Chicken Adobo

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Chicken Adobo Recipe |

This past Monday, Carolyn from All Day I Dream About Food posted this Filipino recipe called Chicken Adobo.  I was just about to decide what to cook for dinner when I saw her post.  I’ve been quite busy lately and I needed something quick and yummy.  Don’t we all need that?  After I check the ingredients for this recipe, I realized I already have everything at home.  Cool, let me try my first Filipino recipe!

Chicken Adobo

As soon as my husband came home, he knew something delicious was in the oven from the smell in our house.  It took less than 1 hour to prepare this chicken dish, rice, and delicious salad with homemade dressing.  This dish was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!   You all have to try this wonderful tasty recipe.  If you are not in the mood for cooking, just keep this recipe in your folder or email it to yourself.  Oh, when you make the dish, be sure to cook extra rice.  We enjoyed this dish so much that I can even cook it again tomorrow.

Chicken Adobo

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Chicken Adobo
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 2
  • 6 chicken thighs with bone and skin (Adults will need at least 2 pieces and the sauce will be enough for up to 8 pieces.)
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 large cloves garlic, sliced
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  1. Rinse the chicken with water and pat dry with paper towel. Combine all the ingredients for Sauce in a large pot (I used my Le Creuset). Make sure the pot is big enough so the chicken will not overlap each other.
  2. Bring the sauce to a boil on medium high heat.
  3. Add the chicken and reduce the heat to medium low. Cover and cook for 30 minutes.
  4. Flip the chicken once half way through.
  5. Set the broiler to high and transfer the chicken, skin side down, onto a wire rack. Place baking pan underneath so it will catch the oil dripping down (line pan with aluminum foil easy cleaning).
  6. Place under the preheated broiler about 4-5 inch below the heat source and broil the chicken for 3-4 minutes on each side. Keep an eye on the chicken so it does not burn.
  7. Meanwhile turn up the stove to high and reduce the sauce until it thickens (Be careful not to burn).
  8. Serve the chicken on a plate and keep the extra sauce in a small bowl. Brush/pour the sauce right before you serve.

Update: Pictures and recipe updated in June 2012

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  1. Yum! This dish looks delicious! I didn’t know Carolyn’s site… I’ll be sure to check out her site! Thank you so much for sharing this Nami! :-)

  2. Oh yummy! I love chicken adobo! I had a Filipino flatmate and cooked the most awesome adobo :) I must try out your version soon! It looks gorgeous with the gold-brown and oh-so-delicious! I also like the way you presented it with rice and black sesame seeds :) Yum~

    • This was my very first chicken adobo, so I don’t know if this is the most authentic way (I also heard depends on regions it’s slightly different). You are lucky your flatmate made one for you! I really enjoyed this chicken. :-)

    • Hi Sandra! Thank you. I like when a VERY delicious dish is easy to cook. I really should have followed Carolyn’s recipe on “3 lb” of chicken. I just didn’t want to defrost 8 chicken thighs (2 Costco package)… mistake!

  3. I’ve just been having a look through your blog, and I think I have a lot to learn about cooking from you :) All of your photos are beautiful and the recipes are really good! I especially love your tofu recipes, thanks :)

  4. hiroko


  5. This looks so yummy I’m sure my family would love this :) And I always want to tell you, but forget I LOVE your yellow pot (my favorite color) it always looks so bright and cool :) need to get one of them in yellow LOL

    • Hi Suzana – for the longest time, I couldn’t choose between yellow and red. My first le creuset was red, a big one. Then I thought maybe yellow looks better and bought 2 yellow (small and medium). But now I regret they are not orange! Help me…. I really, really don’t know what color I like…

      • Hahahha I’m the same way. I can never ever choose between the three LOL Most accessories in my kitchen are red, and I love it. The walls are in the yellow shade :) But when it comes to dishes, pots and such, I just love any of the three. I look first for red, if red is too dark LOL I go for orange, or yellow :) I like that lime green too :) it looks so fresh always!!!

