Chef's Savory Filipino Chicken Adobo Recipe Is a Sweet & Spicy Explosion of Flavor by Chef Gigi

Chef's Savory Filipino Chicken Adobo Recipe Is a Sweet & Spicy Explosion of Flavor

Considered by many to be the national dish of the Philippines, Filipino adobo chicken is truly something special. If you’ve never tried adobo, you’re seriously missing out!

Adobo is sometimes referred to as the unofficial Philippines national dish, though you will find it in other countries (especially those with a history of Spanish occupation). The super bold and complex flavors are deeply savory, slightly sweet with a hint of spicy. A perfect balance of umami flavors that creates a taste explosion in your mouth. 

This Filipino recipe is simple to make, cooks in one pan and is super moist and flavorful. To make this savory chicken recipe you will need chicken, canola oil, white vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, jalapenos, brown sugar, ground black pepper and bay leaves. This easy dinner recipe is perfect served over rice, and you can add a vegetable or other side dish, or a simple garden salad. The leftovers are delicious for lunch the next day.

I sometimes finish this Filipino chicken recipe under a broiler to get those deeply caramelized crunchy nodes and return to the sauce. Serve the Asian chicken and sauce over warm jasmine rice and garnish with chopped scallions, if desired. 

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Cuisine: Filipino / Asian / Spanish
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 to 55 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 6


  • 2 pounds chicken thighs and drumsticks
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 3/4 cup white vinegar
  • 3/4 cup soy sauce
  • 10 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 jalapenos, sliced (divided)
  • 2 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • bay leaves

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Recipe Notes

  • To make this recipe gluten-free, use gluten-free soy sauce or tamari. 
  • For a thicker sauce, mix together 1 1/2 teaspoons of cornstarch with 1 1/2 teaspoons cold water. Pour into the boiled sauce and cook another 20 to 30 seconds until thickened.
  • Garnish with a handful of chopped scallions, if desired.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Here's how to make it: 

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Add the chicken, skin side down, to the pan and brown on both sides. Remove and place on a plate.
  2. Add the vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, half the jalapenos, black pepper, sugar and bay leaves. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Return the chicken, skin side up, reduce heat to low, cover and let simmer for 35 to 45 minutes until cooked through and tender but not falling off the bone.
  3. Remove chicken and set aside to keep warm. Bring sauce to a boil over medium-high heat and cook for about 5 minutes or until slightly thickened. Remove the pan from the heat, discard bay leaves and add the chicken back. Spoon sauce over the top of the chicken and garnish with remaining jalapenos.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving

Calories: 116

Total Fat: 5.1g

Saturated Fat: 0.9g

Cholesterol: 30mg

Sodium: 765mg

Total Carbohydrate: 6.8g

Dietary Fiber: 1.1g

Total Sugars: 4g

Protein: 11.3g

Vitamin D: 0mcg

Calcium: 21mg

Iron: 1mg

Potassium: 189mg

Recipe cooking times, nutritional information and servings are approximate and provided for your convenience. However, 30Seconds is not responsible for the outcome of any recipe, nor may you have the same results because of variations in ingredients, temperatures, altitude, errors, omissions or cooking/baking abilities. This recipe has been analyzed by VeryWellFit. However, any nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and it is up to the individual to ascertain accuracy. To ensure image quality, we may occasionally use stock photography.

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