Adobo: How to Make Filipino Chicken Adobo

Traditionally, the Chicken Adobo dish is cooked in clay pots, but today, Filipinos cook Chicken Adobo in bigger metal pots or woks. Filipinos experienced this traditional Filipino cooking technique when the Spanish invaded and settled in the Philippines during the 16th century and called it Adobo, which is the Spanish term for a marinade.

Adobo has a lot of varieties, which includes using different meats. The cooking method of Adobo is of mixed heritage. Today, many regional types of Adobo recipes include vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, bay leaves, and black pepper.

The meat is marinated and then stewed in a flavorful sauce. A bowl of white rice is the best pair for Adobo.


  • Author: Romae Chanice Marquez
  • Recipe Category: Main Dish
  • Cuisine: Filipino Cuisine

This recipe uses chicken as meat. The dish is prepared using the “Inadobo” style of cooking that uses vinegar to add more flavour to the bowl. The whole preparation and cooking time is 45 minutes if you decide not to marinate the chicken overnight. This recipe serves at least four people.

Chicken Adobo is best served with white rice. Photo credits: @silverwhisk_cookingschool.

Chicken Adobo Recipe Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 6-8 cloves of garlic, smashed with the side of a knife, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs

Chicken Adobo Recipe Instructions

Step 1: Pour the soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, black peppercorns, and bay leaves into a large pan. Nestle the chicken thighs, side down, into the pan.

Step 2: Bring the liquid to a boil over high heat and then cover, and simmer over low heat. Do this for 20 minutes.

Step 3: Turn the chicken over, and then cover and simmer for another 10 minutes.

Step 4: Increase the heat to high and return the sauce to a boil. Uncover the pan until the liquid reduces by half and thickens.

Step 5: Serve with steamed white rice.

Chicken Adobo Recipe Additional Information

  • Per serving has 107 calories, 4.98 g of fat, 2.48 g of carbohydrates, and 11.88 g of protein. If you are using more massive chicken thighs, it has a total of 135 calories and 8.45 g of fat.
  • Another variation of Chicken Adobo: Transfer chicken thighs, skin side up, to a foil-lined sheet pan, when the sauce reduces. Brown chicken thighs underneath the broiler for 3–5 minutes.
  • You can use freshly ground pepper instead of using whole peppercorns.
  • It is optional to marinate the chicken before cooking.
  • Serves up to 4, with a 45-minute prep/cook time.

About Chicken Adobo Recipe

Back in the day, when the Spaniards came to the Philippines, they witnessed a style of cooking that preserves the meat using vinegar in the 16th century. Adobo uses the acid in the vinegar and the soy sauce’s high salt content to create an undesirable bacteria atmosphere. Its delicious flavour and quality preservation served to enhance the popularity of adobo.

Although fundamental Chicken Adobo components are available, you may discover other ingredients included. Vinegar and soy sauce are the core ingredients of Adobo, but other liquids or sauces have been added to the brine from time to time over the centuries.

Some varieties include coconut milk, mixing the vinegar and soy sauce’s robust flavours. Other recipes also add sugar to add sweetness and teriyaki-like flavour. Depending on the type of vinegar used, the adobo flavour may also vary. Coconut vinegar, rice vinegar, or cane vinegar are the most frequently used juices in the Philippines.


Like any other cuisine, Filipino cuisine talks more about their culture and heritage. Today, Chicken Adobo has gained popularity all over the world because of its unique flavour that makes you feel at home. For more chicken recipes, click here.

Featured Image: @theworksoflife / Instagram, @seonkyounglongest / Instagram