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Traditional Filipino Chicken Adobo Recipe

One-Pot Filipino Chicken Adobo Is Shockingly Easy to Make

I've never met a cuisine I didn't like, and ethnic dives are among my most regular haunts. But I've never made many of the sought-after dishes at the top of my list: North India's saag paneer, Korea's bibimbap, and Cuban tostones con mojo. I decided it was time to tread through previously uncharted kitchen territory, starting with a wildly underappreciated dish: chicken adobo.

The term adobo can mean many things, but in the Philippines, a Southeast Asian country that's heavily influenced by Spanish and Chinese cultures, it refers to the process of stewing chicken or pork in a vinegar- and soy-based sauce. I can't get enough of the succulent result, which has an intoxicating sweet-and-sour aroma, and the sauce, which is phenomenal with rice.

Filipino Chicken Adobo

Filipino Chicken Adobo


To save some time, ask your butcher to break down a whole chicken into 10 parts (breasts, wings, thighs, and legs, cutting the breast pieces in half).

Filipino Chicken Adobo


1/2 tablespoon neutral oil
1 (3 1/2 pound) whole chicken, cut into 10 parts
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 cup apple cider vinegar
12 cloves peeled garlic
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
4 dried bay leaves
1 scallion, thinly sliced, optional
Steamed jasmine rice, optional, for serving


  1. Add the oil to a large straight-sided skillet or dutch oven; heat over medium-high heat until shimmering. Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel before browning it in the skillet, skin-side-down first. (Work in batches if your skillet isn't large enough to accommodate all of the chicken at once.) Transfer the browned chicken to a plate.
  2. Add the soy sauce and cider vinegar to the skillet, using a wooden spoon to scrape up any brown bits. Add the chicken to the braising liquid, skin-side-down first, then add the garlic, peppercorns, and bay leaves. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to medium-low. Cover the skillet and simmer until the chicken is thoroughly cooked (the meat will be firm, the juices will run clear, and a thermometer inserted will read 165°F), about 20 minutes. Flip the chicken halfway through for even cooking.
  3. Transfer the cooked chicken to a clean plate. Continue to cook the sauce until it's reduced to about 1 cup, about 10 minutes.
  4. Strain the sauce, reserving the garlic cloves, then add the chicken back to the sauce and toss to coat completely. Transfer to a serving platter and garnish with the garlic cloves and scallion. Serve with steamed jasmine rice.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Nicole Perry
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mariavivian mariavivian 2 years
It's actually cooked slightly differently here in the Philippines. My favorite Filipino food is pork adobo. It's cooked slightly different in the Philippines. The liquid is set aside after the pork or chicken becomes tender. Then the meat is fried until its juice comes out. Then the liquid is poured in again. You simmer it until it is slightly dry. Though what is stated in the recipe is also done when you want to eat it immediately. Thanks for featuring Filipino food.
Clint15431905 Clint15431905 2 years
I just came back from spending 6 months in Cebu, There they use suka a coconut vinegar. Not sure how this apple cider vinegar will affect the taste but I know it will not taste the same as the real thing.
Afro2358 Afro2358 3 years
I'm a African American now living in the Philippines, and i made this dish the other day and i must say: "I love this dish".  The only 2 things i added was 2 tbl of brown sugar, and a 1/2 cup of water.  Will make again "very soon".
mariavivian mariavivian 5 years
BTW, try adobo with pork. I like pork adobo better than chicken adobo, although it's less healthy.
mariavivian mariavivian 5 years
Love adobo. But here in the Philippines, the original adobo uses plain coconut, palm or cane vinegar. It tastes differently when apple cider vinegar is used, though it also tastes good. The original adobo tastes less sweet when cooked with coconut, palm or cane vinegar (guess they're available in Asian/Filipino stores). Hope you can try it.
adtafoya adtafoya 6 years
I LOVE chicken adobo!
Susannah-Chen Susannah-Chen 6 years
bluebellknoll, what didn't you like about the results? Maybe there's a way to tweak it this time to make the outcome closer to what you were looking for.
bluebellknoll bluebellknoll 6 years
I made adobo chicken a year or so ago and I didn't like the results. Maybe it's time to try again?!?
franciepants franciepants 6 years
My mom adds a bay whole bay leave to the recipe. Removed before serving.
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