This classic Filipino chicken adobo recipe will leave you in awe. Tender, moist chicken thighs and legs in a perfectly balanced sauce of vinegar, soy sauce, salt and pepper. It will easily be your favorite chicken dish!
Considered as the national dish of the Philippines, Filipino chicken adobo is often in our weekly menu. I have different recipes for adobo where I use sometimes pork as protein or add sugar to the sauce to make it sweeter. I even have a healthier version which is adobong puso ng saging which makes use of banana blossom.
But this adobo chicken recipe that I will share is easier and uses less ingredients. It’s a classic Filipino dish that’s been handed down to me by my mom that is full on flavor even if it’s so simple to make. Enjoy it with steamed rice or boiled potatoes and vegetables.
Chicken parts to use
This chicken recipe works best for chicken thighs either boneless or bone-in. They are great because of fat layers which means they’re going to have more intense, rich flavor. Also, the fat from these chicken pieces transforms the sauce into glaze.
You can also use drumsticks and wings if you want but I would not suggest chicken breast for this recipe.
Notes on some ingredients
- Soy sauce – light soy sauce or regular soy sauce is recommended but not dark soy sauce as it darken the dish too much.
- Vinegar – everyday white vinegar will do or you can also use apple cider vinegar or rice vinegar.
- Onion – white or red onion can be used in cooking the dish.
- Black peppercorns – added for some heat, you can use whole peppercorns or ground black pepper.
- Other ingredients you’ll need are bay leaves (around 3 to 4 pieces) and garlic.
How to cook chicken adobo without marinating
Other recipes require the meat to be marinated for at least 30 minutes. You can actually skip this step but ideally, you have to simmer the meat longer so the flavors from the sauce will seep in.
Heat oil in a deep pan over medium-high heat then sauté garlic and onion. Season the chicken with salt and sear fry for 2-3 minutes each side or until skin is browned but not burnt. Pour in the vinegar, soy sauce, pepper corn and bay leaves and bring to a simmer without covering. This will let the pungent smell from the vinegar to evaporate.
Cover the pan with a lid and continue cooking for 35 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and the sauce is reduced. Taste and adjust vinegar, salt or soy sauce if needed and according to preference. That’s it! Easy yeah?
What does chicken adobo taste like?
Did I already mention “flavorful”. Aside from the tasty, juicy chicken, the adobo sauce has a bit of sourness owing to the vinegar. This is balanced with the saltiness of the soy sauce plus the savory base from sautéed onion and garlic.
How to serve
To make eating Filipino chicken adobo more enjoyable, you can try paring it with steamed white rice or the following:
- Steamed vegetables like broccoli.
- Pour adobo sauce over steamed Jasmine rice
- Cauliflower rice tabbouleh
- Chao fan rice
Tips for an amiable experience
- If you plan to marinate the chicken, marinate it overnight in soy sauce, vinegar, salt and pepper.
- Aside from marinating, you can also boil the chicken in vinegar, soy sauce, salt, pepper and bay leaves until tender. Separate the chicken from the liquid then fry until seared. Add the boiling liquid and cook for 25 minutes.
- Use ample amount of oil to fry the chicken thighs, remember they have fat on them and will render as you go along.
- I like garlicky adobo so do add more if you fancy. I placed a halve head of garlic on the last stages off cooking for more garlic flavor.
The secret ingredient is always LOVE
You may also like
- Adobong Puti is a popular Filipino dish. It is a variation of the classic Filipino adobo, but without the soy sauce.
- Beef Bistek is a Filipino dish derived from beef steak. Made of strips of beef slowly cooked in soy sauce, lemon/calamansi, garlic, and onions. This dish is full of flavors that everyone will enjoy!
- Chicken Afritada with tender and moist chicken! Cooked in tomato sauce with bell peppers, potatoes, green peas, and carrots!
Filipino Chicken Adobo
- 3 pcs chicken thigh with legs (separate drumstick from thighs)
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 cup vinegar
- 1 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 cup water
- 4-5 pcs bay leaves
- 1 tsp whole peppercorn
- 1 large onion (sliced)
- 4 cloves garlic (chopped)
- 2 tbsp cooking oil
- Separate thighs and drumstick by cutting through the joint. Wash thoroughly then season chicken pieces with 1 tsp salt.2 tsp salt, 3 pcs chicken thigh with legs
- Heat oil in a deep pan over medium-high heat. Then sauté onion until translucent the the garlic.1 large onion, 4 cloves garlic, 2 tbsp cooking oil
- Add the chicken parts and sear the skin. Cook for 2 minutes each side or until browned.
- Pour the vinegar, soy sauce, water, salt, peppercorn, and bay leaves. Reduce heat to medium then give it a quick stir to incorporate and bring to a simmer without lid and do not stir.1 cup vinegar, 1 cup soy sauce, 1/2 cup water, 4-5 pcs bay leaves, 1 tsp whole peppercorn, 2 tsp salt
- When the aroma of the vinegar evaporates, cover the pan with a lid and continue cooking for 30-35 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and sauce is reduced.
- Adjust seasoning if needed the remove from heat. Transfer in a serving dish and enjoy. Bon appetit!