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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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
- Mix vinegar, soy sauce, and water in a large bowl
- Stir in garlic, bay leaves and black peppercorns
- Add chicken pieces to large bowl and coat to marinate
- Let chicken marinate covered, in fridge for at least 30 minutes (preferably overnight)
- Pour chicken and marinade into a deep skillet
- Cover and simmer over low for 30 minute until chicken is cooked
- Serve chicken and adobo sauce over rice
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