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Chicken Adobo

Our chicken adobo recipe is simple as can be—a one-pot weeknight flavor party to love forever and ever.


homemade chicken adobo on a serving platter topped with chopped green onions

Filipino Chicken Adobo is a One-Pot Flavor Explosion

Quick, easy, bursting with flavor, our version of the classic Filipino dish known as chicken adobo is here to give your weeknight dinner plans a serious jolt of excitement. Chicken adobo is inherently easy—even the most classic, most authentic recipes are all about ease because the dish simply is, well, simple! Salty, sweet, acidic adobo sauce is bold and basic, and all you’ll need to do is remember to get the chicken marinating at least 90 minutes before you want to eat dinner because it needs at least an hour in the marinade.

bowl of white vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, peppercorns, bay leaves, brown sugar, chicken thighs and canola oil on the counter

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What Is Chicken Adobo Made Of?

You’ll want to use chicken thighs for this recipe—you really need at least a little hearty chicken fat in the mix, so ignore any temptation to use chicken breasts on this one, OK? Beyond that, though, chicken adobo is really all about that perfectly balanced adobo sauce. So, what is adobo sauce made of? We’re so glad you asked! Adobo sauce is ultra simple to me. it sort of punches all the four big tastes—salty, savory, sweet, sour—without reserve. It’s sort of like it’s hollering at the chicken thighs to become incredibly flavorful—OR ELSE! And honestly, we love it. Here’s everything you’ll need to make the best chicken adobo sauce ever:

  • White vinegar

  • Soy sauce (or tamari)

  • Fresh garlic

  • Black peppercorns

  • Bay leaves

  • Brown sugar

vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, peppercorns, bay leaves and brown sugar in a glass bowl of chicken adobo marinade
chicken thighs soaked in adobo marinade made out of vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, peppercorns, bay leaves and brown sugar
homemade chicken adobo in a skillet that was marinated in vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, peppercorns, bay leaves and brown sugar
marinated chicken adobo chicken thighs being browned in a skillet

How To Make Our Easy Chicken Adobo Recipe

Chicken thighs get so thoroughly soaked in adobo sauce in this chicken adobo recipe—first with a good long marinade and then by being fully simmered in the sauce—that they absolutely pop with so much flavorful goodness by the time you’re ready to serve dinner. This recipe isn’t a super time-saver, but it’s largely effortless—simply plan ahead a bit, and make sure you’ve got a good, big skillet handy. Here’s how to make our chicken adobo recipe:

  1. Marinate the chicken thighs in the adobo sauce for at least an hour, or as long as three hours. We put a cap on the marinade time because the white vinegar is super acidic, so it’ll start to mess with the texture of the chicken thighs after three hours.

  2. Brown the chicken thighs! They don’t need to be cooked through—focus on getting a nice golden-brown color and slightly crisp texture.

  3. Pour in the marinade and bring the chicken and sauce to a boil. Simmer until the sauce has reduced by half and the chicken is completely cooked through.

homemade chicken adobo in a skillet that was marinated in vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, peppercorns, bay leaves and brown sugar

What To Serve With Chicken Adobo

Keep it classic! You’ve got to serve chicken adobo in the classic Filipino way—over a big bed of perfectly steamed white rice, sprinkled with fresh chopped scallions and plenty of that adobo sauce spooned over everything. If you have a rice cooker, this is its moment to shine. But if you don’t, no sweat! You can follow our stovetop rice cooking method here–simply leave out the lemon juice, zest and garlic powder.

homemade chicken adobo on a serving platter topped with chopped green onions
chicken adobo served over white rice and sautéed vegetables topped with green onions on a plate with a fork and knife

Tools You’ll Need

More Ultra-Easy Chicken Thigh Recipes

homemade chicken adobo on a serving platter topped with chopped green onions
chicken adobo served over white rice and sautéed vegetables topped with green onions on a plate with a fork and knife

Chicken Adobo?! More Like Chicken We ADORE-O!

Couldn’t help it. But really, we are butt-crazy in love with this recipe (and if you get that reference, we are butt-crazy in love with you, too.) We hope you love our chicken adobo recipe! It’s just really gosh-darn good, if we may say so. When you try it, let us know how you like it, OK? Share a photo and tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper so that we can see your stuff! Happy eating!

