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chicken adobo in large cast iron pan

Chicken Adobo (Filipino-Style)

  • Author: Quin Liburd
  • Prep Time: 15m
  • Cook Time: 1hr
  • Total Time: 1 hr 15m
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Asian


If you’re looking for an easy chicken dinner winner; look no further than this insanely delicious chicken adobo recipe. This traditional dish of the Philippines is such a flavor-forward powerhouse! Sure to be a dish that everyone will love!


  • 45 boneless/skinless chicken thighs
  • 45 chicken drumsticks
  • 12 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1/3 cup chopped scallions, plus more for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1/2 cup white distilled vinegar
  • 1 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 12 tablespoons olive oil, vegetable/canola oil as sub
  • jasmine rice, for serving- optional


  1. In a large bowl, combine the chicken pieces (thighs + drumsticks), crushed garlic, scallions, peppercorns, brown sugar, rice vinegar, distilled vinegar, soy sauce, and bay leaves together. Use your hands (fitted with disposable gloves, if desired) to massage everything together- make sure all of the chicken is submerged.
  2. Cover the bowl with a lid or plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator to marinate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight- because we’ll need this later on, do not discard the marinade!
  3. In a large dutch oven or braiser/heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat, coat the bottom of the pot with 1 tablespoon of oil.
  4. Take a few pieces of chicken out of the marinade, shaking off any excess aromatic bits, and place into the hot pan. Careful not to overcrowd the pan, work in batches. Sear the chicken on all sides until lightly browned/crisp, about 2-3 minutes per side. Then place the seared chicken pieces onto a large plate/baking sheet and set aside. Repeat this process until all of the chicken has been browned, coating the pan with more oil, as needed in between batches.
  5. Once all of the chicken has been browned and is set aside, add the reserved marinade directly into the pot along with all of the aromatics- leave nothing behind. Let the marinade come up to a slight boil and then immediately reduce the heat to low. 
  6. Add the browned chicken pieces back into the pot, spooning a bit of the marinade over the chicken. Then cover the pot with a lid and let the chicken simmer for 30 minutes. Once done, uncover the pot and carefully flip chicken pieces over, basting the chicken with the marinade once more. Cover the pot and let the chicken simmer for another 25- 30 minutes. At this stage, the sauce should have thickened and developed into a more glaze-like texture. 
  7. Remove the bay leaves and serve the chicken adobo with sauce on top of jasmine rice, and garnish with scallions, if desired. Enjoy!


  1. Please read the blog post in its entirety for more tips + tricks.
  2. Storing: Store any leftovers inside of an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week. Then simply reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop as needed.
  3. Notes on sauce thickness: If you’d like your sauce to be thicker, you can make a slurry (1 tablespoon of cornstarch combined with equal parts water, mix to combine) and pour it into the sauce on stove with the chicken pieces set aside. Let it come to a boil until sauce thickens to desired consistency then add the chicken back into the pan.

Keywords: chicken adobo, filipino chicken adobo, easy chicken adobo recipe