A Filipino classic, chicken adobo is one of the most flavorful chicken dishes ever. And the best part? It’s EXTREMELY easy to make. With just a few cheap ingredients and very little effort, you too can have a delicious and hearty meal ready in minutes. Winner winner chicken dinner.Jump to Recipe
What is Adobo?
Well, it depends who you ask! Adobo originates from Spain. It originally consisted of meat marinated with spices such as paprika and oregano. When the Spanish colonized the Philippines they encountered a cooking process that involved stewing meat with vinegar, a characteristic that was shared with Spanish adobo. Hence, they called that dish adobo. However, both dishes developed separately and are therefore very different from each other.
Soy sauce – A very common ingredient in Asian cuisine. This is the dish’s only source of salt, as well as one of two primary flavors of this dish.
Vinegar – The other star ingredient of this dish. The sour vinegar helps balance the salty soy sauce out to create an amazing sweet and salty flavor combination. Coconut vinegar is traditional, but almost any other vinegar works as well. White vinegar is the closest substitution. Other good options are apple cider vinegar and rice wine vinegar. However both of those are a little on the sweet side so add half the usual amount of sugar if you use those.
Garlic – It can’t be a filipino dish without a LOT of garlic. Because the garlic is so prominent, garlic powder or minced jarred garlic do not substitute well. Try to use fresh garlic or pre-peeled whole cloves
Peppercorns– Using whole peppercorns to flavor the dish is the traditional way to make it. The peppercorns slowly release their flavor into the sauce as it simmers. But if you aren’t super excited about biting into one of them by accident, freshly ground pepper works similarly.
Easy Authentic Filipino Chicken Adobo
5-6 chicken thighs, bone-in skin on
½ cup soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
4 bay leaves
1 tsp black peppercorns
7-8 garlic cloves
¼ cup vinegar
1 cup water
- Add chicken thighs, soy sauce, garlic cloves, bay leaves, black peppercorns, and sugar in a container. Mix together and let marinate for at least 30 minutes.
- In a lightly oiled pan on medium heat, brown the chicken on each side for about 2-3 minutes.
- Add the marinade as well as a cup of water. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Remove the lid, add the vinegar and simmer uncovered until the sauce is darker and slightly thickened, about 8-10 minutes.