Friday Night Chicken Adobo

A shared meal is something every barbarian loves! You’ve just returned home from raiding your neighbours from across the sea and have returned bountiful to replenish your larder with rare game, spices and exotic liquors. Fresh green, red and yellow vegetables, which have stayed crisp in the hull of your longboat, crunchy to the bite and exploding with juiciness. You have oils for cooking the most elegant of dishes with some left over for massaging the swollen belly of your spouse who is carrying your growing man-child; your barbaric legacy. 

Chicken Adobo

Hail, Home, Victorious!

Yet, something from this arrival is

Amiss? A child with eyes of blue and hair

Of gold, affixed in thrall of screens in glow!

Her homework strewn in ways injurious

Of understanding language, maths or phys-

ics. The problem that her plate is bare

With time spent absent from her parent fellow.

Could you not instead of gaze a glaze

Be sharing a discussion and a drink?

If you engage I think it might amaze

And conversation’s better don’t you think?

So gather round your family and eat.

The company is warmer and a treat.

The week was rough but the assembly of family round a shared meal is worth all of the battles fought to bring home this fowl dish. This quick and easy meal is my take on a cross between a Filipino Chicken Adobo and a Belize Chicken Stew; best served with the ones you love. Bring out stew pot and try The Culinary Barbarian’s, Friday Night Chicken Adobo.


1 large onion, finely chopped

1 green capsicum, roughly chopped

1 red capsicum, roughly chopped

1 whole chicken, cut into pieced

200g pork belly, roughly cubes

¼ cup vinegar

1 cup white wine

2 tbsp soy sauce

2 tbsp sugar

40g, 90% cocoa dark chocolate

I green cayenne chilli, split in 1/2

1 red cayenne chilli, split in half

Spice Paste-

2tsp salt

1tbsp freshly ground black pepper

2tbsp cumin

½ tsp cinnamon 

1 tsp allspice

2 tsp paprika

½ knob of garlic

4 tbsp vinegar


  1. Combine the spices, garlic in a mortar and grind with a pestle, adding 1tbsp of vinegar at a time until a smooth paste is formed.
  2. Segment the chicken into pieces. Remove some of the skin and set aside. Rub the chicken in the spice paste until evenly coated. Cover and set aside.
  3. In a heavy casserole dish or Dutch oven, over high heat, toss in the chicken skin and pork belly. Brown the belly all over and render the fat from the chicken skin and the pork until enough fat as rendered to cover the bottom of the pan. Remove the chicken skin and discard.
  4. Add the onions and capsicum and sauté until slightly translucent. Toss in the chicken pieces, vinegar, wine, soy sauce and the chillies. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
  5. Remove the lid, and press the chicken under the liquid. Add the chocolate and stir. Simmer for a further 15-20 minutes or until the chicken is falling off the bone.
  6. Serve with steamed white rice.