“The cure for anything is salt water - sweat, tears, or the sea.” (Isak Dinesen)
The weeks following the hurricane were sleepless and draining trying to lend support, but I knew the work we were doing was making a difference, even if just one donation at a time or one family visited at a time. However, I think I jumped into “GO-mode” so quickly that I’m not sure I ever really gave myself time to process everything going on. So last Wednesday, I kinda broke. As I walked home in the blustering Nor’easter, I pulled my jacket collar tightly around my face and used everything I had to hold back my emotions. All I kept thinking about were the families and people who had just suffered so much in our surrounding areas, and now they were being hit with a blanket of snow coming down in 40 mph winds.
My heart broke. It’s wasn’t fair.
As soon as I came through my apartment door, I dropped everything and did the only thing I knew how to do when I can’t think straight—I called my Momma.
And I wept.
Tears of sadness. Tears of frustration. Tears for those who were all cried out.
Adapted from: Giada DeLaurentiis, Food Network
- ¾ cup white wine vinegar
- ¾ cup soy sauce
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- ¼ cup white sugar
- 5 cloves garlic, crushed
- ¾ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 12 chicken thighs and drumsticks
- 2 ½ cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 3 tablespoons arrowroot (or cornstarch)
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms (optional)
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from 2 large limes)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
- Lime wedges
- In a medium bowl, combine the vinegar, soy sauce, sugars, garlic, red pepper flakes, and bay leaves. Whisk until well-combined and sugars have dissolved.
- In a single layer 9x13x2 inch baking dish, arrange your chicken pieces and pour the marinade over the chicken. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours (depending on how much time you have), turning the chicken over halfway through.
- Place the chicken and marinade in a large, high-sided skillet or Dutch oven and add the chicken broth. Bring the liquid to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 45 to 50 minutes, turning the chicken every 20 minutes. Using a meat thermometer, check that the thickest part of the meat registers 165 degrees F. Remove the chicken from the liquid and arrange on a serving platter.
- Discard the bay leaves and garlic cloves. In a small bowl, whisk the arrowroot (or cornstarch) and lime juice into the liquid.
- (Add your cup of mushrooms at this point if you would like.)
- Bring the adobo sauce to a boil and slowly pour in the starch liquid, stirring while you pour. Cook until the mixture thickens (about 2 minutes).
- Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour the sauce over the chicken or serve alongside as a dipping sauce.
- Sprinkle with chopped parsley or cilantro, if using, and garnish with lime wedges.
It was a little too salty, and a little too vinegary, so I altered the original recipe to digits above. But sometimes you just need a good cry and a salty meal to heal your heart. It doesn’t make things go away, but it definitely helps you release and recharge.
I am not sure what comes next for me, for NY and NJ, for all of us, but my faith tells me that everything will be alright. Just remember, we have to take care of ourselves in order to have able hands to take care of our neighbors. Eat some adobo, go for a run, listen to the ocean. Gotta strong, my people.