Get ready to savor the authentic flavors of the Philippines with Filipino Chicken Adobo! This national favorite marries tender boneless chicken thighs with a special marinade made of soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, ginger, bay leaves, and black pepper. It's an easy, satisfying dish you can't miss out on for a tasty lunch or dinner.
The dish is elevated with fresh aromatics like shallots and spring onions, adding that signature burst of flavor. As the marinade transforms into a sweet, savory, and sticky sauce, it imparts that final glaze, crowning the chicken with irresistible appeal.
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Ingredients and Substitutions Overview
Here's a quick rundown of the essential ingredients for your Filipino Chicken Adobo. Most of these can be found in your local grocery store:
- Chicken: Opt for either thighs or breasts, depending on your taste, to get that tender and flavorful bite.
- Soy Sauce: Use low-sodium for a savory umami kick without overdoing the salt.
- Rice Vinegar: It lends a subtle tanginess and a hint of sweetness to your dish. If it's unavailable, regular vinegar is a good substitute.
- Ginger and Garlic: This aromatic pair infuses the chicken and sauce with a warm, savory essence.
- Chili Flakes (optional): Sprinkle these in if you're in the mood for a spicy twist.
- Bay Leaves: They add a fresh and herby dimension that elevates the overall flavor.
Other Key Ingredients:
- Shallots: Bring a soft, sweet flavor to your meal.
- Brown Sugar: Blends in a sweet, molasses-like richness.
- Black Pepper: Provides a simple, spicy kick.
- Cooking Oil: Choose your preferred type for sautéing.
- Spring Onions: Garnish with these for a crisp, green finish.
How to Make Chicken Adobo at Home?
Dive into our Filipino Chicken Adobo recipe, complete with step-by-step images and video below to guide you from marinade to perfect simmer. Let's get started!
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Filipino Chicken Adobo
- 5 Boneless Chicken Thighs, or chicken breast
- 3 tbsp Soy Sauce, low sodium
- 2 tbsp Rice Vinegar
- 3 cloves Garlic, grated
- ½ inch Ginger, grated
- ½ tsp Chili Flakes, optional for heat
- 3 tbsp Oil
- 2 cloves Garlic, minced
- 1 Shallot, medium size, chopped
- 2 tbsp Brown Sugar
- ½ tsp Black Pepper, freshly crushed or powder
- 1½ cup Water
- Salt, to taste
- Spring Onions, to garnish
- Add grated garlic, ginger, soy sauce, bay leaves, rice vinegar, and chili flakes in a bowl
- Mix everything well to combine
- Toss in boneless, skinless chicken thighs and let them soak up the goodness for at least 15-20 minutes (or overnight if you can wait)
Pan-Fry the Chicken
- Heat a pan with oil over medium heat. Add those marinated chicken thighs
- Sear them for 3-5 minutes on each side, then set them aside
Prepare Filipino Chicken Adobo
- In the same pan, add minced garlic and shallots. Sauté until aromatic
- Pour in the remaining marinade, black pepper, salt, and brown sugar, and stir. Then add water and bring it to a boil
- Return the pan-fried chicken thighs to the mix. Simmer and cook for 20-25 minutes, occasionally giving the chicken a saucy hug
- When the sauce turns thick and glossy, sprinkle some spring onions to garnish
To Serve & Savor
- Pair this delicious Chicken Adobo with white rice, brown rice, jasmine rice, noodles, or any other Asian-inspired sides that tickle your palate
Chef's Notes and Tips
- Fresh Aromatics: Boost your dish's taste with fresh ginger, garlic, shallots, and spring onions for a fabulous flavor.
- Marinating Magic: Marinate the chicken to saturate it with rich, fresh flavors, whether for 15 minutes or overnight.
- Save the Marinade: Keep the marinade aside; it's perfect for creating an irresistible adobo sauce.
- Sear for Crispness: Sear boneless thighs for 3-5 minutes on each side to achieve a delicious outer crisp, then let them simmer in the sauce for 20-25 minutes to soak up even more taste.
- Get Creative: Venture beyond the basics by adding coconut milk or chicken broth to give your adobo a personal twist. It's all about your culinary creativity!
Disclaimer: We’re not nutrition experts. Nutritional info is estimated and should be used as a guide. For precise details, consult a professional.
This Chicken Adobo can stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 2 days in a closed, airtight container. Reheat it in the microwave or on the stovetop until it warms through evenly before enjoying it again.
When enjoying Filipino Chicken Adobo, you have several delightful side dish options to complete your meal. Here are some great choices:
- Steamed Rice: A classic and perfect pairing with Chicken Adobo. You can opt for plain white rice for a neutral base or fragrant jasmine rice for an aromatic touch
- Quinoa: For a healthy twist, you can also serve quinoa, a nutrient-rich grain, as a side to complement your dish
- Garlic Fried Rice (Sinangag): Elevate your rice experience with garlic fried rice, which adds a delicious garlicky aroma and extra flavor to your meal
- Pancit: Explore the world of Filipino noodles by serving Pancit Canton or Pancit Malabon alongside your adobo
- Vegetables: Elevate your meal with roasted or sautéed vegetables, such as sautéed spinach, sautéed green beans, roasted carrots, or roasted green beans
- Eggs and Tomatoes: A simple side dish featuring salted boiled eggs with diced tomatoes, offering a unique and tasty balance to your adobo