.


OK, on to the food: Chicken Adobo–or Pork Adobo–is a very common, popular Filipino dish. Growing up in Seattle, Filipino flavors are a bit like tasting home; there is a very large Filipino population and influence there, especially in the Bremerton area due to the military bases.

Inbetween googling Tony Bourdain’s images, I found this fabulous blog post on about Chicken Adobo and Filipino dishes, specifically about the culture (or mix there of) from which they come:

“Funny though, how our history of forced colonization and foreign domination gets reduced to “influences” as if we’re just willingly eclectic like that. American cultural influence and military presence is highlighted for a brief segment, but somehow leaves out the biggest part of the story: The Philippine-American War. It’s true that our national cuisine has incorporated many others, but I’d much rather this story be presented truthfully than liberally. That we, resilient and crafty people that we are, make masterpieces from scraps (on that Jeepney shit) – you can force your shit on us but trust that we’ll flip it (uh, no pun) and make it our own.”


The recipe I used tonight is very, very simple; using ingredients I already had on hand. And it was really good. That makes it a keeper. I think it would be easy to do in a crock-pot, too. The husband said this is one of his new favorite dishes, so I will have many more chances to tweak it as I need to.

Chicken Adobo

from How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman
View more photos in the gallery »


Chicken Adobo...yum!


  • 1 whole chicken, 3-4 lbs., trimmed of excess fat and cut into 8 pieces*
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup white or rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. chopped garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut milk
  • white rice, cooked (enough for however many people you are serving)

The Process


1. Combine the soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, bay leaves, pepper, water, and half the coconut milk in a covered skillet or saucepan large enough to hold the chicken in one layer. Bring to a boil over high heat.

2. Add the chicken, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, covered, turning a few times, until the chicken is almost done, about 20 minutes.

3. Heat the oven to 450 degrees (F). You can also cook this on a grill or under a broiler, but roasting seemed easiest to me.

4. Remove the chicken pieces from the liquid, dry them gently with paper towels and place in a dish. Don’t discard the sauce. Roast the chicken until brown and crisp and hot, about 15 minutes (closer to 10 if you are grilling or broiling instead).

5. While the chicken is cooking, add the rest of the coconut milk to the sauce in the pan and boil over high heat until sauce is thick and reduced to about 1 cup. Discard the bay leaves and keep warm until chicken is ready.

Serve with rice and top with lots of sauce.


RECIPE: Dairy-Free Clam Chowder (my life is complete)

If you’ve read this blog for a while, you know my deep love of clam chowder. In fact, the only time I came close to crying when I learned I was allergic to dairy was when I realized that meant I could never have clam chowder again.

Hey, I really like clams. And bacon. And potatoes,celery,onions and carrots.

It was a long, sad, pathetic year before Matt figured out how to make a dairy-free clam chowder that was as good as our old, cream and butter- filled recipe. I knew there was a reason I married him.

We had a few misses and some “something’s missing” versions before getting it right.

And this recipe is right. So, so right.

The only thing that will tell anyone eating it that it’s missing dairy? The color isn’t quite white. Not even close. But one spoonful and no one will care.

AMAZING Dairy Free Clam Chowder

half pound bacon, cut into bite-sized pieces (if you are allergic to dairy, be sure to purchase either locally processed bacon or bacon labeled “casein free”)
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 celery stalks, diced into 1/4 inch pieces
2 carrots, chopped
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups chicken stock (if you are allergic to dairy, be aware that chicken stock, bullion and base almost always contain dairy. The Kitchen Basics brand of stocks and broth is safe. Or just ake you own veggie stock and use that)
2 (10 ounce) cans chopped clams in juice (strain out clams, reserve juice)*
1 cup coconut milk (use canned coconut milk, like Taste of Thai)
2 bay leaves
1 pound baby red potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
Red wine vinegar to taste
Salt and pepper to taste

In a cast iron skillet or French oven, cook bacon until crispy. Reserve 2 tablespoons of bacon fat.
In a large pot, heat the reserved 2 tablespoons of bacon fat over medium-high heat. Add the onion, celery and carrots and saute until softened.
Stir in the flour. Stir for a minute so flour heats through.
Add the chicken stock, the juice from the clams (reserve clams for step 7), coconut milk, bay leaves, and potatoes. Stir to combine.
Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly.
Reduce heat to medium-low; cook 20 minutes, stirring frequently, until potatoes are tender.
Add clams and bacon, cook 2 more minutes.
Season with vinegar, salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with sour dough bread.


And then everything changed

About the same time I “temporarily” closed this blog 14 months ago, I also learned I was allergic to dairy.

Oh. God.

Goodbye cheese.
Goodbye milk.
Goodbye ranch dressing, ice cream, most chocolates and butter.
Goodbye yogurt (yes, even yogurt)
Goodbye store bought bullion and bases and broth.
Goodbye non- kosher meats (seriously.)
Goodbye goat cheese. And sheeps cheese and “moisturizing milk and honey” soap.
Goodbye margarine and sour cream and canned soups.
Goodbye baking and cooking as I knew it.

A lot has happened over the last year, but most importantly, Matt and I have completely relearned how to make food. And make it good. Really good.

So from now on, that’s what you’re gonna find here: dairy-free recipes that taste like you’d expect on this blog.

Dairy-free recipes everyone wants to eat.

I will leave the old ones up, too. Just because I can’t eat them anymore doesn’t mean you can’t. But all the new ones will be completely free of whey and casein.