Filipino Chicken Adobo (Chicken Cooked in Soy Sauce and Vinegar)
My version of Filipino Chicken Adobo is made with pieces of chicken breast or thighs, and this is very tasty for a low-carb or Keto dinner.
Years ago I tried my hand at making Filipino Chicken Adobo, adapting it from a recipe from Mark Bittman and some advice I’d gotten from other food bloggers. That recipe was long overdue for a photo make-over, and one day I just tried making it with skinless, boneless chicken breasts and took some photos!
Since I didn’t want the chicken breasts to dry out, I barely browned it in a pan rather than broiling it like my old recipe called for. When you make this with chicken breasts, definitely you need to be careful not to cook it too long or use heat that’s too high, but the new version was really tasty. And of course, you can make this recipe with other chicken parts if you prefer; I think boneless, skinless thighs would also be perfect for this recipe!
Hope you enjoy trying this new version of Filipino Chicken Adobo made with chicken breasts! Use Chicken Recipes to find more recipes like this one.
What is Filipino Chicken Adobo?
Chicken Adobo is the national dish of the Philippines, and it’s traditionally made with a whole chicken or bone-in chicken legs and thighs. The chicken is simmered in the Adobo mixture of soy sauce, vinegar, water, garlic, bay leaves, onions, and pepper, and then usually broiled or pan-fried. My recipe that uses boneless chicken breasts or thighs is definitely not traditional, but I did get advice from some Pinoy food bloggers. And of course this is the type of recipe where every Filipino grandmother will have her own recipes, but I think my process for making adobo is pretty close to how it’s done in the Philippines.
What ingredients do you need?
(This is only a list of ingredients; please scroll down for complete printable recipe. Or if you use the JUMP TO RECIPE link at the top of the page, it will take you directly to the complete recipe.)
- boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or thighs)
- soy sauce; use Gluten-Free Soy Sauce (affiliate link) if needed
- White Wine Vinegar (affiliate link)
- Minced Garlic (affiliate link)
- Bay Leaves (affiliate link)
- fresh ground black pepper to taste
- ground Chipotle chile Pepper (affiliate link), optional
How to Make Filipino Chicken Adobo:
(This is only a summary of the steps for the recipe; please scroll down for complete printable recipe. Or if you use the JUMP TO RECIPE link at the top of the page, it will take you directly to the complete recipe.)
- I used four chicken breasts, cut in half into two same-size pieces. (Use eight pieces if you’re using thighs.)
- Use a pan where chicken pieces will fit in a single layer.
- Combine soy sauce, white wine vinegar, water, garlic, bay leaves, sliced onion, black pepper, and Chipotle Chili Pepper (if using).
- Be sure to use Gluten-Free Soy Sauce (affiliate link) if needed.
- Pour Adobe mixture over the chicken and cook at the very lowest possible simmer about 10 minutes.
- Then turn chicken over in the liquid and cook 10 minutes longer (or until the chicken is barely done.)
- Strain sauce mixture and put it in a small saucepan and simmer until it’s reduced enough to barely coat your spoon.
- Taste to see if it’s getting too strong.
- Heat the olive oil in a heavy pan, add chicken and quickly brown it on one side.
- Serve chicken with the sauce spooned over.
Make it a Low-Carb Meal
I’d serve Filipino Chicken Adobo with something like Amazing Asian Green Salad, Roasted Broccoli with Soy Sauce and Sesame Seeds, Air Fryer Asian Green Beans, Lemony Green Beans, or Roasted Cauliflower Rice Medley with Pine Nuts for a low-carb meal.
More Tasty Asian Chicken Recipes:
- Chicken Kabobs with Asian Marinade
- Chicken with Peanut Sauce
- Chicken Egg Foo Yung
- Chicken Stir-Fry Sheet Pan Meal
- Instant Pot Teriyaki Chicken
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, each cut in half into two equal pieces (see notes)
- 1 cup soy sauce (see notes)
- 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
- 1 1/4 cup water
- 2 tsp. minced garlic
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 small onion, sliced in large slices
- fresh ground black pepper to taste
- pinch of Ground Chipotle Chili Pepper (optional)
- Trim fat and any unwanted parts from chicken breasts, then cut each in half diagonally to make two same-size pieces.
- Combine the soy sauce, vinegar, water, garlic, bay leaves, onion, pepper, and ground Chipotle pepper (if using) to make the Adobo mixture.
- Put chicken in single layer in heavy frying pan just large enough to hold all the chicken.
- Pour the Adobo mixture over and cook 10 minutes at the lowest possible simmer.
- Then turn chicken pieces over and cook 10 minutes more (or just until the chicken is barely cooked through.)
- Strain liquid to remove onion pieces and bay leaves. I used a fat separator (like a pitcher where the spout comes from the bottom) with a yogurt strainer on top.
- Put the strained sauce in a small pan and boil to reduce it until the sauce is thick enough to barely coat your spoon. (Taste to see when it tastes good so it doesn’t get too strong.)
- Heat the olive oil in a heavy frying pan, add the chicken pieces and very quickly brown on one side (again being careful not to cook too long.)
- Serve the browned chicken with some of the sauce spooned over.
If you prefer to use chicken thighs, I'd use 8 boneless, skinless thighs for this recipe. Thighs will need a bit more trimming to remove pockets of fat.
Low-sodium soy sauce or Tamari is best, since the sauce gets reduced; use gluten-free soy sauce if needed.
Recipe adapted from Mark Bittman's recipe (affiliate link) as well as advice from some food blogger friends.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 256Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 102mgSodium: 3595mgCarbohydrates: 5.2gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 43g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.
Low-Carb Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
This Filipino Chicken Adobo recipe is low in carbs and should be suitable for low-carb or Keto diet plans, which might prefer higher-fat chicken thighs. The newer version made with leaner chicken breasts would be great for any phase of the original South Beach Diet.
Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Chicken Recipes to find more recipes like this one. Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest, on Facebook, on Instagram, on TikTok, or on YouTube to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.