(This older recipe for Filipino Chicken Adobo has been updated to a more authentic version that uses bone-in chicken thighs, but this version with chicken breasts that I made for years also tastes great! And this version did have some fans, so I am leaving the recipe here so people who enjoyed the recipe can still find it.)


  • 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 (optional)
  • fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • pinch of Ground Chipotle Chili Pepper (optional)


  1. Trim fat and any unwanted parts from chicken breasts, then cut each in half diagonally to make two same-size pieces.
  2. Combine the soy sauce, vinegar, water, garlic, bay leaves, onion, pepper, and ground Chipotle pepper (if using) to make the Adobo mixture.
  3. Put chicken in single layer in heavy frying pan just large enough to hold all the chicken.
  4. Pour the Adobo mixture over and cook 10 minutes at the lowest possible simmer.
  5. Then turn chicken pieces over and cook 10 minutes more (or just until the chicken is barely cooked through.)
  6. 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.
  7. 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.)
  8. 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.)
  9. 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.

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