Filipino Chicken Adobo
This recipe is from Good and Cheap.
Good and Cheap is a gorgeous cookbook for people with limited income, particularly on a $4/day food stamps budget. The PDF is free (ahora en Español!) and has been downloaded more than 15,000,000 times. I have more cookbooks, too!
This Chicken Adobo is a family recipe of Tony Pangilinan which I adapted, but have barely changed. Tony is one of the warmest people you’ll ever meet and this meal is a reflection of him. Comforting, delicious and best shared with a group, I hope you’ll give this a try.
Filipino adobo—very different from Spanish adobo—is basically anything cooked in vinegar, soy sauce, and garlic. Although this version is chicken, you can use any meat or vegetables you like. It’s a brilliant dish that turns basic staples into deliciousness. Because it’s vinegar-based, it also keeps well in the fridge!
- 3/4 cup rice or white vinegar
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- 8 chicken thighs fat trimmed
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 3/4 cup water
- 2 medium potatoes chopped
- 4 medium carrots sliced
- 2 cups white rice
- salt to taste
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- 4 jalapenos chopped
- ginger root grated
- 1 1/2 lb pork shoulder or butt cubed (instead of chicken)
- 1 can coconut milk (instead of water)
- chicken schmaltz (instead of vegetable oil)
- In a large, non-aluminum pan, stir together the vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, pepper, and bay leaves. Add the chicken, coating each piece thoroughly. Cover and let marinate for at least 30 minutes, but overnight is great.
- Pull the chicken out of the marinade and pat each piece dry.
- Pour the oil into a large pot on medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add enough chicken to fill the bottom of the pot. Let it cook for a few minutes, until one side of the chicken is browned, then flip it over. When the first batch of chicken is done, remove it from the pot and repeat with the remainder.
- After all the chicken is browned, put it back in the pot along with the marinade, water, potatoes, and carrots. Turn the heat up until the liquid comes to a boil, then reduce to low heat and simmer for 45 minutes, or until the meat near the bone is no longer pink and the carrots and potatoes are cooked through.
- About 20 minutes before the adobo is ready, pour the rice into a medium pot with 4 cups of water. Add two pinches of salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat with the lid off. Turn the heat down and cover with a lid that is slightly askew to let the steam escape. Cook about 20 minutes, until the water is all gone.
- Remove the bay leaves from the adobo. In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch with a tablespoon of water, then stir it into the sauce. Let the sauce boil and thicken until the chicken and vegetables are well glazed. Serve over the rice.
To much vinegar and needs stock not just water add to the cooking part a little brown sugar to balance out the vinegar
Do you recommend using removing the skin from the thighs? And it looks like the thighs are left whole (as opposed to if you were using the pork it says to cube the meat).
Hi Rebecca, it’s up to you if you want to remove the skin. Do what you prefer. In the version pictured I left most of the skin on, just snipping off a few of the really floppy bits. The thighs are indeed left whole, it’s so much simpler when the bone is in I find!
I think it’s all about preference. Make it your own style. It’s best when it’s made to you and your families liking 🙂
This sounds like it will have great flavor. Have you ever tried doing this in a crock pot? I’m always looking for healthy crock pot meals for busy nights. thank you
I haven’t tried it but I’m sure it would work well. You would just want to make sure you seared the chicken before adding it to the crockpot 🙂
I can’t for the life of me get the sauce to thicken and create a glaze. And it doesn’t get that delicious looking red color. The taste is great, but I want that glazed aspect. Do you have any recommendations for how I can troubleshoot?
Hey Sarah, if you want to glaze and have a thicker sauce you could add a little cornstarch mixed with water at the end and heat until it bubbles and becomes glossy. The photo does look quite dark, but the sauce is pretty thin so you are doing it right!
I tried it out and it was delicious!