Adobo is a confusing word to many Americans. People associate it with Goya brand seasoning, a dish from the Philippines or a sauce that chipotle peppers are in. So, you ask, what is it and what’s with the deal with the broad use of the term? Adobo is a Spanish word and translates to marinade, sauce or seasoning. Considering that Spanish is the official language of 20 countries and spoken in many more – it’s no wonder that so many dishes and ingredients are referred to as adobo. Now you’re probably even more confused, knowing that Spanish is not spoken by Filipinos. The name Adobo was influenced by the Spaniards who colonized the Philippines for over 300 years. Enough with history and language lessons. Today we’re talking about the Filipino Chicken Adobo.
I make Chicken Adobo often. It’s simple, consists of ingredients I always have on hand and is unbelievably delicious. It’s one of my go to meals when I’m in a dinner rut. The smell of it simmering on the stove is almost intoxicating and it makes the whole house fondly reminiscent of your delicious dinner for hours to come.
You’ll find many different Adobo recipes but they’re all pretty much the same. Vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, pepper and bay leaves of varying amounts – it really comes down to personal taste. Any meat can be used, though chicken and pork are favorites. A little planning ahead is involved here – Adobo Chicken needs to be marinated. Most recipes will call for it to be marinated overnight, which turns out wonderful, but three to four hours has proved to produce a delicious Adobo for my last minute kinda self.
Marinade, brown, simmer and it’s done. Chicken Adobo is sweet, tangy, salty and sour – pairs perfectly with a heaping spoonful of white rice. This Filipino dish may be new to you – but I’m betting you’ll becoming a lot more familiar with it after tasting it.
Thanks for stopping by and Happy Cooking!
- 1 cup vinegar
- 1/2 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 6 large cloves garlic minced
- 4 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- pinch red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons peanut oil
- 3-4 pounds of bone-in chicken thighs
- Combine vinegar, soy sauce, minced garlic, bay leaves, black pepper and red pepper in a 13x9 glass casserole dish or an appropriate sized container/bag.
- Add chicken, turn to coat. Cover and marinade for at least at least 3-4 hours, up to overnight.
- In a dutch oven or large saute pan, heat up oil over high heat and brown chicken, about 5 minutes each side.
- Stir in marinade.
- Cover, reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally and flipping chicken once or twice.
- Uncover, increase to medium-high heat. Stir occasionally and flip chicken once or twice, continue to cook until sauce has thickened and reduced a bit, about 15 - 20 minutes.
- Serve and enjoy : )