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Chicken adobo recipe

Well, dear people, all good things come to an end and our trip to England came and went too quickly.  We had such a good time and just as importantly, we traveled there and back in one piece.  But there was way too much to see and I am already thinking about when we can go back.  Even the food was better than expected!  I didn’t say it was the most nutritious fare, but we had very delicious meals.  I used to get stressed out about eating on vacation since it isn’t always easy to find kale salads and date-sweetened muffins when you’re away.  I have since let that thinking go since I realize that that kind of negative thinking can’t be doing anything good for my body.  However, this trip I think I may have “enjoyed” the local cuisine a little too much.  It’s one thing to eat a scone and it’s another to eat three.  At one time.  With clotted cream.

Alas, I eagerly pulled out my juicer as soon as I returned home and got back to a simpler way of eating.  It’s a weird feeling for me to not cook at all for 8 days, so I was perfectly happy to get back in the kitchen and make all my familiar staples, quinoa and millet, almond milk, and lots of fresh veggies.  For our first dinner home I made chicken adobo, one of the easiest things I can make that everyone likes.  It is a traditional Filipino dish where chicken or pork are braised in vinegar and soy sauce with garlic. It’s a little sour, a little salty and a touch of sweet.  And the soy really tenderizes the chicken so that it’s super soft.  I usually shred it for the kids and serve it over rice with a green vegetable on the side.  Simple dimple!

This dish is really only made with thighs and/or drumsticks and there’s a reason for that.  Breast meat gets too dried out when simmered.  I tried this with breast meat and it just wasn’t as good as the dark meat.  What I will say is that because the sauce is dark, no one will know that the thighs are thighs and not white meat.  I have made a few variations of chicken adobo and I’m giving you the easiest here with boneless, skinless chicken pieces.  If you use pieces with the skin, you’ll end up having to brown the chicken to start in order to render some of the fat from the skin and to make it look more attractive (rubbery chicken skin gives me the creeps.)  My family doesn’t eat the skin anyway so it was an easy decision for me to leave it out.  This isn’t the most beautiful chicken dish you’ll ever eat, but I make no apologies because it’s very tasty and beyond easy!  Also, it’s way more healthful to cook animal protein in a liquid or by steaming.  A few carcinogens are created anytime animal protein comes into contact with high heat, like a pan or a grill.  Total bummer, but that’s the facts.

I think you could also make a chicken adobo rice “bowl” with a big scoop of rice, shredded chicken and some steamed or roasted vegetables with a few spoonfuls of sauce on top.  Believe me, no matter how you make it, this is a no-brainer for a busy weeknight especially if you’ve been on vacation from the kitchen for a bit!


5.0 from 1 reviews
Chicken Adobo
Serves: 6
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar or white vinegar
  • ¼ cup naturally brewed soy sauce or shoyu or GF tamari (I like Ohsawa)
  • 4 whole garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • 2 pounds skinless chicken thighs and/or drumsticks, bone-in or boneless* (I used 8 boneless thighs)
  • ⅓ cup water
  1. Mix vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, bay leaves and peppercorns in a container just small large enough to hold the chicken, such as a glass mixing bowl or a small Pyrex. Cover and marinate 1 hour to overnight. Longer is better.
  2. Transfer chicken and marinade to a medium or large saucepan with a tight-fitting lid and add water. Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer and cook covered for 30 minutes.
  3. Uncover, raise the heat and gently boil an additional 10 minutes to reduce sauce. Serve hot over steamed rice.
*Breasts don’t work well here. Skin-on chicken is fine, but the skin doesn’t look attractive unless you broil or brown it after.


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  1. Hello!
    I have 2 questions:
    *Do you also serve with sauce?
    *If you cook in slow cooker; is the marinade time still necessary?

    • I usually take a little of the sauce to moisten the meat. I also still marinate but you may be able to do without since the slow cooker cooks in the mixture for such a long time!

      • Pamala,
        My husband and I enjoy this recipe! Tonight rice, chicken, sauce topped with steamed broccoli. Makes a wonderful bowl.
        Thanks again for another Great recipe!

        • Lovely balanced meal! So glad you enjoyed it 🙂

  2. Hi Pamela,

    Do you think that all or part of the soy sauce could be replaced with coconut aminos?

    • I do think so! I haven’t tried it so I can’t say for sure, but I have never had a recipe not work when I swapped coconut aminos for soy sauce.

      • Thanks! I’m determined to try it and will let you know how it turns out.

        • Great!

  3. Could this be made in a crockpot?

    • Sure! I would make sure you do not have any skin on the chicken though. Low for 6-7 hours. High for 4-5.

  4. This may be a silly question but when I transfer the chicken to a pan do I add the marinade or just the chicken plus water?

    • Not a silly question! Transfer everything – chicken and marinade – to the pan. I just edited the recipe to be more clear. Thank you!

  5. We made this tonight, and it was YUMMY! My kids loved it, and it was so simple! Thank you for this recipe…I have had adobo before, and it was always so salty. This recipe was a perfect balance of flavors.

    • I’m so glad you thought so, Andy! This is one of my go-to weeknight dinners during the school year.

  6. Can u help me find the coconut rice recipe. Would love to try.
    Thank u.

  7. Hi, I would love to try the coconut rice… But can’t seem to fine the recipe on your site. Please help. Thank you!!

  8. I wonder how this would work with pork tenderloin, would the cooking times or methods change? It sounds delicious, I just cook with chicken so much that I need to find ways to mix it up.

    • Pork is very often used in adobo, but I think you would have to cook it longer. I’ve seen recipes using pork shoulder, butt, belly, ribs. I bet the tenderloin would be great in the slow cooker. Check Foodily to see what recipes they have for pork in adobo.

  9. Another good chicken recipe! I am always looking for quick and easy ones. Thanks!

    • One of the easiest I’ve made! Kids love it!

  10. currently in the process of making this dish! do you think your coconut rice would go nicely with this?? about to start the rice & debating on adding water or coconut milk!

    • Heck yes! Perfect!

  11. I used to make chicken adobo all the time and then it just fell off the roster. Your recipe looks and sounds delicious. This might just have to be dinner tonight…

    • My kids love it and it’s ridiculously easy. SInce you’ve made it before, you know you can add lots more garlic if you like or throw in a spicy pepper. Sooooo easy!

      • Delicious Pamela! Added more garlic but held off on the spicy pepper – 3yr old and 6yr old not big fans of heat!

        • Same with my little guy. So glad you tried it and enjoyed it! Thanks, Naz!

  12. Cannot wait to try this!!!

    • I hope you do!

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I come from a large Italian-American family with 28 first cousins (on one side of the family!) where sit-down holiday dinners for 85 people are the norm (how, you might ask – organization! But more on that later …).

Some of my fondest memories are of simple family gatherings, both large and small, with long tables of bowls and platters piled high, the laughter of my cousins echoing and the comfort of tradition warming my soul.

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