Chicken Adobo


I usually don’t lay claim to any recipe as “the best”. Although I can be exceptionally opinionated in real life, I find that I tread pretty carefully when it comes to my blog. I don’t want to risk offending anyone, and everyone has their own sense of taste. What is heaven to some is abhorrent to others. Take beets, for example. If ever there was a divisive issue, it’s beets. They are one of the few foods that I simply will not touch, and yet many people think they are delicious. Or hard-boiled eggs. Now there’s a touchy subject, one that could ruin my marriage if I am not careful. I love them, but my husband cannot even stand to be in the same room when I am eating one.

So I don’t want to call this “the best” chicken recipe, because you may think you already have the best chicken recipe. There are zillions upon zillions of chicken recipes out there and everyone has their favourites. So for fear of offending anyone, I won’t call this the best recipe. I will waffle and tread carefully and call it “one of my favourites”. I have about a dozen favourites, which just goes to show I don’t discriminate. But this really is one of my favourites and I will tell you why. It’s remarkably easy. It’s not exactly quick, because it has to poach for half an hour, but once you pop everything in the pan, you can ignore it and go about your business. And then you proceed by grilling or broiling, which crisps the skin delightfully. It also creates a lot of delicious sauce, which is wonderful for pouring over rice (or in my case, veggies). I’d say that for the effort you put in, which is minimal, it is by far one of the best chicken recipes I’ve ever had.

Chicken Adobo is a Filipino dish and I was first introduced to it by a good friend of Filipino heritage. It never occured to me to ask for her recipe, although I see her all the time. But a few years ago, I chanced upon a recipe from Mark Bittman and his version added the grilling or broiling, which I highly appreciated. It met with rave reviews the first time I made it. Since then I have changed the recipe a fair bit to make it a lot more diabetic friendly, and it hasn’t changed the rave reviews. It’s delicious every single time and it meets with the approval of even my pickiest eater.

So you may have your favourite chicken recipe. Or recipes. But trust me, if you make this, you will love it. It will quickly become one of your favourites. Maybe even your favourite.

Chicken Adobo

1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup water
2 cloves chopped garlic
1/2 tsp ground pepper
3 lbs chicken thighs (or a combination of thighs and drumsticks)

Combine the soy sauce, vinegar, water, garlic and pepper together in a large skillet or dutch oven. The skillet should be large enough to accommodate the chicken in a single layer. Bring to a boil over medium high heat.

Add the chicken and reduce the heat to medium low. Cover and cook for 30 minutes, turning once.

Preheat the grill or broiler. Broil or grill the chicken 3 to 4 inches from heat source, about 5 minutes on each side.

Meanwhile, increase heat on the sauce in the pan until it boils vigorously. Cook until reduced to about 1 cup.

Serve chicken with sauce poured over. Pass any remaining sauce around at the table.

Serves 4 to 6. For 4 servings, each serving has 3 g of carbs.

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  1. Lindsey @ Gingerbread Bagels says

    I am so excited to see chicken adobo on your blog! I'm Filipino and eat it a lot. It reminds me of my childhood. :) I wish I had some of yours right now!

  2. The Harried Cook says

    I am in your husband's corner when it comes to boiled eggs… can't stand them!! :) But I love this recipe! I especially love how it calls for only a few ingredients! Looks yummy! Thanks for sharing :)

  3. Lauren at Keep It Sweet says

    I love finding new chicken recipes and I can see why you love this one, what a great flavor combo!

  4. Angela@RecipesFromMyMom says

    Carolyn, I can't wait to try this. I'll probably toss in a chicken breast or two to appease the white meat eaters in our family. I'm so anxious to taste the sauce.

  5. Becky says

    So many chicken recipes, so little time. This chicken looks wonderful, with that sauce and crispy skin. I would adapt this for my Hubby though. and use low sodium soy sauce.

  6. Ang says

    This is going on my menu come this next week for sure! And I'm excited that I don't have to go out and get extra ingredients. :)

    P.S. My husband can't stand the smell of popcorn and If I ever eat it in front of him, I get the total stink eye:/

  7. Amy's Cooking Adventures says

    This looks wonderful! I am so excited for the snow to melt off so I can fire up the grill and give this a try!

  8. MegSmith @ Cooking.In.College says

    Haha I think that is a very smart take on blogging and talking about recipes…I am sometimes a little too liberal with exclamatory claims on my blog but that's okay :-)

    This adobo sauce sounds wonderful.

  9. Our Eyes Eat First says

    This recipe looks simple and delicious. Ive never tried it but Im always on the look out for new chicken recipes. Its also great that youve made it diabetic friendly!

  10. Lizzy says

    Oh, yummy! I've heard of this dish, but don't remember ever seeing a picture that looked so tempting. I think my family would love this one.I'm always looking for new ways to jazz up my chicken entrees…thanks, my friend!

