Braised Chicken Adobo

Chicken Adobo is a Filipino dish made by braising chicken legs (thighs and/or drumsticks) in a sauce made up of vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, and black pepper. It is everything good: tangy, salty, garlicy, slightly sweet, and spicy. The chicken is slowly simmered in the sauce making it flavorful and incredibly tender.
Prep Time15 minutes
40 minutes
Total Time55 minutes
Course: Main Course
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Transforming the Table


  • Large saute pan
  • Medium bowl


  • 8 chicken quarters
  • 1 onion
  • 1 cup rice
  • 1/2 cup sherry vinegar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 serrano
  • 4-6 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp sugar or honey
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper


  • Peel and julienne onion. Peel and smash garlic using the back of the knife. Thinly slice serrano (remove seeds for less heat). Separate chicken thighs from drumsticks using a sharp knife. [Hold both ends of chicken quarter, bend so you can see the joint, easiest spot to cut. Now twist the drumstick until joint cracks. Separate the thigh and drumstick cutting through the skin and flesh. If you hit the bone, slide the knife over.
  • Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Add chicken to the pan and sear for 3-4 min per side until browned on both sides. Remove from pan. Do not clean pan. Chicken is not fully cooked at this point.
  • Add vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, half the serrano, sugar/honey, pepper, bay leaves, and 1/2 cup water to pan. Stir to mix and bring to a boil. Return chicken to pan skin side up, reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 30-35 minutes until cooked through.
  • Prepare rice:
  • Add rice, 1 1/4 cups water, salt, and pepper to medium pot over medium heat. Bring to boil; cover and reduce heat to low. Cook 15-20 min until tender. Fluff with fork.
  • Remove lid from chicken pan. Move only the chicken pieces onto a clean plate. Over med-high heat bring sauce to a boil, cooking for about 5 min until thickened. Return chicken to pan and spoon sauce to coat.
  • Divide rice or couscous between plates. Top with chicken and plenty of adobo sauce! Serve with your favorite veggie side dish! Enjoy

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