Chicken Adobo

  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time:  1 hr 5 min
  • Cook Time:  25 min
  • Calories: 340


  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce (or tamari)
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs, fat trimmed
  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • Steamed rice, for serving


  1. In a large bowl, combine the vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, peppercorns, bay leaves and brown sugar. Add the chicken and toss to coat. Cover the bowl and place it in the refrigerator for at least one hour, and up to three.

  2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm the canola oil until glistening. Add the chicken (letting as much marinade drip off as possible) to the pan. Brown the chicken thighs on both sides, about 6 minutes total.

  3. Add the remaining marinade to the skillet and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium to maintain a heavy simmer for 10 minutes. Flip the chicken thighs. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has reduced by half and is beginning to thicken, about 10 more minutes. When the chicken thigh reads 165°F on an instant-read thermometer, remove from the heat.

  4. Serve the chicken thighs over cooked rice, sprinkled with green onions.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories340
  • Protein46 g
  • Carbohydrates5 g
  • Total Fat14 g
  • Dietary Fiber2 g
  • Cholesterol0 mg
  • sodium1081 mg
  • Total Sugars3 g

Chicken Adobo

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

  • Amanda Hernandez

    Could you make this in an air fryer? How long and what temperature would recommend? We usually make this on the grill and love it, but we don't have our grill at the moment.

    We haven't tested this in the air fryer yet.

  • Adrian Mojica

    Would this recipe work with other cuts of chicken? Like full sized wings, etc.

    Thank you!

    Sure! You will just need to adjust cook time based on what cut of chicken you choose.

  • Tracy

    Can you eliminate brown sugar

    Hi Tracy we haven't tested eliminating it, it would definitely change the flavor. YOu could substitute a zero calorie brown sugar like "golden monkfruit" etc...

  • F. Colley

    How long should you cook the chicken thighs if you leave the bone in and skin on?

    It will take about 5-10 minutes more probably so maybe cook for 15 minutes before you flip the chicken. Still check for doneness after 10 minutes and if they aren't done continue cooking until they reach a 165F internal temperature.

  • Morgan

    Hi, this is kind of silly but I mixed the marinade before checking that my chicken was thawed 😵‍💫 should I scrap the marinade or is it okay to leave it premixed and then marinate the chicken tomorrow?

    Sure! Just use it tomorrow, hope you enjoy!

  • Paul M

    Extremely easy recipe, but I expected more flavor for some reason. The flavor is there but very subtle, even after using 50% more garlic than called for in the recipe. I did like it, but I'm not sure I would make it again without some adjustment.

    Hi Paul, glad you enjoyed it! Were you able to marinade it, that makes a big difference in flavor We recommend marinating it for 90 minutes before cooking.

  • C Hess

    I made this for dinner last night and it was a huge hit! This is similar to teriyaki chicken, except that it is more tang and more depth of flavor. I cooked it slow while I worked on other things, and let the sauce simmer down to a thick consistency. It was incredible! Super easy, super tasty, and so worth it! Enjoy!!

    (Oh, I did do one modification - I was out of low sodium soy sauce and I knew as the sauce cooked down it would make it salty, so I diluted it 1/2 regular sodium soy sauce and 1/2 water. It came out perfect!

    Thanks, so happy you loved it!

  • Linda

    I love chicken adobo! I like to add a large yellow onion sliced in 1/2 chunks-so great marinated and cooked with the chicken. Tart tangy soft...Yummy! Thanks,

    Thanks Linda, we are so happy you loved it!

  • Kevin R

    My marinade didn't reduce before the chicken was nearly overdone. I was well beyond the recommended cook time after the sauce went in. I'm not sure what I did wrong, as I cook a very similar homemade recipe, but it was a lot of marinade to try and reduce. Next time I am going to try reducing the amount of liquid I put in the pan by using regular soy sauce. I'm giving this 5 stars because I can taste the flavor is really good, but it's really subdued do to the under reduction.

    Stove top temperatures and skillet sizes all vary and can effect the outcome. We're glad you liked the flavor hope it goes better next time!

  • GARY Simpson


    Thank Gary!