Slow cooked Balsamic Chicken aka Soy free Chicken Adobo

       We just had our first teaser of snow here in New Jersey.  Though I’m praying for at least 12 inches, my luck ran out.  Oh wait, let’s see how much is in store tomorrow.  Winter is just starting after all. 
      With the arrival of the colder temperatures, the season also brings along cravings for hearty comfort food.  For a Filipino household in particular, what else can be more homey than a warm Chicken Adobo over streamed white rice?  Considered as the national dish of the Philippines, Adobo, is a pork or chicken stew slow cooked in a concoction of soy sauce, vinegar, garlic and black pepper. Simple yet the flavor is definitely complex and not to mention delectable. 
      The sauce alone mixed with rice is enough to make my children ask for seconds and even more. Can you just imagine the sad faces I got when I told them that we can’t have the dish anymore because of the Child #2 and Child #3’s soy allergy?  Since then, I it became my mission to recreate their beloved Adobo.  After countless attempts, finally, this recipe was born.  By using balsamic vinegar instead of the traditional white cane vinegar, the dish was able to get that familiar sweet and savory notes that soy sauce brings. Not to mention, the deep dark caramelized color.  
         Best part of it is that all the cooking is done in the crock pot.  Just mix, set and walk away. Kain na! (Let’s eat!)
– Roz


4 pcs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts  (cut in half )
6 pcs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2 Tbs. minced fresh garlic
2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup chopped white onions
1 tsp. dried oregano
2 pcs. bay leaf
2 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 tsp. chili flakes

1. Turn on the slow cooker to low.
2. Except for the chicken, combine all the ingredients in the slow cooker.
3. Add the chicken and mix well. Make sure all the pieces are coated with the sauce.
4. Cover and cook for 8 hours.
5. Serve over steamed rice and mixed veggies on the side.

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