    • Hi Mikaela! I know, I should have defrosted more chicken pieces. So next time I cook, it will be 8 chicken thighs. Then I can enjoy the leftover for next day lunch just like said. :-)

  6. Being Filipino, myself, I can attest that you did a perfect job with this Nami! This definitely reminded me that I haven’t made adobo in a long time and I need to do so very soon!

  7. Chicken adobo is a very popular dish in Hawaii! I love this and never knew how to make it. I just finished making shoyu chicken for dinner and this is very similar (except for the vinegar). I had no idea adobo was so easy! Thanks for introducing me to Carolyn’s site.

    Your photos look awesome by the way! Great lighting on the chicken. It looks so juicy!!

    • Hi Jamie! Hmm your shoyu chicken sounds great too, and hopefully I see it on your blog soon. Thank you about the photo. I put the dish pretty much right next to the window (but not direct sun). But now I should study food styling. Your photos are always great. So much to learn.

  8. I think apple cider vinegar is one of the key ingredients? The only vinegars I have at home is the Chinese (black) vinegar and rice vinegar. I don’t think Chicken Adobo works with these vinegars?

    Anyway, your dish looks delicious!

    • I quickly googled and it looks like apple cider is NOT necessary. I followed original recipe for the vinegar part, so you can try with white vinegar (probably not Chinese one). I just happened to have apple cider vinegar at home. :-)

  9. I always get thrilled seeing non filipinos cooking filipino food and yay on your foodgawker feature. I have a suggestion to get the real authentic “filipino” adobo… try using filipino soy sauce like silver swan brand and filipino vinegar datu puti… you’ll get the adobo just like cooked in a Filipino home

    • Hi Malou! I know how you feel – if someone cooks Japanese food, I get automatically excited too. Thanks for your suggestion. Never seen Filipino soy sauce or vinegar. I’ll go take a look at my nearest Asian store. Hope they have it. Since I love this dish so much I’ll be cooking it a lot, so it’s worth to buy!. 😉 Thank you!

  10. My partner and I have both left home for the first time six months ago. I think we are doing very well in terms of eating balanced meals
    *cough* because of me *cough*
    I am always looking for low cost, easy to make, tasty, healthy weekday recipes. This fits right into what I am looking for. I’m bookmarking this one.
    Congrats on your first foodgawker acceptance!

    • Hi Amy! Thank you and I hope you find something easy & low-cost delicious meals here. Some ingredients are very specific for Japanese food, so I feel bad for everyone to buy just because the recipe requires it or else I have to ask them to omit the ingredinets… I’ll keep working on some recipes that are easy for everyone. I’m all for balanced meals because we have kids. :-)

  11. Hello Nami-san, こんにちは!仙台のアルディです。はじめまして!
    What a neat beautiful blog you have here!日本料理はちょこちょこっと勉強しています ^^; なみさんのレシピから勉強させてください。これからよろしくおねがいしまーす!また遊びにきます!^^

    • Hi Arudhi! 日本からだなんて、嬉しい~!しかも日本語上手。日本語でコメントしますね。仙台にお住まいのようですが、その後どうですか?まだ余震が続いてるそうですね、どうぞお気をつけて下さい。ブログにお邪魔します。また遊びに来てください。Twitterのお誘いもありがとう!

      • 仙台市内は大丈夫です。仙台空港だけは津波で大きな被害を受けましたが、仙台ー東京ー大阪の便はすでにやっています。日本にいらっしゃるご家族は大丈夫ですか?
        余震は東北と関東地方で毎日来ていますので、不安な気持ちがまだありますね。でも、できるだけ毎日通常どおり楽しく過ごします!桜も満開ですし、とてもいい気分になります ^^。 日本の皆さんも早く元気になってほしいですね。

  12. Well done! Excellent! I’m saying this from a Filipino’s point of view. I was so proud of Carolyn when she posted this. Am so proud and pleased that you like adobo and you cooked it like we Filipinos do. Thank you for posting this.

  13. I saw this on Carolyn’s blog.It looked as awesome as yours.Something with so less ingredients came out so good looking.Awesome color on the skin.I always appreciate that you take pictures of so many step and put so much effort.I wish to do it too but not too patient :)
    P.S.- Congrats on FG! I knw its a good feeling :)

    • Thank you Tanvi! Well, I am a visual person, and also can’t really summarize well when the recipe is written in English and too long (haha). So this is more for me as well…and hopefully kids will appreciate my extra work one day when they start cooking (well they are still preschoolers).

