Filipino Chicken Adobo recipe from cooking with cocktail rings

Filipino Chicken Adobo

Chicken adobo or adobong manok is one of the most well known Filipino dishes. Chicken thighs and drumsticks are simmered in a tangy sauce made from soy sauce and vinegar with plenty of garlic. The sauce is sour, sweet and salty all at the same time. It can be left unreduced for a saucey version or reduced for a more sticky-glazed version - it is all a matter of preference! Cooking mellows the pungent flavor of the vinegar, but the acidity helps to flavor the meat of the chicken. As with any well-known dish, everyone has their favorite version – some have coconut milk, others add additional aromatics to the marinade, but I prefer this paired down, more classic version - it is a favorite of mine.  

This recipe comes together in under an hour with just a few ingredients and makes for an easy dinner when served with vegetables and rice. The rice is the perfect companion for the chicken as it absorbs some of the flavor and sauce. I swear the chicken is even more flavorful and tender the second day, so get excited for leftovers. 



½ cup reduced-sodium soy sauce

1 tablespoon palm sugar (or light brown sugar)

10 cloves garlic, smashed 

¼ teaspoon black peppercorns 

2 tablespoons canola oil

6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 2½ -3 pounds)

4 skin-on chicken drumsticks (about 1½ pounds)

5 bay leaves 

¾ cup distilled white vinegar or cane vinegar

1 green onion, thinly sliced 



In a large bowl whisk together the soy sauce, sugar, garlic and peppercorns. Add the chicken to the bowl and turn to coat the chicken. Let marinate for at least 30 minutes and up to overnight.

Heat a 7-quart Dutch oven over medium heat, add the oil and heat through. Add the chicken thighs skin side down and drumsticks to the pot. Sear, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Flip the chicken then pour the marinade into the pot as well as the bay leaves and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the vinegar then lower the heat to medium-low and cover the Dutch oven, cooking until the chicken is completely cooked through, about 20 to 25 minutes. 

Remove the chicken from pot and set aside. Continue to cook the sauce until syrupy and reduced, about 10 minutes. Return the chicken to the sauce and top with green onions. 

Serve chicken over rice.


Serves 4 to 6.  




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