“Adobo” is basically the manner of cooking any meat or vegetables by simmering in a marinade of vinegar, water, bay leaves, garlic, peppercorns, brown sugar, and soy sauce. The slow cooking tenderizes the meat while infusing the salty-slightly-sweet-and-spicy flavor of the sauce, making it perfect for pairing with plain, boiled, white rice.
For most Filipinos, this is considered a comfort food. Back in Philippines, I only get the chance to eat chicken adobo during special occasions like birthdays or during the holidays. Now that I’m in the US, I crave for this often so I cook it on a regular basis. Like many, many times. I remember this is the first Filipino dish that I served my Russian in-laws, along with pancit bihon, which received a lot of compliments!
I’d like to remind you that this recipe is for 2 pounds of chicken (about a kilo). Double the measurement of the ingredients if you plan to cook more than 2 pounds of meat. I like using bone-in chicken, particularly thighs and legs because they taste great and remains tender even after a long simmer (they don’t dry out).
Of course, everybody has different taste preferences, and different cooks have different ways of cooking this dish.
Feel free to use cut-up bone-in chicken pieces (I don’t suggest plain chicken breasts because they tend to be dry and rubbery after it’s cooked too long).
Also, adjust the measurement of the ingredients accordingly if you prefer your adobo to be on the sour (a little more vinegar), salty (more soy sauce), or sweet ( a bit more sugar) side. I guarantee this is one of the best chicken adobo dishes you will ever try. It has the right balance of taste–not to sour, nor too salty, sweet, or spicy–just right. Plus it’s fall-off-the-bones goodness is hard to resist!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour 30 mins
Yields: 4 servings
2 lbs chicken leg quarters, cut into serving pieces
1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp whole peppercorns
1 large dry bay leaf
1 head garlic
3-4 cups water (or enough just to cover)
Things You’ll Need:
5-quart cooking pot with cover
1. Separate garlic cloves and smash each one with the flat side of a knife. Peel and set aside.2. Arrange chicken pieces into the pot and add the rest of the ingredients. 3. Turn on stove on high, cover the pot, and bring to a boil.4. Once it’s boiling, remove cover and adjust heat to low. Simmer uncovered for 1 1/2 hours until sauce has reduced and thickened.5. Serve immediately with white boiled rice.
- 2 lbs chicken leg quarters, cut into serving pieces
- ½ cup low-sodium soy sauce
- ¼ cup distilled white vinegar
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp whole peppercorns
- 1 large dry bay leaf
- 1 head garlic
- 3-4 cups water (or enough just to cover)
- Separate garlic cloves and smash each one with the flat side of a knife. Peel and set aside.
- Arrange chicken pieces into the pot and add the rest of the ingredients.
- Turn on stove on high, cover the pot, and bring to a boil.
- Once it's boiling, remove cover and adjust heat to low. Simmer uncovered for 1½ hours until sauce has reduced and thickened.
- Serve immediately with white boiled rice.