Filipino Chicken Adobo

Filipino Chicken Adobo

So simple and so delicious, these chicken thighs are first seared to a golden brown colour, then braised in vinegar and soy sauce flavourful liquid with plenty of garlic!

There are 2 ways I have done this dish. Here, in the video, is the basic recipe. I did some research and found that some use spices for the chicken that contributed to the darker richer colour of the chicken, as well as letting the chicken braise in the sauce, turning it a few times. Usually, annatto powder is used to make the food a darker colour. I don’t have it, so I made my own spice mix, recipe here-, reducing the sauce to a thicker, more caramelized consistency by cooking it some time uncovered. Both are delicious.


3-3 1/2 lb chicken bone-in chicken thighs (I took the skin off)

1 1/2 tsp sea salt

1 tsp pepper

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp garlic powder

2 tbsp coconut oil

1 onion, thinly sliced

8 garlic cloves smashed

3 bay leaves

1/2 cup soy sauce

1/2 cup white vinegar

2 tbsp. coconut sugar or brown sugar

1/4 cup water

Instructions: Season chicken with salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder. Mix well. Set aside

In a large wide pan, heat the oil. Add the chicken pieces on the skin side down. Cook on medium high heat for 8-12 minutes, until golden brown colour. Flip and cook about 5 min on the other side.

Nestle in the onions, garlic cloves and bay leaves. Cook for around 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix soy sauce, vinegar and coconut sugar together. Add the pan.

Add water. Bring to a boil, lower heat, cover and cook, basting top of chicken with liquid from time to time, for around 30 minutes.

If you want a darker richer colour on the chicken, flip chicken over in braising liquid a couple of times instead of just basting with a spoon. That is what I did in the second photo below. Serve over white rice. If you are doing the second way below, I used 2 tbsp of my homemade spice mix on the chicken before searing, with an extra 1 tsp of pepper. Enjoy!

This is the photo from the basic recipe.

This is darker, which I prefer, but they both taste good! Photos below are how I cooked this with the Homemade Filipino Chicken Adobo Spice Mix, and caramelizing the sauce more. You can get the sauce to reduce and get to a thicker glaze like consistency by cooking the chicken uncovered for however long it takes, and turning the chicken a couple of times, so both sides braise in the sauce and get that darker colour.
Homemade Filipino Chicken Adobo Spice Mix
If you are using this, use 2 tbsp plus an extra 1 tsp of pepper to season the chicken with before searing.
Use 2 tbsp of the chicken adobo spice mix to season chicken with, then go ahead with the rest of the basic recipe above in the video.
This is how the sauce looks after it thickens and gets to a glaze like consistency. I did not try marinating the chicken in the sauce before searing it, but I have read that some people do that, and it lends to the darker richer colour as well.

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