Make Ahead

Filipino Chicken Adobo

April  7, 2020
2 Ratings
Photo by [email protected]
  • Prep time 40 minutes
  • Cook time 45 minutes
  • Serves 6
Author Notes

Commonly now known as one of the Philippines most classic dishes, the ubiquitous Adobo is usually one’s introduction to Filipino cuisine. The dish is commonplace in Filipino homes worldwide and there are numerous variations by region but every family has a way they distinctively like it. Some prefer a dryer almost sauceless version while others prefer it in a broth-like thin sauce - some even prefer it a bit sweet with a bit of palm sugar or sweet soy added to it. The beauty behind this dish, and like much of Filipino cuisine, is that there is no singular way to prepare this dish and there are variations like Adobong Puti (“White Adobo”) and Adobong Dilaw (“Yellow Adobo”) with added turmeric sans Soy Sauce, allowing one to explore the vast terrain the land of Adobo has to offer.

Here, I start with the classic traditional Chicken Adobo that I frequently had the pleasure of eating growing up. Though it only requires a few super simple ingredients and boasts an almost effortless easy cooking process, the end result is complex in flavor and always calls for a second serving. As with most Filipino dishes, Chicken Adobo tastes even better the next day and can be cooked ahead of time . —Never Measured

What You'll Need
  • 1/3 cup Coconut or Palm Vinegar
  • 1/2 cup Dark Soy
  • 2/3 cup Light Soy
  • 3 pieces Whole Dried Bay Leaves
  • 1.25 teaspoons Fresh Coarse Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 Whole Bulb Garlic, peeled and mashed
  • 3.5 pounds Chicken Thighs or cut up Whole Fryer
  1. Rinse the Chicken, pat dry and place inside your dutch oven and pour in both the dark soy and seasoning soy. Mix well and let sit in the soy for 15 minutes.
  2. Add in the garlic, black pepper and vinegar and mix well to evenly coat all the pieces of chicken. Let sit in marinade for another 15 minutes.
  3. Place the dutch oven on high heat, uncovered, until it starts to boil. Once it starts to boil reduce heat to medium and let cook uncovered for 15 minutes or so. It is important NOT to mix the chicken or cover the pot during the initial cooking process so the acid from the vinegar softens in flavor. Mixing or covering during the initial cooking process will leave your dish with a pungent and “uncooked” vinegar flavor. You will be able to tell if the vinegar is “cooked” by smelling a bit of steam from the pot. If the vinegar is soft and fragrance and isn’t piercing to the nose, then the vinegar is cooked. At this point, mix well, cover with lid and reduce heat to medium low to cook for another 25 - 35 minutes, depending on your desired tenderness. The chicken will release it’s natural juices and thin out the existing sauce. Our family likes our adobo fairly saucy, but feel free to reduce further based on your preference. This can be made one day in advance of serving as the dish gets even more flavorful the next day. Serve with warm white Jasmine rice.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Neha Kamat
    Neha Kamat
  • Arlene Park
    Arlene Park
  • Never Measured
    Never Measured
  • jdparu

6 Reviews

Neha K. August 3, 2020
I made this just now for lunch and it was spectacular! the tip about letting the vinegar 'soften' first is so important. I had it over steamed red rice and some baby spinach. Marvelous :)
Never M. August 3, 2020
So happy you liked the recipe! Yes, softening the vinegar makes the dish, thank you for trying out my recipe!
Arlene P. April 7, 2020
Thank you - just tried to create this dish, and it was tasty. I love how it isn’t ’soupy’ as other chicken adobo recipes, and the chicken is super flavorful nonetheless. I was surprised at how easy it was to make! Thank you again.
Never M. April 8, 2020
So glad you like the recipe and found it easy to make!
jdparu April 7, 2020
Tried this recipe for the first time and I have to say it’s the best Chicken Adobo I’ve ever made. I’ve been cooking chicken adobo for years but decided to try a different recipe. My kids love it! The little touches like marinating it and not mixing the chicken in the beginning make a big difference in the taste. I personally prefer chicken thighs but you can use breast meat or other chicken parts as well. Also, I added a little extra garlic as my daughter loves it on the sauce.
Never M. April 7, 2020
Thank you so much! Glad the kids like it!