    • Hi CG! I know! It’s too simple and hard to believe how delicious it is. There are instant seasonings? No no, you don’t need that, this is pretty good! At first before I eat it, I was afraid it could be too sour. But it wasn’t at all and went well with rice. Enjoy!

  14. This looks delicious and easy to prepare. I definitely need more than 4 pieces at my house with my two big boys. :) Congrats on FG! Looks like your new lense is working. I hope you get many more pictures in there. :)

    • Hi Biren! Oh yeah, even at my house, 4 pieces was a joke (mainly because I wanted to eat more than 1). kids happily shared one piece as it was a pretty big piece. I can’t imagine how much kids will eat when they grow up… Thank you about FG! I need to work on food styling but I can tell you I have no talent in fashion and design… :-(

  15. Hi Anne-Marie! I’m not familiar with palm vinegar so I googled and it is used in the Philippines. I was suggested (from a reader above ) to use Filipino vinegar datu puti, I’ll check at the same time! Thank you for suggestion! I am actually not a big fan of skin, too. But after broil the chicken, the skin got crispy and I’m glad it was still on. Haha. =P

  16. Congrats on the Foodgawker acceptance!! I always get a little burst of happiness when they say “yes”! Well done.
    I saw this on Carolyn’s site and have it marked to make. Thanks for reminding me! Well done!

  17. Nami, Nami, Nami…this is one seriously delicious recipe. Your pictures are off the chain girl! We’re going to Atlanta in July for a family get-together and I want to make this. Thank you in big ol bunches!

  18. Laura

    This looks amazing! Congrats on your first foodgawker acceptance! I’ve been trying to get a photo accepted from them for awhile. You’ve given me hope that one day, I might get something accepted too. Until then, I have tastespotting.

    • Hi Laura! Thank you! Well, my pictures in the past is not so good, so I didn’t even bother submitting… but this particular one is my very first submission with macro lens + with natural light. Hopefully I can take better pictures from now on as the weather seems to get better.

  19. Namiさん、こんにちは。

    • のりこさん、コメント頂き、どうもありがとう。こうして日本語で書けるとなんかホッとします(笑)。そうなの、ご飯が進むので危険な料理です。でもかなり美味しいので、食べちゃいますが(汗)。これからもどうぞよろしくお願いします。

    • Hi Katrina! Thank you for coming to my site and leaving a comment! Yes Carolyn makes great food and sweets. You make really cute sweets too. Your kids are so lucky!

  20. Hi Nami: Wow…what a gorgeous plate of chicken adobe served next to steamed white rice! I haven’t had adobo in ages and now I can’t stop thinking about it with this presentation. I need to surprise my Hubbs next week and make your adobo. Delicious recipe and photo (I could eat that photo!). Beautifully done and congrats on the Top 9 today! =)

  21. Wow, this look incredible delicious! I have all seasonings in the kitchen except chicken, must go buy today and prepared this for dinner today. I love your blog, my kids love Japanese foods and I can learn how to cook it from your blog. Follow you.

  22. Hello DB! How kind to teach me (and other readers) other Chicken Adobo version! Thank you!! I’d love to try different methods as I really enjoyed this food. I live on the opposite side of the bay. We are neighbors! :-)

    • Hi Denise! I assume it’s much harder to get some Asian ingredients in Colorado. But this particular one doesn’t require specific condiments so I’m sure you will enjoy this dish a lot. Thank you for your kind words Denise!

