This recipe is an easy, traditional way to make Filipino chicken adobo that's ready in about 30 minutes. It's tender chicken thighs simmered in a sweet, salty, tangy adobo sauce that's made with a handful of simple ingredients.
About This Recipe
Chicken adobo is a popular dish for a reason: the sauce is simple yet flavorful and the chicken is always perfectly tender.
If you've never had chicken adobo before, the best part of the recipe is the sauce! It's a mouthwatering mix of simple ingredients that are perfectly balanced: salty soy sauce, sweet honey, flavorful garlic, bold bay leaves, and tangy vinegar. The sauce becomes thick as it simmers and coats the chicken.
This recipe is ideal as a quick weeknight dinner or for when you're craving some chicken with bold flavors. Serve it with rice or vegetables for a complete meal.
Chicken Adobo Ingredients
- 8 boneless skinless chicken thighs
- ¾ cup low sodium soy sauce (or Tamari sauce for gluten-free)
- ½ cup white vinegar
- ¼ cup honey
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 6 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 bay leaves
- For serving: green onions, limes, jalapeños
How to Make Chicken Adobo
Step 1: Prepare the chicken
Pat chicken with paper towels and season with salt and pepper.
Step 2: Mix the sauce
In a small bowl, mix together the soy sauce, vinegar, honey, pepper and garlic.
Step 3: Sear the chicken
In a large skillet over medium high heat, add oil. Once hot, add the chicken smooth side down and sear on both sides for 2 - 3 minutes. Remove and set aside.
Step 4: Add the sauce
Pour in the sauce and add the bay leaves. Bring to a boil and then turn the heat to low.
Step 5: Cook the chicken
Add the chicken to the skillet, skin side up. Simmer gently over medium low heat for 20 - 25 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. After 10 minutes, move the chicken around. Turn the heat down if the sauce starts to bubble up and completely cover the chicken.
Step 6: Simmer the sauce
Remove the chicken from the pan. Simmer the sauce, uncovered, 4 - 5 minutes, until thickened. Simmer longer for a thicker sauce. Add water if your sauce becomes too thick.
Step 7: Add the chicken
Add the chicken back into the pan and spoon the sauce over it.
Step 8: Serve & enjoy!
Serve warm, optionally topped with chopped green onions, sliced jalapeños and a side of lime wedges. Serve over white rice.
Soy sauce: swap out soy sauce for coconut aminos or Tamari sauce to make this recipe gluten-free.
Honey: instead of honey, use your preferred sweetener (for example, brown sugar or maple syrup).
Black peppercorns: instead of ground black pepper you can use 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns, which is a more traditional way to make this recipe.
Frequently Asked Questions
Chicken adobo is traditionally a Filipino dish. It's chicken cooked in an adobo sauce, which is made of soy sauce, vinegar, black pepper, bay leaves and garlic. The sauce is a tasty mix of sweet, tangy, and salty flavors. The chicken simmers in the sauce as it cooks, making it flavorful and tender.
You can serve chicken adobo with a side of rice or vegetables. Our favorite way to eat it is with a side of white rice and a simple salad.
Chicken adobo has a mild spice level, which comes from the black pepper in the sauce. To turn down the heat, use less. And to make your chicken spicier, serve it with sliced fresh jalapeños.
If you have leftovers, cool and store them in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 - 4 days.