Turning leftover chicken adobo into crispy adobo flakes tops my "what to do with leftovers" list. Truthfully, I often make adobo just so I can have the flakes!
Crispy Adobo Flake Tacos
When the vinegar and soy sauce work their way deep into the chicken, you think, of course - this must be a natural combination.
2 lbs pre-cooked chicken adobo pieces
3-4 tbsps chicken fat (preferably saved from a pot of adobo)
8 small soft tortillas
Shredded lettuce and carrots ((or bagged coleslaw mix))
Strips of lightly pickled vegetables ((a great use for homemade atsara))
Green onions (to garnish)
Start with a batch of chicken adobo. If you haven’t made some yet, start here!
The key to making crispy adobo flakes lies in separating the chicken meat from the adobo sauce before it goes in the fridge. Transfer the chicken into one container, and the sauce in another. Chill overnight.
The next day, take the sauce out. It should now have clearly separated into two layers - chicken fat above, sauce below. With a spoon, scrape or lift up the layer of chicken fat and set aside. Keep the remaining sauce for later.
Take out the chicken pieces. Shred the pieces of chicken by hand or with two forks (but let’s be honest, ripping into pieces of chicken is fun). I find this usually takes about 30 minutes.
Place a large skillet over medium heat and melt the reserved chicken fat. Then add the shredded chicken.
The next key to crispy flakes lies in the temperature of your pan. If the heat’s too high, you may risk burning the flakes; too low, and you won't get the "dry" texture you’re looking for. You also need to keep this temperature consistent. To get around this problem, I've learned to listen for the "pop" - basically, if you can hear the tiny "popping" sounds the chicken makes as it sizzles in the pan, you're at a good range. This means you've got the right temperature to extract moisture from the chicken while it continues to brown and crisp.
Once your pan "pops", keep it at that heat and continue cooking for 20 minutes. Swirl the pieces around occasionally using tongs, or as I prefer, a pasta scoop. It does a fine job of turning chunks of chicken into the savoury threads that I crave!
Pop the tortillas into a low oven to warm. Prepare the shredded lettuce and carrots (or bagged mix), pickled vegetables and green onions.
To serve, smear a spoonful of the remaining adobo sauce onto each tortilla. Top with lettuce, carrots and pickled vegetables, adobo flakes and green onions.