Chicken Adobo: A Flavorful Filipino Dish

Chicken adobo is a beloved Filipino dish known for its rich and savory flavors, tender meat, and slightly tangy sauce. It’s a classic comfort food that’s relatively simple to prepare, making it a favorite in Filipino households and a popular introduction to Filipino cuisine for newcomers. Here’s a step-by-step guide to cooking chicken adobo:


  • Take 2 pounds of chicken pieces I.e. leg, thigh or both at once.
  • 1 onion, peeled and sliced
  • Have 4 to 5 cloves of peeled and minced garlic.
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup vinegar (white cane vinegar or apple cider vinegar)
  • 1 cup water or chicken broth
  • Take 1 tablespoon of cooking oil which can be vegetable or canola in nature.
  • Salt, to taste



Marinate the Chicken

In a bowl or a resealable plastic bag, combine the chicken pieces, soy sauce, minced garlic, bay leaf, and black peppercorns. Allow the chicken to marinate for at least 30 minutes, or ideally a few hours, in the refrigerator. This step helps infuse the meat with flavor.

Sear the Chicken

Heat the cooking oil in a large, deep skillet or pot over medium-high heat. Remove the chicken from the marinade, shaking off any excess liquid, and place it in the skillet. Sear the chicken pieces on all sides until they are lightly browned. This step adds depth to the overall flavor of the dish.

Add Onions and Garlic

Push the seared chicken to the sides of the skillet and add the sliced onions to the center. Cook the onions until they become translucent and slightly caramelized. Stir the minced garlic and then also cook it for more an additional minute until it gets fragrant.

Deglaze the Pan

Pour in the marinade from the chicken, including the bay leaf and peppercorns. Let the liquid come to a gentle boil and allow it to cook for a couple of minutes. This step helps to deglaze the pan, incorporating the flavorful bits stuck to the bottom.

Add Vinegar and Water/Broth

Pour in the vinegar and water or chicken broth. Stir well to combine the ingredients. The vinegar contributes the characteristic tangy flavor to the adobo.

Simmer and Cook

Cover the whole skillet and also reduce the overall heat to medium-low. Allow the chicken to simmer and cook for about 30-40 minutes, or until the meat is tender and fully cooked. To prevent sticking and to make sure that cooking is done evenly then stir it occasionally.

Adjust Seasoning

Try to adjust the seasoning with some salt if you feel the sauce’s taste is up or down. The soy sauce and marinade might already provide enough saltiness, but you can add more to taste.

Final Touches

Once the chicken is tender and the flavors have melded, you can choose to do a couple of things:


For a thicker sauce: If you’d like a thicker sauce, you can remove the chicken from the skillet and continue to simmer the sauce, uncovered, until it reaches your desired consistency.


For a crispy finish: If you prefer a slightly crispy texture, you can transfer the chicken to a baking sheet and broil it in the oven for a few minutes till the whole shin becomes crispy in nature and also golden in color.

Serve and Enjoy

Serve the chicken adobo over steamed white rice. The flavorful sauce pairs perfectly with the rice, creating a satisfying and comforting meal.

Garnish and Variations

You can garnish your chicken adobo with chopped fresh cilantro, green onions, or a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds for added flavor and visual appeal. Additionally, some variations of chicken adobo include ingredients like potatoes, hard-boiled eggs, or coconut milk, which introduce even more layers of taste and texture.

Chicken adobo is a versatile dish that you can easily customize to your preferences. Whether you’re enjoying it as a weeknight dinner or preparing it for a special occasion, this Filipino favorite is sure to delight your taste buds with its harmonious blend of savory, tangy, and aromatic flavors.

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