"How come when I cook, it doesn't taste as good as this?" my husband asked me over dinner.
"Uh, I have a secret ingredient" I said.
"I add tons of LOVE" I said in jest.
Shaking his head he said: "Never mind, I just want to tell you that you have a knack for turning a simple home cooked meal such as this look so special"
So let me share with you what my husband calls: simple homecooked meal that look so special... but where I come from this dish is what we call Estufadong Manok:
1 whole chicken or leg quarters
2 tbsp cooking oil
1 onion quartered
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup soy sauce
3-4 tbsp white wine (cane vinegar is used traditionally)
1 1/2 cup chicken broth
1 stalk celery
2 medium sized carrots
2 medium potatoes, sliced
3 bay leaves
black pepper and salt to taste
Marinate chicken overnight with soy sauce, lemon and pepper. (You could also shorten this part by marinating it for 30 minutes and it should be fine. (Left over Rotisserie Chicken works perfectly for this dish too)
In a pan, brown the potatoes and carrots. Set aside. In the same pan, brown chicken quarters, set aside. Saute garlic and onions, put back the chicken quarters. Add a dash of pepper and 2-3 bay leaves. Give it a quick stir. Add the soy sauce, white wine or vinegar, and chicken stock,Make sure to deglaze the pan. Those brown bits add flavor. You may add the celery at this time and throw in some carrots (leave some for later). Now all you have to do is simmer it for 30 minutes, or until chicken is cooked. Bring back the potatoes and carrots until they are cooked. To thicken the sauce, add bread crumbs until you've achieved a slightly thick gravy like sauce. Enjoy!