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Chicken Adobo

  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time:  5 min
  • Cook Time:  25 min
  • Calories: 340
homemade chicken adobo on a serving platter topped with chopped green onions

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

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

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:  5 min
  • Cook Time:  25 min
  • Calories: 340

Ingredients

  • 3/4 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 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs, fat trimmed
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • Steamed rice, for serving

Method

  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 or medium low 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

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  • Emily

    First timer here, I have bone in chicken thighs with the skin. do you leave the skin on the thighs to prepare this?

    This recipe calls for boneless skinless chicken thighs. You can use bone-in but it will change the cook time.

  • Raquel Vertucio

    I am cooking the adobo right now. I followed your recipe. It is boiling now. How long do you cook it? Uncovered so the juice or sauce is reduced and thickened.

    Yes, that's exactly right (until the sauce has reduced by half and is beginning to thicken). Hope you enjoyed!

  • Mai Ho

    What type of adobo sauce do you use to marinade?

    The recipe includes how to make the marinade using vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, peppercorns, bay leaves and brown sugar. Hope you enjoy Mai!

  • Janet S Kellerman

    Can you substitute rice vineger for white vinegar?

    Rice vinegar isn't as tart as white vinegar so it wouldn't be a perfect substitution you might lose some acidity to the flavor.

  • Sophie

    Can you substitute olive oil for the canola oil?

    Technically it's not recommended to brown/fry things in olive oil because it has a lower smoke point than canola oil That being said if you use olive oil to brown meat keep in mind it will smoke a lot more than canola but you can do it if you don't cook with canola oil.

  • GARY Simpson

    VERY GOOD RECIPE

    Thank Gary!

  • Randalyn

    This is a great recipe. I added additional acidity with lime juice and used more brown sugar. I finely chopped 1/3rd onion and added to marinade mixture that I eventually cooked with the chicken at the end along with chili powder.

    Thanks Randalyn, glad you enjoyed it!

  • Melanie

    Made this last night and it was so good! Will definitely be adding to the dinner rotation. Served over long grain white rice with a side of sautéed carrots with a desert of pumpkin spice bars topped with cream cheese frosting. Absolutely delicious!

    Thanks Melanie, it is so exciting to hear when something is being added to rotation. That sounds like such a delicious meal line up!

  • Libby Israel

    This was so easy and delicious!!

    Thanks Libby!

  • Juan

    Im a filipino. Youre doing great. You cook it right. For the record putting coconut milk is optional. And different regions cook different version of adobo. Keep it up!

    Thanks Juan, so glad you like this one and approve!