Chicken Adobo is easy on prep yet big on flavor. Braised in vinegar, soy sauce, and garlic, this Filipino stew is a delicious medley of savory tastes you’ll love with steamed rice!
Chicken adobo is one of the many variations of the classic Filipino-style of cooking. Like its pork counterpart, this chicken version is made by braising the meat in a mixture of soy sauce, vinegar, and aromatics such as onions, garlic, peppercorns, and bay leaves.
Like most popular dishes, there are many ways to cook this stew. Some recipes include a small amount of sugar to balance the salty and tangy flavors of the dish with a hint of sweetness or minced chili peppers for a kick of heat. Other recipes add liver spread for a richer flavor, use tamarind in place of vinegar, or replace soy sauce with fish sauce.
Pan-fried potatoes or hard-boiled eggs are also common additions to extend the dish.
Adobong manok is the perfect meal you’d want on your weeknight dinner rotation. It requires simple pantry ingredients, cooks in one pan, and is ready in minutes yet tastes like you slaved in the kitchen all day long!
The incredibly tender, flavorful chicken smothered in a boldly-flavored, savory sauce is sure to be a winner at the table. The combination is pure heaven on heaps of steamed rice!
- To quickly peel the skin, crush the garlic clove with the flat side of a large knife blade to loosen the peel.
- Although boneless chicken can be substituted, bone-in delivers the best flavor. Use a whole chicken cut up into serving pieces or your choice of parts such as legs or thighs.
- To ensure a good sear, drain the chicken well and use a wide pan or cook in batches if necessary. Properly browning the meat gives the dish an incredible depth of flavor.
- Make sure to “cook-off” the strong vinegar flavor by allowing it to boil uncovered and without stirring for a few minutes before adding the marinade and water.
- Potatoes are optional but they’re a delicious way to extend the dish. I like to pan-fry and brown them first before adding to the adobo for better texture.
How to serve
- Chicken adobo is traditionally enjoyed with steamed rice for lunch or dinner, but can also be served for breakfast as a silog meal with garlic fried rice and sunny-side-up eggs.
- Stored properly, leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- To reheat, place in a wide pan and heat to an internal temperature of 165 F.
- 2 large potatoes, peeled and sliced into rounds
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1 head garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 onion, peeled and sliced thinly
- 1/2 teaspoon peppercorns
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/4 cup oil
- 1 (3 to 4 pounds) whole chicken, cut into serving parts
- 1/2 cup vinegar
- 1 cup water
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a bowl, combine chicken, soy sauce, onions, garlic, peppercorns, and bay leaves. Massage onto meat and place in the refrigerator to marinate for about 30 minutes. Drain chicken well, reserving liquid.
- In a wide, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add the potatoes and cook, turning as needed, until lightly browned and halfway tender. With a slotted spoon, remove the potatoes and drain on paper towels. Remove excess oil from pan except for about 1 tablespoon.
- Add chicken including onions, garlic, and bay leaves and cook, turning occasionally until chicken is lightly browned.
- Add vinegar and allow to boil, uncovered and WITHOUT stirring, for about 2 to 4 minutes.
- Add the reserved marinade and water and stir to combine. Allow to a boil for 2 to 3 minutes. Lower heat, cover, and simmer for about 20 to 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.
- Add potatoes and cook until potatoes are tender and sauce is reduced. Serve hot.