Cooking DiariesFoodMain CourseStew

Chicken Adobo with Merguez

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All the while I live here in Europe, I always find it challenging to cook pork adobo. Definitely, it’s because pork meats here are lean cuts; either there’s only a thin layer of fat or none at all. Pork bellies, in particular, are almost inexistent. And if ever there is, but without much fat that helps caramelize the sauce, the adobo meat is less succulent. So most of the time, I cook chicken adobo instead.

It was less likely a deliberate cooking experiment. It just so happened that I had to finish the remaining merguez in the fridge, otherwise it will be thrown away (and we don’t like wasting food). I thought of serving these sausages as appetizers, but then I got a better idea. After pan-grilling the merguez, I threw these into my simmering chicken adobo.

The end result? The spicy, earthy flavors of merguez enhanced the equally exotic flavors of my chicken adobo. The rendered fat from the sausages made my adobo extra moist and mouthwatering, too. It’s divine!

What is merguez, by the way?

It is a North African fresh lamb sausage that has become popular in Europe. Merguez is made with uncooked lamb, beef or a mix of both stuffed into a lamb-intestine casing. It has a distinct red color and piquant characteristics, thanks to cumin, chili pepper or harissa, and other spices such as sumac, fennel and garlic added to it.

I think other kinds of pork sausages could also be an interesting alternative. Perhaps it’s good to try it out! But for now, I’ll share this one first because I’m pretty proud of this recipe that I discovered myself. Who wouldn’t eh?

Do you want to give this dish a try? You may want to follow this adobo recipe I previously posted here, or if you simply know the drill, just make the usual adobo you know. Then one hour before the adobo gets fully cooked, add these freshly grilled or panfried merguez, so the flavors will blend together. I hope you’ll like it.

Cooking Diaries: Chicken Adobo with Merguez

Cooking Diaries, Food, Main Course, Stew

Cooking Diaries: Chicken Adobo with Merguez


  • 3 to 4 lbs pork (cut in 2-inch cubes) or 3 -4 lbs chicken (cut into serving pieces)
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 to 3 bay leaves, crumbled
  • 2 teaspoons peppercorns (whole)
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 2 teaspoons salt (optional, I do not put it in, it is what the original cook uses)


  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a large pot.
  2. Allow everything sit at room temperature for at least 15 minutes.
  3. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low; simmer for 1 1/2 – 2 hours (leave lid slightly ajar).
  4. Cook merguez sausages, pan-fried or grilled.
  5. After simmering adobo for 1 hour, place the sausages in the pot. Continue simmering for the next hour.
  6. Remove lid and cook 10 minutes more.
  7. Serve with rice.


Have you also discovered new adobo recipes? I’d also love to know!

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