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Published September 1, 2021. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
This delicious Filipino soy and vinegar marinated chicken adobo recipe is cooked to golden brown and served up in under 1 hour.
We eat chicken probably 4 times a week, but it can get mundane in the flavor department. If you are looking to up your chicken recipe game, then absolutely check out my chicken piccata or general tso’s chicken.
Chicken adobo is a classical Filipino dish better known as adobong manok. In addition to using chicken, it would also be traditional to use pork as well. Chicken adobo is soy and vinegar marinaded chicken that is then pan-fried until browned and then braised in the marinade liquid until it is cooked throughout.
The word adobo is Spanish for,” adobar” which means to marinade. Pedro de San Buenaventura labeled the Filipino version ‘adobo de los naturales’ – adobo of the natives, and then name stuck
The most common chicken parts used are thighs and drums, but I believe it is more economical to always fabricate and use a whole chicken so you can use the leftover chicken bodies and bones for chicken stock.
Which Vinegar is Best for Adobo?
Coconut or cane vinegar would be the common vinegar to use in adobo, however, you can substitute with white distilled vinegar or even white wine vinegar for this recipe.
How to Make Chicken Adobo from Scratch
Follow along with these simple step-by-step instructions and pictures for making this amazing chicken adobo recipe:
In a large bowl whisk together onions, garlic, soy sauce, vinegar, bay leaves, peppercorns, and water until combined.
Divide the marinade into two bowls or containers and set it aside.
Add the chicken directly to one of the bowls with the marinades or transfer the chicken and marinade to a plastic zip bag and marinate in the refrigerator overnight or for at least 12 hours and up to 24 hours.
Heat some oil in a large frying pan or rondeau pot over medium heat for two minutes and then add the chicken directly from the marinade skin side down into the oil and cook for 10-12 minutes or until well browned.
Flip the chicken over and cook for 2 more minutes and then set the chicken aside on a plate or platter.
Add the reserved marinade to the pan and bring to a boil and then boil it for 5 minutes. If you made extra marinade as I did in the video, you can leave the chicken in the pan and simply add the extra marinade and cook covered on low heat for 20-30 minutes.
Place the chicken back into the pan with the braising liquid and cover and cook over low heat for 20-30 minutes or until cooked throughout.
Remove and serve with some of the braising liquid and garnish with sliced green onions.
Make-Ahead and Storage
Make-Ahead: This is meant to be eaten as soon as it is done cooking. You can keep it warm in the braising liquid in the pan and cover it for up to 1 hour over very low heat.
How to Store: Cover and keep in the refrigerator for up to4 days. Cover and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator for 1 day before reheating.
How to Reheat: Add the chicken to a cookie sheet tray lined with parchment paper and bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes or until warm. You can also heat in the microwave until hot. If you reserved some of the braising liquid, you could also reheat the chicken in some of the liquid in a pan over low heat until warm.
chef notes + tips
- You do not have to double the marinade and then split it, you can cook the chicken in the marinade but first, bring it to a boil for 5 minutes before putting the chicken in and finishing cooking it.
- Feel free to use all chicken thighs or drums for this recipe.
- If you do not have dark soy sauce you can substitute with light soy sauce or you can even use coconut aminos if you are soy-free.
- Substitute the palm sugar with brown sugar.
More Chicken Recipes
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Filipino Chicken Adobo Recipe (Adobong Manok)
- 1 peeled julienne yellow onion
- 16 smashed garlic cloves
- 1 ½ cups dark soy sauce
- 1 cup coconut vinegar
- 4 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon peppercorns
- ¼ cup palm sugar
- 2 cups water
- 1 whole broken-down chicken into parts
- 3 tablespoons peanut oil
- In a large bowl whisk together onions, garlic, soy sauce, vinegar, bay leaves, peppercorns, and water until combined.
- Divide the marinade into two bowls or containers and set aside.
- Add the chicken directly to one of the bowls with the marinades or transfer the chicken and marinade to a plastic zip bag and marinate in the refrigerator overnight or for at least 12 hours and up to 24 hours. Reserve the other marinade in the refrigerator until the next day.
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan or rondeau pot over medium heat for two minutes and then add the chicken directly from the marinade skin side down into the oil and cook for 10-12 minutes or until well browned. Discard the marinade that the chicken was marinating in.
- Flip the chicken over and cook for 2 more minutes.
- Pour the reserved marinade right into the pan and cook covered on low heat for 20-30 minutes.
- Remove the chicken and serve with some of the braising liquid and garnish with sliced green onions.
Hi Chef Billy Parisi
As other commenters have stated each region prepares Chicken Adobo a different way. The way my mom taught me was instead of letting your chicken marinade we cooked it right away. We place the marinade into the pot and used maybe 1/2 cup of water. Cover and boil for about 15-20 minutes then add quartered russet potatoes on top. Let that cook for 15 minutes then mix to get color on your potatoes. Cook until chicken and potatoes are done. This version has a sauce. Serve over white rice. I know this sounds weird but it tastes good when you eat your adobo with a banana (sweet and salty). Thank you for your videos
Hi Chef Billy, in our country, adobo is cooked in different ways and each region will tell you theirs in the best adobo. The secret is loads of garlic, a balance of soy and vinegar, bay leaf, pepper and it’s a dish that tastes better the longer it stays in your fridge. It’s also simmered in the marinade and then fried and served almost dry although some like it with sauce. Thanks for featuring our national dish! Love your recipes.
Thank you Chef Billy for making a national dish. There’s different ways of making adobo, depending which region. In the South, they would add coconut milk, thai chili and use salt instead of soy sauce. The basic adobo spices are garlic, peppercorn, bay leaves, vinegar and soy sauce/salt as how I remember my father cooked it and he lets the marinade almost dry up til you see the oil from the meat come out. Anyway, looking forward to more Filipino dishes in your channel.
I just Watch the video in my chicken is marinating in the fridge so I can cook it tomorrow. Also, I will serve my chicken over quinoa with some honey ginger sliced carrots.
Dear Chef Billy,
What would you serve with chicken adobo? Rice and some of the sauce over the top or…? What vegetable would you recommend?
I really enjoy watching you cook.
This looks delicious 😋