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Slow Cooker Chicken Adobo

Chicken slowly braised in vinegar, soy sauce, garlic and bay leaves until fall-off-the-bone tender and DELICIOUS. This classic recipe for chicken adobo in the slow cooker can be made a day ahead and tastes even better the next day!

Course Main Course
Cuisine Asian, Filipino, Southeast Asian
Keyword authentic filipio chicken adobo recipe, easy slow cooker chicken adobo, slow cooker chicken adobo, slow cooker chicken adobo manilaspoon
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 hours
Total Time 5 hours 10 minutes
Servings 6
Author Manila Spoon


  • 3 pounds chicken pieces, (like thighs and drumsticks)
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil of choice
  • ½ cup white vinegar, (preferably the Cane Vinegar from the Philippines)
  • cup soy sauce
  • 1 whole garlic, cloves separated, crushed, left unpeeled or peeled
  • 2 tsp whole black peppercorns, (or freshly ground pepper – to taste)
  • 3 pieces dried bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp sugar or to taste, (for those who prefer a slightly sweeter Adobo but leave out if doing low-carb)


  1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Brown all the chicken pieces in batches. This step is highly suggested for depth of flavor and to lessen grease accumulation over all. If in a hurry, simply place the chicken pieces in the slow cooker. Alternatively, you can use skinless chicken pieces to avoid the browning process.

  2. Mix together the vinegar and soy sauce. Place the browned chicken pieces in the slow cooker. Pour the vinegar mixture all over the chicken. Evenly distribute the garlic, peppercorns and bay leaves. If you don’t fancy picking out the peppercorns on your plate, feel free to replace with freshly ground pepper but adjust the amount to your taste preference (a teaspoon to begin with). Cook on low for 5-6 hours or until chicken is tender.

  3. For a slightly sweeter adobo, add the sugar to the vinegar mixture or towards the end you can also sprinkle the sugar all over and gently stir it in. Serve with freshly cooked rice. Can be made a day or 2 ahead.

Recipe Notes


You may add 1/4 cup water to the mix if you like. This is optional so omit or leave it out, if you want a more intense flavor or don’t want it diluted. Others prefer it as is and find the water to be unnecessary so adjust it to your taste.

The extra sugar will not make the chicken adobo extra sweet but will simply enhance the overall flavor of the sauce with a mere slight hint of sweetness. It serves to balance the flavors so it is neither too salty or vinegary but just right.