  23. Wow, Nami-Just realized that this amazing Chicken Adobo was Carolyn’s creation. You’ve certainly made her proud of you, and so are we!
    Congratulations on the Top 9, and the Foodgawker acceptance!
    Your photos, are gorgeous, and love your step-by-step directions of this yummy sauce for baking chicken parts:D

  24. Jessica A

    It looks yummy! I just wonder whether it’s OK to use balsamic vinegar instead of apple cider vinegar since I only have balsamic vinegar? Or do you have any suggestion to substitute apple cider vinegar? Thanks! 😀 😀

    • Hi Jessica! I’m so sorry for my late response. I usually or at least try to respond quickly… I wasn’t sure about my answer to your question so I actually Googled it. It looks like there are some people who use balsamic vinegar to cook chicken adobo (not sure if Filipino person would cook this way though). It looks like most people cook with white vinegar. If you are going to cook or already cooked with balsamic vinegar, I’d love to hear what you think of it. :-) Thanks for your comment!

  25. I have a Filipino friend who makes awesome Chicken Adobo, but she is having trouble “sharing” it with me, because she just creates the meal…it’s not written anywhere! I’ve tried it a few different ways, but its never as good as hers; maybe this recipe will do the trick. She serves hers over Jasmine rice, which is delicious!

    • Hi Patty! Haha I have an Indian friend who makes great Indian food, but she doesn’t measure the food so all I know is the ingredients and I don’t know how much seasonings to put! LOL. Well, I hope you like my recipe – this is my first one and I haven’t tried other recipes; however I really like this taste. While cooking I was afraid it might be too sour, but at the end it was not sour at all. :-)

  26. Sheirly

    Hey Nami, thankyou for the lovely recipe.. followed it word by word and i turned out to such hit… I accompanied it with a nice Mediterranean salad, hash brown, mushroom salami garlic saute.. sadly couldn’t take any pics.. but I will next time when i try it out again…Thankyou once again

    • Hi Sheirly! I’m so happy you liked the recipe and thank you for leaving your feedback here. :-) Hmmm I’m interested in your Mediterranean salad! 😉

  27. lexi

    weee. having my favorite food featured here makes me really proud. 😀 this post makes me wanna ask my mom to cook adobo for dinner. you can also try this with pork by the way. 😀

  28. I couldn’t wait so I already have this on the stove right now! :) I only had organic drumsticks (skin-on) and organic thighs (skinless), so I decided to try the recipe with the drumsticks since it seems the skin is crucial in the recipe. Can’t wait to share the outcome :)

  29. Beth

    Was looking for a miso amen recipe and got led into this from your page. The Filipino recipe calls for bay leaves (while boling), trust me it makes all the difference 😉

  30. Angie

    Here’s a few tricks my lola (grandma) used when she makes adobo:

    -Lightly brown the chicken in the pot first (after you pat them dry), so that the sauce will have a richer flavor. Then take them out so you can make the sauce. Once the sauce simmers for while, put the chicken back to let it finish cooking.

    -Add one or two bay leaves

    -Saute a five garlic cloves in olive oil first before you add the rest of the ingredients for the sauce. I know this may sound like a lot, but it makes it makes the dish even better!

    -Use a tsp of whole peppercorns (she said makes it more authentic).

    -Add a tsp (or so) of brown or white sugar to balance out the acidity of the vinegar.

    -If you’d like a richer kind of sauce, try adding a 1/3 cup of coconut milk (try to use a Thai brand if you can find it).

  31. ian

    I’m from the philippines and i tried this it tasted AMAZING :) i sauted the garlic till slightly brown added whole peppercorn and dropped a piece of dried bayleaf let it float around for about 2 minutes and then romoved it. something different from the usual slow cooked adobo i usually make :)

    Ps. Left over sauce makes great fried rice and pasta :)

    • Hi Ian! Thank you for trying this recipe. I had never made adobo before this recipe and I was quite surprising how simple and delicious it was. Some readers suggested above that I should add bay leaves so I now add them. I never thought of leftover sauce for fried rice/pasta! I have to try this!!

  32. Harold Ratliff

    My mother has a similar recipe that she got from a Filipino friend as well. It uses pickling spices and a bay leaf for seasoning but she doesn’t broil the chcicken or reduce the liquid. She also adds thinly sliced pork loin cutlets.
    When I make it, I strain out the pickling spice since some of the spices are whole and quite strong when you bite into them.

    • Hi Harold! Thank you so much for your comment. I actually love the broiling part as the skin gets crispy. :) Your adobo sounds really delicious!!