This garlicky, vinegary chicken adobo is a beloved dish in the Philippines—and a weeknight staple in my house. Cooking it for my family is just one of the ways I preserve my Filipino heritage and culture for my kids. Traditional recipes will have you simmer the whole thing on the stove top, but I find that braising it in the oven yields more tender meat—and less cleanup. If chicken isn’t your thing, feel free to swap in pork or beef (so long as it’s bone-in), or make the whole thing vegetarian; if you go that route, pick something that can stand up to the braising, like broccoli, cauliflowers or carrots. —Amelia Rampe
Test Kitchen Notes
This chicken adobo is well-seasoned, flavorful, and absolutely delicious. I stored the leftovers in a container with the remaining sauce from the dish, and the next day it was too salty (probably because it was bathing in it all night!) Place any leftover chicken in one container and the adobo sauce in a separate container. Reheat separately, and spoon desired amount of sauce over the chicken. —KristinaVanni
- Prep time 5 minutes
- Cook time 1 hour 15 minutes
- Serves 4 to 6
skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs (about 3 pounds)
freshly ground black pepper, plus 1 tablespoon, divided
soy sauce, plus 3/4 cup, divided
unseasoned rice vinegar
raw sugar (Demerara sugar will also work)
head garlic, cloves peeled, thinly sliced (about 15 cloves)
red chile flakes
steamed white rice (for serving)
scallion greens, sliced on a diagonal (to garnish)
- Heat oven to 350°F. Season chicken thighs with 1/4 cup soy sauce and a pinch of black pepper.
- Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Working in batches if necessary, sear the chicken, skin-side down, until the skin starts to brown and crisp, about 5 minutes. Set the seared chicken aside on a plate.
- To the Dutch oven, add the 3/4 cup soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, garlic, 1 tablespoon black pepper, bay leaves, red chili flake, and 1/2 cup water; bring to a simmer. Return the chicken and accumulated juices to the pan, skin-side up. Cover Dutch oven and transfer to the oven and braise until chicken is cooked through, but not falling apart, about 45 minutes. At this point, the garlic will also be very tender and there will be some chicken fat on the surface.
- Remove the lid and continue to braise in the oven, uncovered, until the meat is very tender and the liquid has reduced to more of a glaze, about 15 to 20 minutes more. Remove from the oven and skim the surface of the liquid to remove some of the fat that has accumulated.
- Serve the chicken over rice. Spoon extra sauce on top, if you like, then garnish with the scallions.