Friday, January 18, 2013

NomNom: Filipino Chicken Adobo

I'm always curious when it comes to native food from other cultures. Whenever I travel to a foreign country, I make it a point to look up food establishments prior to the trip so that I can fully embrace their culture and cuisine and not just "wing it." Although I admit, some of the best food memories I have from my travels have come from recommendations made by local shop owners. Trust me, they know the hidden gems.

I have yet to visit the Philippines and will admit, I am not too familiar in their cuisine; however, I do know "adobo" style of cooking is their thing. It's a style of cooking that either involves meat or seafood which is marinated in a sauce with lots of garlic and vinegar.

I've made this dish several times and it's one of those easy recipes that matches chicken and rice together perfectly. The recipe yields enough sauce where the chicken can absorb the flavors and be drizzled on your rice. Don't you just love that?

The sharp acidity from the vinegar plays so well with the sweetness from the coconut milk and after the chicken has been braising for a couple of hours, the meat just falls apart oh so wonderfully. It's a simple dish that can be part of your dinner rotation with no fuss and sure to please the family.

Have a great weekend. Xo.

Ingredients (Adapted from America's Test Kitchen)
8 bone in chicken thighs, trimmed
1/3 cup soy sauce
1 can coconut milk
3/4 cider vinegar
8 garlic cloves
4 bay leaves
2 teaspoons pepper
1 scallion, sliced (optional)

1. Toss chicken w/ soy sauce in large bowl. Refrigerate for at least 30 min and up to 1hr.

2. Remove chicken from soy sauce. Transfer chicken, skin side down to 12 inch nonstick skillet, set aside soy sauce.

3. Place skillet over medium high heat and cook until chicken skin is browned, 7-10 min. While chicken is browning, whisk coconut milk, vinegar, garlic, bay leaves and pepper into soy sauce.

4. Transfer chicken to plate and discard fat in skillet. Return chicken to skin side down, add coconut milk mixture, and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Flip chicken skin side up and continue to cook, uncovered, until chicken registers 175 degrees, about 15 minutes. Transfer chicken to platter and tent
loosely with aluminum foil.

5. Remove bay leaves and skim any fat off surface of sauce. Return skillet to medium high heat and cook until sauce is thickened, 5-7 minutes. Pour sauce over chicken, sprinkle with scallion and serve.


  1. Adobo is a Filipino cuisine staple! I'll admit that I'm not too well versed in the recipes of my own culture, but after seeing your post I'm definitely have to try this recipe!


  2. OMG this looks so yummy I may have to try this!

  3. Most chicken adobo recipes don’t use coconut milk. That chef they consulted is from a small region in the Philippine Islands which puts coconut milk in EVERYTHING. 99% of Filipino chicken adobo recipes have no coconut milk.

    America’s Test Kitchen screwed up in that regard.

    They also had way too much vinegar in that recipe. Reduce the vinegar to 1/3 cup. The ideal ratio of vinegar to salty for Adobo is 1:1.

    These are the authentic recipes:

  4. I swear that "NH" is going around to every blog to have made this recipe and leaving the exact same comment, as this is now the third time I've seen it.

    At any rate, I made the recipe exactly as written and thought it was fabulous.