Adobong Manok (Filipino Chicken Adobo)

By: MeganPosted: 04/04/2024 Updated: 18/04/2024
Prep 10 minutes
Cook 1 hour
Total 4 hours 10 minutes
This Filipino chicken adobo recipe yields the juiciest, most tender braised chicken coated in a savory, tangy, garlicky sauce.
Adobong Manok (Filipino Chicken Adobo)

This Filipino chicken adobo recipe is incredibly easy to make and yields the most comforting, fall-off-the-bone dish. If you are looking for more savory, protein options, check out our thit kho (Vietnamese caramelized pork ribs with eggs), soy sauce chicken, and chicken bulgogi.

Adobong manok served on a bed of rice.

What is Adobong Manok (Chicken Adobo)?

Adobong manok, or Filipino chicken adobo, is the national dish of the Philippines. It is popular because of its simplicity, delicious flavor, and tender chicken. “Adobo” is a cooking method that involves braising a protein in a vinegar-based sauce.

Chicken adobo consists of chicken thighs and drumsticks that are marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, brown sugar, black peppercorns, and bay leaves. The chicken is then pan-seared and simmered in the marinade until tender and cooked. The adobo sauce cooks down into a thick, aromatic sauce that tastes tangy, sweet, and salty.

A top down view of a pot of chicken adobo on a counter with table settings.

Ingredients

You can find all the ingredients for this Filipino chicken adobo recipe at your local grocery store. I have linked everything that I used below. For the most authentic Filipino flavor, I recommend buying Silver Swan soy sauce.

  • Chicken thighs and drumsticks: skin-on bone-in chicken thighs and drumsticks will yield the juiciest flavor, but you can use any type of chicken.
  • Garlic Cloves: crushed garlic cloves are key for the most aromatic flavors.
  • Unseasoned Rice Vinegar: most adobos use white vinegar, I like using unseasoned rice vinegar for a softer slightly sweeter tangy flavor.
  • Soy Sauce: soy sauce is the key ingredient for the adobo sauce. I recommend using Silver Swan soy sauce for the most traditional flavor.
  • Dark Soy Sauce: dark soy sauce adds a sweeter soy sauce flavor to balance out the tanginess and also aids in the rich, deep brown color.
  • Brown Sugar: brown sugar balances out the salty soy sauce flavors and gently sweetens the chicken in adobo.
  • Black Peppercorns: black peppercorns add a piney, citrusy note that seasons the adobo sauce.
  • Bay Leaves: bay leaves add an herbal, slightly bitter note to lighten up the other rich flavors.
All the ingredients for making adobong manok chicken adobo in bowls.

Substitutions and Additions

You can easily customize this recipe for Filipino adobo chicken with the following suggestions for substitutions and additions below.

Substitutions

  • Protein: instead of chicken you can use pork, beef, seafood, or even tofu. The cooking times will vary depending on the protein you use.
  • Vinegar: instead of rice vinegar, you can use white vinegar or apple cider vinegar.
  • Soy sauce: instead of regular soy sauce you can always use low-sodium soy sauce, tamari, or coconut aminos instead.

Additions

  • Onions: for added aromatics and natural sweetness, add sliced onions.
  • Spices: for added spices, you can add star anise, cloves, or dried chilis.
  • Sweetness: for added sweetness, you can incorporate coconut milk or honey.
  • Fish sauce: a splash of fish sauce can deepen the umami savory flavor of the chicken in adobo.
  • Herbs: for garnish, you can add cilantro or parsley for more freshness.

How to Make Chicken Adobo

Here are the step-by-step instructions for how to make this easy Filipino chicken adobo recipe. I recommend marinating the chicken overnight for the best results.

