Best Chicken Adobo Recipe



  • 2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces (thighs and drumsticks work best)
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2-3 tablespoons cooking oil (for browning)


  1.  For extra flavour, marinate chicken pieces in soy sauce, vinegar, peppercorns, and half of the garlic for at least 30 minutes or overnight in the refrigerator.
  2. Heat oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Brown the chicken in batches, turning, until golden on all sides (don’t overcrowd the pan). Remove the chicken and set aside.
  3. the remaining garlic to the pot and cook for about 30 seconds until fragrant.
  4.  Add the browned chicken pieces back into the pot. Pour in the marinade (if you used it), soy sauce, vinegar, peppercorns, bay leaves, sugar (if using), and water. The liquid should nearly cover the chicken.
  5.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until the chicken is cooked through and tender (about 30-45 minutes). Check during cooking and add a little water if needed.
  6.  For a thicker sauce, remove the chicken and turn up the heat to medium-high. Reduce the sauce for a few minutes until it thickens to your desired consistency.
  7.  Serve hot over steamed white rice.


  • Bone-in chicken: Bone-in, skin-on cuts provide the best flavour and texture. You can use a combination of thighs, drumsticks, or even a whole chicken cut into pieces.
  • Adjust the tang: Balance the soy sauce and vinegar for your desired level of saltiness and sourness.
  • Browning = flavour: Don’t skip the browning step; it creates a depth of flavour in the final dish.
  • Make it ahead: Adobo tastes even better the next day!

By Lukas