Filipino Chicken Adobo

Chicken adobo is a classic dish in the Philippines and a great introduction into Filipino cuisine. While the name is derived from the Spanish word for marinade, this chicken adobo is native to the Philippines.

chicken adobo

When I was growing up I was my Yaya‘s official taste tester and I can still remember the smell of simmering garlic and bay leaves filling our kitchen each time she cooked adobo.

There are several slight variations of traditional adobo and every family has their own preferences for how the dish is prepared, sweetened, spiced, and served, but the key is certainly in the marinade. I love my chicken adobo savory with lots of sauce to ladle over a bed of fluffy rice which requires a generous marinade of black peppercorns, bay leaves, soy sauce, garlic, and vinegar.

chicken adobo chicken adobo

I used to find Filipino food intimidating since I spent most of college and post-grad life cooking western dishes. So I was excited and surprised when I made this dish by how simple and easy it was. There’s minimal prep work and little to do once you have the dish simmering. Then after 30 minutes you have chicken that’s falling off the bone and full of rich flavors.

chicken adobo

When I took my first bite I immediately turned to Peter and said, “It tastes just like Yaya’s!” which meant it was definitely a winner. It brought back so many memories of sitting and eating around my family’s kitchen table in Texas and now that I have two nieces (and one more niece on the way!) I can’t wait to help pass along this family recipe for generations to come.

chicken adobo

Chicken Adobo

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes


Chicken Adobo


  • 1.25 cup vinegar
  • 0.75 cup soy sauce
  • 0.25 cup water
  • 0.5 bulb of garlic, cloves peeled and separated
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 2 lbs (~1 kg) bone in chicken pieces


  1. Mix vinegar, soy sauce, and water in a large bowl
  2. Stir in garlic, bay leaves and black peppercorns
  3. Add chicken pieces to large bowl and coat to marinate
  4. Let chicken marinate covered, in fridge for at least 30 minutes (preferably overnight)
  5. Pour chicken and marinade into a deep skillet
  6. Cover and simmer over low for 30 minute until chicken is cooked
  7. Serve chicken and adobo sauce over rice
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Chicken adobo is a great introduction into Filipino cuisine. My savory recipe has a marinade of black peppercorns, bay leaves, soy sauce, garlic, & vinegar


    • Pristine says:

      Hi Misty! Yes I am using chicken wings in the photos, but you can use any bone in chicken pieces. Let me know if you have any other questions and thank you for visiting.

  1. Stacia Clark says:

    I REALLY want to try this later in the week but I do have a question about the garlic. Approximately how much garlic are we talking here? I don’t see a lot of garlic pieces in the pics but half of a bulb seems like a lot and I would expect to see pieces clinging to the meat. Help?

    • Pristine says:

      Hi Stacia, I’m happy to help! Because the cloves of garlic in this recipe are whole, the flavor of the garlic is much less intense than if you were using minced or crushed garlic cloves. Half a bulb is around 5-6 cloves (depending on the size of the cloves)

      • Stacia Clark says:

        Thanks! But if i were to use minced garlic, how much would you suggest?
        I’m really looking forward to making this in the next few days!

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