Classic Chicken Adobo

If there is a dish that the Philippines is known for it's got to be Adobo. While the word "Adobo"  certainly has Spanish origins (the Philippines has been colonized by Spain for nearly 400 years), this particular cooking method and dish is indigenous to the Philippines.

The word "Adobo" means marinade, sauce or seasoning in Spanish. Since the Filipino Adobo requires stewing/braising the meat in Vinegar (like marinating), the term adobo eventually became the household name for the dish or this style of cooking.

Naturally, everyone has their own version of Adobo. I have mine, too. My husband loves this version of classic adobo. I prefer the sweeter Adobo, he prefers the more savory kind of adobo. Feel free to adjust the measurements to your taste. This is how we like it exactly (see measurements below) but you can add more vinegar or soy sauce to accommodate your taste preference. If  one day you want a darker sauce, then add more soy sauce. If you wish to make it completely gluten-free then make sure that the soy sauce you are using is wheat-free.

You can also choose to make the adobo with a lot of sauce or turn it into a drier adobo - either way it's truly flavorful. As you can see in the photos, the chicken pieces are quite golden brown. I do fry my adobo after they have been cooked - just a little oil (and a bit of the sauce) and not deep-fried - to give it a little color and extra flavor. The extra sauce I use to drizzle on my rice. Yummy!

And if you don't know yet, Adobo tastes even better the next day or days (if you can prevent yourself from gobbling it up the first day.). Of course, you can also marinate the Adobo in its sauce the night before and cook it the next day to ensure that the chicken has fully absorbed all the flavor.

By the way, I have to mention that the technique of cooking the vinegar first was something I learned from my friend Monette. I have failed so many times in making adobo but thanks to her teaching me how to do it properly, I have become confident in making my adobo and many who have tasted it have loved the dish. Try this Classic Chicken Adobo which made the Philippines famous in the culinary world! Enjoy!


2-3 lbs - 1-1.5 kilos of Chicken pieces (or one whole chicken, cut-up)
3/4 cup vinegar
1/3 cup water
1/3 (up to 1/2) cup soy sauce (if you want a darker sauce)
1 Whole Garlic, cloves separated, crushed, but left unpeeled
1 - 1 1/2 teaspoons, Whole Black Peppercorns or to taste
2 Bay leaves


Place the meat and the rest of the ingredients in a large pan like a Dutch oven. You can either marinate the meat overnight or cook it right away.

Using medium heat, bring to a rolling boil. Lower the heat slightly then cook uncovered for about half an hour. This is to allow the vinegar to cook.

Cover and then continue to simmer until the chicken pieces are tender. You can eat the adobo at this point. This is the more saucy Adobo version. 

But if you want extra flavor and/or prefer the dry adobo, take out the chicken pieces and fry them quickly in a little oil. Use the remaining sauce to pour on your rice, if you like. Enjoy!

If you like what you see and would like to receive new recipe updates we'd love you to subscribe to our posts and join our site. Also do like us in Facebook so you can get the latest updates and so much more. Thanks for visiting and happy browsing!


  1. I love chicken adobo! I get to eat it a lot as many of my students are Filipino. Yum! And I didn't realize the word means 'marinade' but that makes total sense!

    1. Glad you like Adobo, Tiffany! That's wonderful to know. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Thanks for posting this one.. I tried making adobo too but I always miss something in it.... and my husband don't like I stopped making this recipe.... I hope that by following your recipe it will be a success this time....

    Greetings from Holland!


    Maricel Canete
    The Netherlands

  3. Chicken Adobo is one of the world's most simple — and delicious — dishes. Yours looks fantastic!

  4. Replies
    1. Hi Bintu, I get hungry whenever I see these photos, too. :-) Thanks for stopping by.

  5. My Chicken Adobo version is with abundant sauce! and sometimes I make it with pork too! Love this!

  6. Chicken adobe is one of my favorite dishes. Where do you find fresh bay lead?

    1. Thanks, our grocery store carries fresh bay leaf. This is in Michigan not Manila.

  7. Thanks for this recipe! I'm curious though, would it make a difference if you peeled the garlic?

    1. I think if you leave the garlic unpeeled, it tastes sweeter whereas if you leave it peeled it becomes pungent. Thanks for stopping by.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...