Filipino Adobo Chicken - my version

Joined Sep 5, 2008
I like Filipino Chicken Adobo, and I've tweaked the recipe a bit...  I'd love to hear comments from those who have made Adobo?

First I cut a 5 lbs chicken in 10 pieces. I also cut the back and neck in 4 or 5 pieces.

Then I brown all chicken pieces including back and neck in oil a very hot skillet. Toward the end I add 12 garlic cloves, smashed and cut in big pieces, to slightly brown them as well. Then I remove the chicken pieces and reserve. I turn off the burner, discard the oil and deglaze the pan with a little water. If I have time I let the chicken and the pan cool off.

Then I place all the cold chicken pieces back into a cold pan, add 2 fresh bay leaves, a healthy dose of coarsely ground black pepper, 1 cup of rice vinegar, 1/2 cup of soy sauce, and 1 & 1/2 cup of water. I cover and simmer for 1/2 hour or so. If I have any leftover Adobo sauce in the freezer I'll add it as well.

Then I remove the chicken and boil the sauce for about 5-10mn to reduce (it doesn't really thicken much, just a tiny bit).

Then I turn the heat down and put the chicken back for a few mn to make sure it's hot, and serve over white rice.

I know the original Adobo recipe is much much easier, but I like to do it this way. Just made it tonight and it was absolutely delicious.
Joined Oct 15, 2010
Actually, I don't think your adobo recipe is that complicated. I've seen some pretty complicated ones out there. Not complicated in terms of technique, just quite a lot of steps.

I make a very lazy version. I start off with frozen wings. I give them a rinse and toss them in a pot. Add a bay leave, a dozen or so peppercorn, a bulb of peeled garlic, soy sauce and vinegar (white and/or apple cider). Once the wings cook for 15 minutes or so, I add some sugar. I tend to go for rock sugar or brown sugar. I adjust the seasonings according to taste. It's done when the wings are cooked and sauce is reduced. The sugar help thickens the sauce nicely.
Joined Sep 5, 2008
Thanks for the comment. You've seen more complicated recipes? I'd love to see a link or hear what they have that's more complicated. I'm always wondering how I could add to my recipe. Most recipes don't bother with browning the chicken and the garlic, which is what I called "complicated" on mine.

Sometimes I do the lazy version too! I never thought of using sugar.
Joined Oct 15, 2010
I saw it on Sara Moulton's show one time and thought the recipe she presented had really way more steps than my usual one. I'm not sure if this was the exact one but it sounds to be right. I'm too lazy to be cooking the chicken twice.

Oh, instead of cooking it twice, one of my Filipino friends just make adobo with left over fried chicken wings (non battered).

Sara Moulton of Food Netwprk, version of Filipino Adobo
8 whole chicken legs (about 4 pounds), cut into drumstick and thigh sections
1 1/2 cups distilled white vinegar
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 bay leaves
1/2 tablespoon whole black peppercorns, crushed lightly
1 cup water
3/4 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
Chopped scallions, for garnish
Accompaniment: Cooked rice

In a large kettle combine the chicken, vinegar, garlic, bay leaves, peppercorns, and 1 cup water, bring the mixture to a boil, and simmer it, covered, for 20 minutes. Add the soy sauce and simmer the mixture, covered, for 20 minutes. Transfer the chicken with tongs to a plate and boil the liquid for 10 minutes, or until it is reduced to about 1 cup. Let the sauce cool, remove the bay leaves, and skim the fat from the surface.
In a large skillet heat the oil over high heat until it is hot but not smoking and in it saute the chicken, patted dry, in batches, turning it, for 5 minutes, or until it is browned well. Transfer the chicken to a rimmed platter, pour the sauce, heated, over it, and serve the chicken with the rice.
Joined Sep 5, 2008
Thanks for sharing!

Alright so she's browning the chicken after braising rather than before. I've tried that too, and it does give a different result: the chicken is crispier, but the sauce has left depth. What I like about browning before is the deglazing of the pan to build the braising liquid/ end sauce. But both methods are good, just ... different results.

I usually use the browning-after method when I make a chicken tajine.
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Joined Jan 27, 2010
Have you tried a Filipino version of Adobo with coconut milk? I have tried to cook it once and it is really delicious too! Same as what French fries method and recipe but with a kick of coconut milk taste. /img/vbsmilies/smilies//smile.gif


Staff member
Joined Jun 11, 2001
Man you look at the recipe and think to yourself "how can that be good with all that vinegar?"

But man Adobo chicken is really really good.  /img/vbsmilies/smilies//smile.gif

I also like pancit made with chicken livers.  Call me nuts but that is like one of my favorite foods ever.
Joined Oct 15, 2010
I tend to add sugar to my adobo because I like it a little sweet. But even if you don't like it sweet, a little sugar will help with the flavor.

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