This chicken adobo is a Filipino inspired dish made with chicken pieces simmered in a sweet and savory sauce. An easy dinner option with minimal ingredients that always gets rave reviews!
When I’m looking to dress up plain old chicken into a special meal, I turn to popular dishes such as Moroccan chicken, Hunan chicken and this super easy chicken adobo.
Chicken adobo is one of my all time favorite ways to enjoy chicken. The meat is always perfectly tender in the most delicious thick and rich sauce. Best of all, this is a very simple recipe to prepare!
What does chicken adobo taste like?
This dish has a characteristically salty, sweet and sour taste. The sour is from vinegar, which pairs with soy sauce for salt, and brown sugar for sweetness. The three ingredients blend together perfectly to create a balanced and complex flavor.
How do you make chicken adobo?
Start by searing chicken pieces until they’re golden brown. Place the chicken in a pot along with the sauce ingredients, which include vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, pepper and bay leaves. Add a sliced jalapeno if you like food with a little heat! Let the chicken simmer in the sauce until it’s cooked through and the sauce is thick. Serve and enjoy!
Tips for the perfect dish
- I use a blend of bone-in, skin-in chicken parts which include drumsticks and thighs. You can use one or the other, or use bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts. The breasts are larger and will take longer to cook, so plan accordingly.
- This dish works best with the bone-in, skin-on chicken as it tends to be more flavorful and is less prone to drying out. You can use boneless chicken but it will need less time to simmer, so adjust the cook time accordingly.
- The sauce should be a thick, syrup like consistency. If the sauce is not thick enough after you uncover the pan, you can remove the chicken pieces, then continue to simmer the sauce uncovered until it’s thickened.
- The jalapeno in this recipe is optional – it adds a fresh flavor and a bit of spice. If you prefer, you can either omit it, or remove the ribs and seeds from the pepper before you cut it to minimize the heat.
- Chicken adobo will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. It can also be put in the freezer for 2 months. Thaw the chicken in the fridge overnight, then reheat it over medium heat on the stove until warmed through.
What is served with adobo?
This dish is classically served with rice. You can do steamed white rice, or brown rice for a healthier option. If you’re watching your carbs, try serving your chicken over cauliflower rice. Any side dish that soaks up the sauce will also work, such as quinoa or mashed potatoes. I also like to serve a green vegetable on the side such as green beans, broccoli or asparagus.
Whenever I make this chicken adobo, there are never any leftovers. It’s just that good!
More chicken recipes you’ll enjoy
Chicken Adobo Video
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 1/2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces I use a mix of thighs and drumsticks
- 2 tablespoons garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons sliced jalapeno divided use, remove ribs and seeds for less heat
- 1/3 cup white vinegar
- 2/3 cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon black pepper freshly ground
- 3 bay leaves
- Heat the oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Add the chicken pieces in a single layer and cook for 4-5 minutes per side or until browned. You may need to work in batches.
- Remove the chicken from the pan. Add the garlic and 1 tablespoon jalapeno to the pan and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly.
- Add the vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, pepper and bay leaves to the pan. Return the chicken to the pan.
- Bring the chicken mixture to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium low. Cover the pan and simmer for 35-40 minutes, or until chicken is tender.
- Remove the cover from the pan. Increase the heat to medium high. Bring the mixture to a simmer. Cook for an additional 3-5 minutes or until sauce has thickened and is syrupy.
- Garnish with the remaining jalapenos, then serve.
Could you make this in the instant pot?
I haven’t tried it that way so I’m not sure if it would work!
This was like an explosion of wonderful flavors in your mouth! We really enjoyed it!
Your recipes never disappoint and this was no exception! Love the addition of the jalapeños! Gave it the perfect amount of kick to an already delicious dish!
you have just given me idea on what to make for dinner tonight looks deilcious
I love chicken for dinner and the combination of flavours here is to die for! I will be having my sister’s over for dinner on Tuesday and this is the perfect weeknight dinner recipe for me to serve them, thanks!
I love the flavor and how simple this recipe is! Thank you for this one!
This chicken looks so flavorful and delicious. A perfect summer dinner!
We love chicken adobo! Such a wonderful comfort food. All those flavors sound absolutely amazing.
I love all of the flavors in this recipe. I’ve never had chicken adobo before, but I have a good feeling my family is going to love this! Thanks for the recipe!
I love this flavor combo! And appreciate the thorough description of options. I wonder if you have tried this with bone in chicken thighs? I’m thinking that could be a tasty option.
Bursting with flavors. Awesome glaze and perfect platter for a party too.
This is an interesting recipe. I had never heard of it. But seeing how easy it is to cook, I am going to try it soon. I just love these easy yet flavorful chicken dishes.