  1. Marinate the chicken. In a large mixing bowl, add the garlic, rice vinegar, soy sauce, dark soy sauce, regular soy sauce, brown sugar, water, black peppercorns, and bay leaves. Mix to combine. Then add the chicken and mix to thoroughly marinate. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate for at least 3 hours or overnight. Reserve the marinating liquid.
  1. Sear the chicken. In a large braiser or pot over medium-high heat, heat cooking oil until hot. Remove the chicken from the marinade (reserving the marinade) and sear the chicken in batches for about 2-3 minutes on each side. Remove and set aside. You do not need to chicken all the way through.
  1. Add the marinade and chicken. Pour the marinade back into the braiser and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Then add the chicken in and bring to a boil.
  1. Simmer. Once the chicken has reached a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover, and gently simmer for 30 minutes. Then flip the chicken, cover, and cook for an additional 20-30 minutes or until the sauce has thickened and the chicken is tender.
  2. Serve. Garnish the chicken adobo with green onions and serve with steamed rice.

Tips for the Best Chicken Adobo

  • Marinate overnight. The longer you let your chicken marinate in the adobo sauce, the more flavorful it will be.
  • Simmer on low heat: when braising the chicken, cook over medium-low to low heat for a soft gentle simmer. You want the flavors to meld together without overcooking the chicken.
  • Adjust to taste: taste the sauce and adjust the seasonings as needed to suit your taste preferences before serving.

Storage Instructions

Allow the Filipino adobo chicken to cool to room temperature before storing it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Reheat: cook the adobo gently over medium heat on the stove top stirring occasionally until warmed through. Or you can microwave covered until warm.

Freeze: You can freeze the chicken adobo in a freezer-safe airtight container for up to 3 months. Allow the dish to cool completely before freezing. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating and serving.

Frequently Asked Q’s and A’s

What does chicken adobo taste like?

Filipino chicken adobo is savory, tangy, and slightly sweet. The chicken is marinated and braised in crushed garlic, soy sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar, black peppercorns, and bay leaves sauce. The chicken is incredibly tender, and juicy and falls off the bone.

What do you serve with chicken adobo?

You can serve steamed rice with chicken adobo. The rice will soak up all the delicious adobo sauce.

Can chicken adobo be made ahead of time?

Yes, chicken adobo can easily be made in advance. Chicken adobo freezes well after it is completely cooled. You can freeze the chicken in a freezer-safe airtight container for up to 3 months.

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Recipe

Chicken adobo served in a large braiser.

Filipino Chicken Adobo (Adobong Manok)

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Marinate Time 3 hours
Total Time 4 hours 10 minutes
This Filipino chicken adobo recipe yields the juiciest, most tender braised chicken coated in a savory, tangy, garlicky sauce.
Servings: 4 servings
Print Recipe

Ingredients

Serve

  • 4 green onions chopped
  • Steamed rice

Instructions

  • Marinate the chicken. In a large mixing bowl, add the garlic, rice vinegar, soy sauce, dark soy sauce, regular soy sauce, brown sugar, water, black peppercorns, and bay leaves. Mix to combine. Then add the chicken and mix to thoroughly marinate. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate for at least 3 hours or overnight. Reserve the marinating liquid.
  • Sear the chicken. In a large braiser or pot over medium-high heat, heat cooking oil until hot. Remove the chicken from the marinade (reserving the marinade) and sear the chicken in batches for about 2-3 minutes on each side. Remove and set aside. You do not need to chicken all the way through.
  • Add the marinade and chicken. Pour the marinade back into the braiser and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Then add the chicken in and bring to a boil.
  • Simmer on low. Once the chicken has reached a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover, and gently simmer for 30 minutes. Then flip the chicken, cover, and cook for an additional 20-30 minutes or until the sauce has thickened and the chicken is tender.
  • Serve. Garnish the chicken adobo with green onions and serve with steamed rice.

Notes

  • Marinate overnight. The longer you let your chicken marinate in the adobo sauce, the more flavorful it will be.
  • Simmer slowly: when braising the chicken, cook over medium low to low heat for a soft gentle simmer. You want the flavors to meld together without overcooking the chicken.
  • Adjust to taste: taste the sauce and adjust the seasonings as needed to suit your taste preferences before serving.

Nutrition:

Calories: 604kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 49g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 174mg | Sodium: 2741mg | Potassium: 672mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 463IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 94mg | Iron: 4mg

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Recipe Rating




  1. Very tasty and reminiscent to a chicken prep my mom did from her German background. I will make it
    Again cause everyone enjoyed