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
Heat oven to 350° F. Season chicken thighs with 1/4 cup soy sauce and 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 caramelize, about 5 minutes.
Flip the chicken skin-side up. Add 3/4 cup soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, garlic, 1 tablespoon black pepper, bay leaves, red chile flake, and 1/2 cup water; bring to a simmer. 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 sprinkle with scallions.