Prepare to be blown away by the Philippines’ most famous dish, Filipino Chicken Adobo. This mouthwatering dish will quickly become one of your favorite Asian chicken dishes. The best part? Most likely, you already have everything you need in your kitchen.
This masterpiece is easy to make, and the result is nothing short of spectacular: juicy, tender chicken covered in a sweet and savory glaze with a touch of heat from peppercorns.
Now, let’s talk about chicken thighs, which are the main attraction. You don’t want to switch these for chicken breasts, trust me! The rich, juicy flavor that makes this dish a real winner comes from the thighs.
Filipino Chicken Adobo Taste
Filipino Chicken Adobo will take you on a trip through the world of food, where flavors come together in perfect harmony. The taste experience starts with the glaze, which is a wonderful mix of savory and sweet flavors with a tangy undertone and the deep flavor of soy.
With each bite, you can taste the many different layers of flavor. The garlic and onion create a rich, savory base, while the bay leaves add an earthy flavor. The peppercorns add a very light heat that tickles the taste buds without being too much.
The chicken is so tender because it was simmered in the delicious sauce for 25 minutes. This extended cooking time lets the flavors come together perfectly and turns the chicken thighs into a delightful, tender treat.
The result is a taste that feels like it has been slowly cooked for hours until it is just right, making every bite a moment to enjoy.
Ingredients & Substitutes
Discover the enchantment of Filipino Chicken Adobo through the flawless symphony of its key ingredients:
Soy sauce: Use all-purpose or light soy sauce to add that signature depth of flavor. Dark soy sauce should be avoided because it has a completely different flavor.
White vinegar: The best choice is regular white vinegar. But you can substitute other clear vinegar like rice wine, apple cider, or sherry vinegar.
Onion and garlic: Onion and garlic are aromatic ingredients that make a strong, savory base that adds to the overall flavor complexity.
Peppercorns: Peppercorns add a subtle hint of heat, or you can use coarsely cracked pepper for a similar effect. I strongly advise you to use Peppercorns.
Sugar: Brown sugar is best because of its rich, caramel-like flavors, but white sugar will do in a pinch.
Bay leaves: Whether they are fresh or dried, these leaves add an earthy taste to the dish. If you don’t have any, don’t worry, your adobo will still be delicious.
Green onion (optional): Green onion is a garnish that can be added for a touch of freshness and to make the dish look nicer.
How to Make Filipino Chicken Adobo
Step 1: Mix the chicken and the ingredients for the marinade in a bowl. Let the chicken marinate for at least 20-25 minutes or overnight for a better flavor.
Step 2: Heat 1 tbsp of oil over high heat in a skillet. Take the chicken out of the marinade and put it in the pan. Save the marinade for later. Sear each side for about a minute or until they are nicely browned on both sides. The chicken shouldn’t be fully cooked yet.
Set the partially cooked chicken aside while you prepare the next step.
Step 3: Heat the rest of the oil in the same pan and cook the garlic and onion for about 1 1/2 minutes, or until the garlic and onion start releasing aroma.
Step 4: Add the reserved marinade, water, sugar, and black pepper to the skillet. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then lower the heat to medium-high and let it simmer for 5 minutes.
Step 5: Put the smooth side of the chicken back into the pan. Let it simmer uncovered for 20 to 25 minutes, turning the chicken halfway through. The sauce will get thick and jam-like as it cooks down.
If the sauce needs to get thicker, take the chicken out and let it cook without it. This way, it will thicken up faster. Once the glaze is the right thickness, put the chicken back in the pan and coat it with the tasty glaze.
Step 6: Serve your Filipino chicken adobo: glazed chicken on a bed of warm rice, ready to be savored and enjoyed.
Tips for the Best Filipino Chicken Adobo
Marinate longer: If you want the chicken to have deeper, more intense flavors, marinate it overnight instead of just for 20 minutes. This lets the flavors fully soak into the chicken, making the dish more delicious.
Sear with care: Make sure to sear the chicken over high heat to give it a rich, golden crust. This step makes the texture and taste of the finished dish better.
Be patient: Be patient and let the sauce simmer and thicken to your liking. This process concentrates the flavors and makes the dish’s signature glaze, which is a jam-like sauce.
Adjust heat: As needed, adjust the heat. While the sauce is simmering, keep an eye on the heat and adjust it as needed to keep a gentle simmer. This will help the sauce thicken, and the chicken stays soft.
Fresh garnish: Don’t forget the green onion garnish, which is optional but adds a bit of freshness and color to the dish and makes it look and taste better.
More Delicious Filipino Recipes
Filipino Chicken Adobo Recipe
Filipino Chicken Adobo, a tasty dish from the Philippines, will take you on a mouthwatering journey. This famous dish has tender chicken covered in a luscious, savory-sweet glaze, making it a one-of-a-kind culinary experience. With simple ingredients and easy-to-follow steps, you can make this delicious Asian dish in no time.
For the Marinade:
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 1/3 cup + 2 tbsp white vinegar
- 4 fresh bay leaves or 3 dried
- 1.5 lb. chicken thigh fillets, boneless and skinless
- 2 Tbsp of vegetable oil, separated
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 brown onion, diced
- 1 1/2 cups of water
- 2 Tbsp of brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp of whole black pepper
- For serving: 2 Tbsp of green onions (optional)
- Combine the chicken thighs and the ingredients for the marinade in a bowl. Let the chicken marinate for at least 20 minutes or overnight for a richer flavor.
- In a skillet, heat 1 tbsp of oil over high heat. Take the chicken out of the marinade and put it in the pan. Save the marinade for later. Sear each side for about a minute or until they are nicely browned on both sides. The chicken shouldn’t be cooked yet.
- Set your partially cooked chicken thighs aside as you prepare for the next step.
- In the same pan, heat the rest of the oil and cook the garlic and onion for about 1 1/2 minutes or until the garlic and onion release an aroma.
- Add the reserved marinade, sugar, water, and black pepper to the pan. Bring the mixture to a boil, then turn the heat down to medium-high and let it simmer for 5 minutes.
- Put the chicken back in the pan with the smooth side facing down. Let it simmer without a lid for 20 to 25 minutes, turning the chicken halfway through. The sauce will thicken until it jam-like texture.
- If the sauce needs to get thicker, take the chicken out and let the sauce cook on its own for a while. This way, it will thicken more quickly. Once the glaze is the right thickness, put the chicken back in the pan and coat it with it.
- Serve your tasty chicken adobo: glazed chicken on a warm rice pillow, ready to be savored and enjoyed.
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