Adobo actually referrs to the cooking technique of marinating the chicken in the flavorful sauce before its cooked. The sauce is sour, sweet and salty all at the same time. It can be left unreduced for a saucy version or reduced for a more sticky-glazed version – it is all a matter of preference!
Chicken adobo makes for great leftovers! The sauce becomes even more flavorful as it has time to meld.
As with any well-known dish, everyone has their favorite version of Filipino chicken adobo – some have coconut milk, others add additional aromatics to the marinade. It’s the national dish of the Philippines after all! I prefer this paired down, more classic version of chicken adobo – it is a favorite weeknight dinner of mine. The chicken can also be substituted with other proteins and cooked in the umami-packed sauce.
This Filipino chicken adobo recipe comes together in under an hour with just a few ingredients and makes for an easy dinner when served with vegetables and rice. The white rice is the perfect companion for the chicken as it absorbs some of the flavor and sauce. I swear the chicken is even more flavorful and tender the second day, so get excited for leftovers.
I use low-sodium soy sauce so that I can control the amount of salt in the recipe, adding more if needed.
While palm sugar is considered traditional in chicken adobo, light brown sugar can also be used.
Smashed whole cloves of garlic are added to this recipe to add garlicky flavor to the sauce which complements the soy and vinegar.
Rather than ground black pepper, whole peppercorns are used to flavor the sauce and are strained out before serving.
Canola oil or vegetable oil are neutral oils. Meaning, it doesn’t have its own flavor. As a result it doesn’t overpower the other flavors in this dish.
I use a combination of bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs as well as skin-on chicken drumsticks in a traditional version of this recipe. Just chicken thighs or a broken down whole chicken can be used instead. I recommend using skin-on chicken because it adds lots of flavor to the recipe. Other proteins can be used in place of chicken in this recipe in the adobo style.
Aromatic whole bay leaves are added whole to add depth of flavor and removed before serving.
Cane vinegar is traditionally used in Filipino adobo though it can be difficult to find at more places. White vinagar is an easy, accessible swap. Cooking mellows the pungent flavor of the vinegar, but the acidity helps to flavor the meat of the chicken.
I garnish the chicken adobo with thinly sliced green onions to add a bit of color to the chicken.
Store any leftovers refrigerated in a sealed airtight container. To reheat chicken adobo I recommend simply reheating in the microwave in increments of 30 seconds until heated.
No! They are two entirely different dishes. Mexican adobo is a thick sauce made from chilies and spices while Filipino adobo is a thin vinegary soy based sauce.
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