  11. grannymumantoog says

    This has been my favorite non-fried chicken dish for many years. First discovered it when I lived in Hawaii in the 70s then had a Filipino roommate in the 80s and would ask her to make it at least once a week! I probably use a bit more garlic & pepper cause that's how I learned it but I can't wait to try the crisping idea. Don't know why I didn't think of that before. Learn something new every day, as they say! Thank you.

  12. Adora's Box says

    I am a Filipino and I'd say you cook adobo like a native. Well done! I'm so pleased when non-Filipinos cook Filipino food. Our food is not that popular and it makes me feel proud that other people actually like our food once they've tried it.

  13. Maris (In Good Taste) says

    I am always looking for new and different ways to make chicken and I think I just found a great one!

  14. Parsley Sage says

    Awesome recipe. I forwarded it to mom and stepdad who are both diabetic and always on the lookout for tasty new recipes. Well done :)

    By the way…80 degrees in Cayman. I'm pretty sure I hear the ocean call your name today 😉

  15. baking.serendipity says

    I have never had this before, but am always up to try a recipe dubbed a favorite :) Thanks for sharing!

  16. baking.serendipity says

    I have never had this before, but am always up to try a recipe dubbed a favorite :) Thanks for sharing!

  17. claire says

    i have never tried adobo, but it looks like a simple and delicious way to jazz up chicken!

    if it is your fave… then i will have to try it!

  18. Wilde in the Kitchen says

    Well, the flavors sound fabulous and the pictures look just mouth-watering! I can imagine that it tastes pretty good too! I even have all of these ingredient, yum!

  19. Emily @ Life On Food says

    I recently saw a recipe for pretty popular online recipe site. I was excited to try it till I read the reviews. Everyone of them said it was horrible and not authetic at all. This looks really good and much simpler than the one I first saw. I am always looking for a new chicken recipe.

    I agree about food preferences. Very touchy subject in my house as well.

  20. The Mom Chef says

    Yup. You're right. I haven't even tried this (yet), but it's going to be one of my favorites. You're also right about the grilling at the end being important. Crisping that skin is a must in my book. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

  21. Sandra says

    This sounds very testy Carolyn..I never tried with apple cider vinegar…Great recipe and photos are just a proof that it should be delicious!

  22. All That's Left Are The Crumbs says

    I think there is always room for another "best chicken ever". I am looking forward to trying this one as it looks mouth-watering good.

  23. Adele Forbes says

    oh boy oh boy oh boy….my Aunt had a Filipino friend and she taught my Aunt to make the most wonderful dishes from her native land..I fell in love with everything she cooked…thank you so much for sharing..I shared it with all of my Facebook friends…

  24. Belinda @zomppa says

    Totally agree – looks like a Best to me! Looks so simple but complex…if you want me to test out if it's the best…happy to do so. =)

  25. Katrina {In Katrina's Kitchen} says

    I've never made it at home but that's going tho change!! Thanks for another great post! ♥-K

  26. savoringeverybite says

    This chicken looks delicious! Saucy and tender looking. I'm glad you shared your favorite and it just could be one of the best chicken recipes prepared in this manner!!

  27. Pretend Chef says

    I wish I would have come across this recipe yesterday before our BBQ kicked off. This sounds and looks so incredibly delicious! Yummy!

  28. says

    I don't know…this looks and sounds pretty awesome. If it's not "the best," it certainly looks close!

  29. In and Around Town says

    WOW – I cannot wait to try this recipe! The chicken looks so good, I cannot imagine how it tastes, thanks for sharing :)


    Love it, love it love it! I'm always on the look out for a good chicken recipe and I'd say this is this weeks top pick. :)

    Can't wait to try it!

  31. Brandie says

    I know what you mean. I'm definitely careful when I call anything the best because it certainly is a matter of test.
    However, I gotta tell ya, I really, really love Chicken Adobo and this looks so good!! It's gotta be pretty darn close to the best…LOL.

  32. Karen says

    Yes, I can imagine that this would be one of the best. How can you go wrong with those flavors?? Love that the skin gets crispy. Yum!

  33. Chef Dennis says

    now I'm thinking that is the best chicken adobo I have ever seen , so it falls safely into that category..
    I would love to try your recipe, the chicken does look so very flavorful!


  34. Georgia | The Comfort of Cooking says

    Carolyn, this chicken is mouthwatering! Wow, what a dish! Thanks for sharing this simple and scrumptious sounding dinner recipe – I'll be pocketing it for sometime soon!

  35. Nami @ Just One Cookbook says

    Hi Carolyn, I just went to defrost chicken thighs from my freezer. :-) The sauce is so simple and I already have all the ingredients. Looking forward to the dinner. Thanks for the recipe!

  36. Anne-Marie @ This Mama Cooks! says

    We make this too because my husband used to date a Filipino-American gal. We call it Pootie Chicken, though, because it makes you, well, poot.

