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Adobong Atay ng Manok

Adobong atay or Chicken Liver Adobo is a variant of the Filipino classic adobo which involves simmering in a sweet, sour and salty savoury sauce made with vinegar, soy sauce, oyster sauce and peppercorns. Seared chicken liver pieces greatly compliments the tanginess of the sauce with little hints of heat from the peppercorns.

ADOBONG ATAY NG MANOK (CHICKEN LIVER ADOBO)

I know a lot of people do not like chicken liver or “atay”. Little did they know that they are missing out on a lot of great dishes involving chicken liver. With just the right size, right dish and right compliments, chicken liver can also bring out the best on a wide range of dishes.

Chicken liver has a unique texture when cooked. When cooked perfectly, the insides of the liver is smooth and silky to the feeling, almost resembling the smoothness of butter. When over-cooked, the texture might be chalky or grainy and might have a bitter after taste. Chicken liver has a slightly bland taste, making it a good compliment to other dishes. To make a better depiction on how tasty a chicken liver is, I looked up on the internet on some opinions.

Some say that chicken liver has a “mild taste with a slightly grainy texture and has a soft meaty squishiness with a rich flavor”. Other comments include “pleasant gaminess but is not overwhelming”. Some may describe liver that it taste like metal purely because the chicken liver is abundant on the micronutrient copper which gives the metallic taste. If you are still not convinced that chicken liver is tasty and not as bad as you think, proceed on reading this article.

We commonly used chicken thighs and legs when we cook our adobo at home. But there was this one time the my grandfather had a great deal with chicken liver and bought a lot for a way cheaper price.  We tried different recipes on it: grilled, breaded and fried and many more. I remember eating chicken liver as my breakfast, lunch and dinner for three days straight! We really like the breaded then fried chicken liver though. But we started to ran out of ideas on how to cook the chicken liver without getting too tired of it. My grandmom specifically requested to make a saucy dish out of it.

We kept thinking on recipes which will be appropriate for the texture of the chicken liver. Chicken adobo is a comfort and safe dish for me and for my other family members. Since the liver is slightly bland, a nice dash or savoury saltiness would enhance the chicken liver. We tried on making chicken adobo liver. I would admit that it tastes quite unique since this was the first time we used pure chicken liver for adobo. When cooked and season perfectly, it actually tastes good! This recipe may not be popular but as more and more people try it, I think chicken liver adobo will soon get the recognition it deserves.  

HOW TO COOK ADOBONG ATAY NG MANOK

Cooking adobong atay ng manok is just like cooking your regular adobo. You start by preparing the chicken liver. Wash the liver and slice it to smaller serving sizes. While preparing the other ingredients, let the chicken liver pieces rest in a strainer to remove excess liquid. An extremely wet meat may cause a lot of oil splashing. Chop the ginger and onions and then mince the garlic. Heat some oil in a pan and then sauté the vegetables for a few minutes. Add the chicken liver pieces and sauté until the water comes out of it. Continue cooking and wait until the water is reduced.

Add the sauce seasonings starting with the ground black pepper, oyster sauce and soy sauce. Stir gently to incorporate the flavor not just in the sauce but also in the chicken liver pieces. Add the vinegar. Do not stir to avoid the raw taste of vinegar. It would make the sauce bitter. Cover the pan and allow the dish to simmer under medium heat. Some people wants a hint of sweetness in their adobo. It is optional to put a teaspoon of sugar but in this recipe, we will add sugar. The adobo is nearly prepared during this stage.

For those who prefer dried adobo, continue cooking until the sauce dries up. This will leave you a very tasteful liver pieces and a sauce which is almost all oil. For those who preferred saucy adobo, remove the sauce from the pan and set it aside. Put the pan back to the heat and continue sautéing for a few minutes. When done, combine the liver pieces and the sauce and place it in a serving dish. Serve the chicken liver adobo with rice and enjoy eating.

There are a lot of other ingredients that you can add to enhance this dish. Some of my recommendations would be cheese, cream, pineapple tidbits and vegetables for a more colourful one. Add some chilies if you like it spicy. I would also like to suggest a combination of chicken liver pieces and pieces of gizzard turned into adobo for added variety in texture. Decorate it how you like but always remember to enjoy the dish.

Adobong Atay ng Manok

Course: Chicken Recipes
Servings

6

servings

Ingredients

  • 1 thumb-sized ginger, chopped

  • 1 medium-sized onions, chopped

  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced

  • 600g chicken liver, washed and strained

  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce

  • ¼ cup soy sauce

  • 1/3 cup vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)

  • cooking oil for sauteing

Directions

  • Heat oil in a pan. Sauté the chopped ginger until light brown. Add the chopped onions and minced garlic. Sauté. Add the chicken liver. Sauté until water comes out and becomes light brown. Cook until the water is reduced. Add the ground black pepper, oyster sauce and soy sauce. Stir a little until combined.
  • Add the vinegar. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes under medium heat. [Optional] Add the sugar and stir gently. Continue cooking until the sauce is reduced.
  • If you prefer dried adobo, cook until the sauce dries up. If you want saucy adobo, separate the sauce from the chicken liver then put the liver back to heat. Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes until browned. When fully cooked, place the chicken liver back to the sauce.
  • Serve with rice and enjoy.

Watch how to Cook Adobong Atay ng Manok

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