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Chicken Adobo

Classic Chicken Adobo


Classic Chicken Adobo Recipe

Serves 4–6 as part of a meal | Prep Time: 5 mins | Cook Time: 45 mins
Source: The Adobo Road Cookbook by Marvin Gapultos


¼ cup (65 ml) soy sauce
½ cup (125 ml) white Filipino cane vinegar, or distilled white vinegar
6–8 cloves garlic, smashed with the side of a knife and peeled
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
6 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs


1. Place the soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, black peppercorns, and bay leaves in a large, nonreactive sauté pan, and then nestle the chicken thighs, skin side down, into the pan. Bring the liquid to a boil over high heat, and then cover and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes. Turn the chicken over, and then cover and simmer for another 10 minutes.

2. Uncover the pan, and then increase the heat to high and return the sauce to a boil. While occasionally turning and basting the chicken, continue boiling the sauce, uncovered, until it is reduced by half and thickens slightly, 5–7 minutes. Serve with steamed white rice.


While the sauce is reducing, transfer the chicken thighs, skin side up, to a foil-lined sheet pan. Brown the chicken thighs underneath the broiler for 3–5 minutes.

Use freshly ground black pepper instead of whole peppercorns.

For a “drier” chicken adobo, you can reduce the sauce until it is almost completely evaporated.

The chicken will then begin to fry in its own fat that is still left in the pan. This is how my grandmother finishes her adobo.

For a saucier adobo, double the amount of soy sauce and vinegar.

To make this adobo as an appetizer, use 2 lbs (1 kg) of chicken wings instead of thighs.

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13 COMMENTS... read them below or add one

  1. Filipino food rocks in Marvin’s new cookbook The Adobo Road! I have interviewed Marvin for a feature article I wrote and have been an avid follower of his blog. He’s one of the nicest Filipino food bloggers around and I’m so proud of him and his beautiful cookbook! Congrats, Marvin. Thanks for sharing this favorite chicken adobo recipe, Bee!

  2. Maria

    This is the recipe I use, except that I add a little bit of sugar. It caramelizes the skin when you broil/fry the chicken.

  3. Food Service Warehouse

    Wow, this recipe is much more simple than I thought. I’ve had Chicken Adobo but didn’t realize it was something I could actually cook, I’m very excited!

  4. There are several recipes for adobo. I cook it differently from my mother, my aunts and friends. I use some ingredients they do not use.
    I think adobo is a recipe with personal touch. They like mine.

  5. Rebecca

    My Filipino maid cooked it the Filipino way but I taught her the Chinese way to sauté them well with some oil only then add in some water. After that her Adobo is so yummy, she was so happy !!

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