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Filipino Chicken Adobo

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Filipino Chicken Adobo, the national dish of the Philippines is the most delicious chicken braised in vinegar, soy sauce and lots of garlic.


Filipino Adobo Chicken

This Filipino Adobo is an easy, savory chicken dish that has become a staple in my home. As it simmers, your kitchen fills with a sweet and sour aroma that will leave you excited to eat. Not only is it so simple to make, with just 7 ingredients, it’s also incredibly flavorful, and my kids love it! More of my favorite, easy-to-make chicken dishes are these Braised Chicken Thighs with Mushrooms and Leeks and Chicken Thighs with Shallots in Red Wine Vinegar.



My friend Liren of Kitchen Confidante graciously shared her family’s Filipino chicken adobo recipe with me, which I slightly modified to reduce the fat. It has since become a staple in my house. We serve the adobo chicken over white, fluffy rice to make it a complete meal.

What is Filipino adobo sauce made of?

  • Soy Sauce: I like to use low-sodium soy sauce, but regular works too.
  • Vinegar: Use a third cup of apple cider vinegar, white vinegar can also be used.
  • Garlic: Crush a small head of garlic – about eight garlic cloves.
  • Peppercorns: Grind six black peppercorns with a mortar and pestle. If you don’t have whole peppercorns, use about a quarter teaspoon of black pepper.
  • Bay Leaves: You’ll need four bay leaves for extra flavor.
  • Jalapeño: Chop one jalapeñ If you want an extra kick, leave in the seeds and ribs, or remove them for a milder dish.
  • Water: Add a half cup of water to the pot when you simmer the chicken.
  • Chicken Pieces: Remove the skin from 8 chicken drumsticks. Thighs also work. I prefer using dark meat, but if you really want white meat, I’d use bone-in chicken breasts. I remove the skin to make this healthier, but if you prefer skin-on chicken, it will work fine.

How to Make Filipino Chicken Adobo

  1. Marinate the chicken in vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, jalapeño, and pepper overnight. If you’re pressed for time, just marinate it for 4 hours, and it’ll still be delicious.
  2. Simmer: Put the drumsticks, water, bay leaves, and pour the marinade into a deep large skillet or Dutch oven, cover the pot, bring it to a boil and cook on medium-low heat for about 45 minutes.
  3. Reduce: Remove the lid and cook for about 15 minutes until the sauce reduces.
  4. Serve: Discard the bay leaves and serve the chicken adobo with rice.

How to Reheat Chicken Adobo

Leftover chicken will last refrigerated for up to four days. To reheat it, microwave it until warm. You can also freeze it for up to 3 months and thaw it overnight in the fridge.

Filipino Adobo Variations:

  • Protein: I love using chicken, but you can also use beef, pork, seafood, or vegetables. For a pork adobo check out my slow cooker adobo pulled pork recipe here.
  • Soy Sauce: Use coconut aminos if you’re paleo or tamari if you’re gluten-free.
  • Vinegar: Swap apple cider for rice vinegar.
  • Acidity: If the sauce is too sour for you, add a tablespoon of brown sugar or honey to balance it.
  • Pressure Cooker: I’ve gotten a lot of questions about cooking this Filipino chicken adobo in the Instant Pot. I always make it on the stove, but you could try cooking it on high pressure using the poultry button for 25 minutes.

What do you eat with Filipino adobo?

Some side dishes that go beautifully with Filipino adobo are fluffy white rice, brown rice, quinoa or mashed potatoes. You’ll want something starchy to soak up the delicious sauce. A simple green salad or cucumber salad would be the perfect side dish with chicken adobo.


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Filipino Adobo Chicken

4.87 from 44 votes
Filipino Adobo Chicken – Chicken braised in vinegar and soy sauce with lots of garlic. This easy, savory chicken dish has become a staple in my home. As this simmers, your kitchen will be filled with an intoxicating sweet and sour aroma that will leave you anxious to eat.
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Filipino
Chicken braised in vinegar and soy sauce.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 1 hour
Total: 1 hour 10 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
Serving Size: 2 drumsticks


  • 8 chicken drumsticks, on the bone, skin removed
  • 1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce, use gluten-free soy sauce for GF and coconut aminos for Paleo
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 small head of garlic, crushed
  • 6 ground peppercorns
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 jalapeño, chopped (optional)


  • Marinate chicken in vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, jalapeño and pepper, for at least an hour (overnight is ideal).
  • Put chicken, 1/2 cup water, bay leaves and marinade into a deep nonstick skillet and cook on medium-low heat. Cover and cook until the meat is tender, about 45 minutes.
  • Remove the cover and cook an additional 15 minutes, until the sauce reduces.
  • Discard bay leaves and serve over rice if you wish.

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Serving: 2 drumsticks, Calories: 175 kcal, Carbohydrates: 5 g, Protein: 27 g, Fat: 4.5 g, Saturated Fat: 1 g, Cholesterol: 105 mg, Sodium: 820 mg, Fiber: 0.5 g