I've never been to the Philippines, but I know several Filipinos, and they are all wonderful cooks! This is a pretty traditional dish, and, as my father would say, "the flavors explode in your mouth". It's true! This is a super easy meal that will have your family believing you've been slaving over your stove for hours on end. Serve it over a bed of your favorite rice. Serve it on its own. Even turn it into a salad if you'd like. In fact, invite your neighbors over for a mid-week dinner party. It's that good. Just don't tell anyone it's that easy; it'll be our little secret!
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup white wine vinegar
1 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 garlic cloves, chopped
3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 dried bay leaves
3 tablespoons arrowroot (or cornstarch)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
In a large nonstick, high-sided skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Add the chicken to the pan and brown on all sides, about 5 minutes.
In a medium bowl, combine the chicken stock, vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, garlic, red pepper flakes, and bay leaves. Whisk until the sugar has dissolved.
Pour the liquid into the skillet with the chicken and bring to a boil, scraping up with a wooden spoon the browned bits that stick to the bottom of the pan. Reduce the heat and simmer, turning the chicken occasionally, for 35 minutes, until cooked through.
Remove the chicken from the cooking liquid and arrange on a serving platter. Discard the bay leaves. Whisk the arrowroot and lime juice into the cooking liquid and bring to a boil. Cook until the mixture thickens, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Pour the sauce over the chicken or serve alongside as a dipping sauce. Sprinkle the chicken with cilantro and garnish with lime wedges. Serve over a bed of rice.
Recipe adapted from Weeknights with Giada, by Giada de Laurentiis.