  37. Lynn @ I'll Have What She's Having says

    I'm with you on the beets, but I'll have to go with your husband on the hardboiled eggs.
    Saying a recipe is "the best" could cause a flood of angry comments. But sometimes you just know something really is the best. This chicken recipe sounds really good. I'll let you know if I think its the best after I try it!

  38. Claudie says

    Looking at the glaze of those chicken thighs, I can absolutely understand why they'd be one of your favorite recipes! I wish I had this one a couple of weeks ago when I mistakenly bought chicken thighs instead of chicken breast and then wasn't sure what to do with them :)

  39. kita says

    Oooh go on and call it the best if you think it is! I won't poke at ya! It does sound quite good and I am always in need of mixing up my chicken recipes (because really, I'm not a huge fan so I could use a 'best of' list to try).

  40. She's Cookin' says

    I've never made chicken adobo, but since you hesitantly declared it to be "the best", I'll definitely have to try it :) I just posted one of my "best" easy chicken recipes, too.

  41. RLV | says

    Yum!! Chicken Adobo is definitely a Filipino staple! I agree with the comment up there.. add bay leaves next time! But I will say… your dish looks prettier than most. Filipino dishes aren't the prettiest, but they taste delish! :)

  42. Tanvi@Sinfully Spicy says

    I cant believe this dish has such less ingredients.Looks yummy.I love grilled chicken.Would love to try out this version.

  43. Jeanette says

    Carolyn, this reminds me of chicken adobo my mom made when I was growing up. She spent some time in the Philippines so this was a popular game in our family. I haven't made it in a while, but you've just reminded me of how much I miss this dish!

  44. marla says

    I have never had chicken adobo, but it is sounding mighty tasty – if you say it is the best ever then I must try.

  45. spcookiequeen says

    Me and my husband are opposite with the eggs, but I think we'd both agree we'd love the chicken. I like how much flavor the thighs have too.

  46. Anonymous says

    What a great recipe! This was embarrassingly easy to make and with a stellar result. I've had beef adobo and hadn't ever made any adobo myself until tonight. A big hit with the hubby and we'll definitely be having this again. Thanks!

  47. Jill Colonna says

    Carolyn, I can't believe you don't like beets and that hard boiled eggs is such an issue! heheee LOL! Had a good giggle on that one. I also have an issue with hard boiled eggs on picnics, though 😉
    Now that chicken dish has to be one of the best I've seen. Your photos have me licking the screen!

  48. Jean @ Lemons and Anchovies says

    Chicken adobo was a staple for me growing up and I can be quite picky about how it's made. Your recipe maintains the integrity of the dish I know and love and more importantly? You photographed it so beautifully! Adobo doesn't always look good in pictures but clearly this wasn't a problem for you. Congrats! I agree that this is one of the best chicken dishes out there. :-)

  49. says

    It looks so yummy and easy to make :) I saw Nami made some too and I just need to try this :) first a trip to the store LOL

  50. Rachel C - thinladysings says

    oooooo that looks so good! And easy to make gluten free if I just replace the soy sauce with tamari soy sauce. totally trying this!! Thanks!

  51. Stephanie says

    This looks soo good! Thanks for stopping by my blog and telling me to come check it out. I actually have the majority of the ingredients in my pantry already too, so it will be easy to make soon!

  52. Elisabeth says

    The only adobo I used is the spice mix that comes dry. I never made the adobo sauce just with these 4 simple ingredients that I always have on hand.
    Your fabulous chicken is the proof that really convinced me to make my own adobo sauce. Yumm!!!
    Thanks, Carolyn!

  53. A Little Yumminess says

    I am big fan of adobo and a friend shared a recipe with me a while back. there are so many variations of this recipe! It is amazing how it such an easy yet tasty dish

  54. Lizzy says

    I made this yummy dish of yours this week, too…but didn't take the time to take photos. I used chicken breasts since that's what I had in the freezer…love that I didn't have to go to the grocery store and still had a fabulous meal! Thanks for a winner that I'll make again and again :)

  55. Sugar Free Low Carb says

    I always grab the chicken adobo at all the Filipino potluck parties. My father is from the Philippines and has cooked professionally. He makes the best adobo. For some reason, he always adds bay leaf along with a combination of the ingredients you list. I've asked him for the recipe, but he never measures anything when he cooks.

  56. Ashley says

    Looks delicious! I make my adobo differently but this is very tempting to try…I also use apple cider vinegar, but also onions, potatoes, paprika, mushrooms and I brown the chicken first then boil it so its never been crispy but I love crispy chicken in general! I learned my mom's way of cooking it (she's Filipino) but thank you for this, I'm excited to try it!! :)

  57. Cooking Rookie says

    I made this recipe yesterday – yum!! Was so good with garlic rice :-). I used skinless boneless chicken thighs, so I reduced the cooking time to 20 minutes, but other than that I followed the recipe to the letter (which is very rare for me). Thanks, Carolyn!


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