Garlic and a Chicken…Carcass

A quick trip to my newly discovered gem of a grocer… Mabuhay Asian and Oriental Food in Topeka, KS… changed my world yesterday. After taking a look at my recipes and loading me up with all of my “I can’t find these in a normal grocery store” ingredients, the friendly grocer was very pleased to hear that I had started a project that would call for my returned business. He was even more pleased to find out that my project was starting out with food from his very own home country of the Philippines. Who would have thought I would be so lucky! After contributing his own personal adobo recipe and a couple suggestions, he assured me that the recipes I had chosen to begin with were very easy and I would have no problem at all.

In hindsight, the recipes themselves are very easy, but my new Filipino friend and I both overestimated the level at which I, a new self-proclaimed international food adventurist, was beginning. Folks, I began at square 1.

After the Asian Grocery Store, my sous chef and I made a quick spin through Dillon’s to pick up the rest of my groceries. This part of the story could otherwise go unmentioned save the fact that I feel the need to warn anyone who is as new to the garlic buying business as I…

These are “Garlic Bulbs”

This is a “Clove of Garlic”

Several cloves are in one bulb. There is NO need to buy this much garlic EVER.

Now that we have our shopping lesson down, let’s move on to a little history lesson shall we? The 7,107 islands (give or take depending on the tide) that make up the nation known as the Philippines is the same as much of the rest of the world when it comes to food…..what they eat reflects a combination of what they have and who has been there. Though there are several threads of similarities that run through most southeast Asian cuisine, the Philippines have a history that sets them apart. Ruled by the Spanish for over 370 years and by the United States for nearly 50, Filipinos have a sort of hodgepodge of Spanish/American/Chinese/Islander food that makes it different from their southeast Asian neighbors. We’ll come back to this in later posts.

Back to the action…

Aside from being a little time consuming, the lumpia proved to be fairly easy as my new Filipino friend said they would be. We sliced up some veggies, browned some pork, peeled apart some super-super thin lumpia wrappers and off we rolled. By the time it was all said and done, I had 30 lumpia rolled, Chinese spring roll style, on a plate with nothing left to do but fry them up. Since it did take more time than expected, they are still sitting in my freezer awaiting that pan of sizzling oil that I am going to need some moral support to face.

The chicken adobo was seen through from beginning to end and, if I do say so myself, was quite the success. I’ve learned, adobo refers to the marinade of the chicken. Filipinos use this a lot, anything marinaded in a combination of vinegar and soy sauce=adobo. Everything from veggies to chicken to pork to fish to squid can in fact be adobo(ed?).

The adobo, I liked, the chicken part of the adobo, that was a challenge. As I have mentioned before, I’m still a little squeamish with the squishy, and chicken adobo calls for A WHOLE CHICKEN. Thanks to youtube tutorials, a sharp knife, and a room full of encouragers, I am happy to report that I CONQUERED THAT CHICKEN. With minimal gagging and a few heeby jeeby dances around the kitchen, I popped chicken hip bones, sliced through chicken knuckles,  sawed through slimy chicken skin, separated chicken limbs, and removed chicken neck from inside chicken carcass. I’m sparing you the bloody chicken pictures because… I didn’t take any. Not a memory I’m looking to scrapbook anytime soon.

Tonight is lumpia fry night. Come back tomorrow to find out if I’m in the burn unit or not.

Recipes to come!

Ciao for now!

4 Responses to “Garlic and a Chicken…Carcass”
  1. Shasty says:

    The garlic bulk is also referred to a head of garlic 🙂 You can use all that garlic (if hypothetically one did buy that much) by peeling it and tossing it into a food processor (hmmm maybe a gift for you in the future) then mixing it with a touch of olive oil and ~ voila ~ you own container of minced garlic ready to go.

    Many middle eastern recipes (at least according to Aarti Parti) call for garlic AND ginger so you could add some fresh ginger to the processor with some of the garlic and there you go another ingredient prepped!

  2. I LOVE lumpia!!! I had it first at the Krump’s house…their family makes huge batches and we have all been in on the rolling/frying fun!! I am excited to see how you like it! Mmmm…I am now craving it. Love the blog! Post the recipes!!

  3. This is Angela Curry, by the way! Ha! Follow Kari Prekel’s and my blog at

  4. Table for One says:

    I completely agree with Shasty. Mince the remaining garlic, add to olive oil, and save for another dish. I love cooking with garlic. Mmm. If you ever want help cooking, let me know! 🙂 You know I love to cook.


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