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Chicken Adobo



Chicken Adobo

This rich and tangy stew is the unofficial national dish of the Philippines. The recipe is a little more time consuming, and has a few more steps, than our usual fare, but we think it’s well worth the time and the wait. Serve with brown rice. 
Prep Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 Servings

kitchen gear

  • Cutting board
  • Sharp knife (adult needed)
  • Measuring cup
  • Measuring spoons
  • Large bowl
  • Large skillet
  • Heatproof spatula or tongs
  • Plate 
  • Can opener


  • 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, excess fat removed
  • 1⁄4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 cup rice, cider, or white vinegar
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 4 bay leaves, crumbled
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk (optional)
  • 1⁄4 cup sliced scallions


  • Put the chicken, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, bay leaves, and pepper in the bowl and mix well. Cover and refrigerate at least overnight and up to 24 hours. 
  • Remove the chicken from the bowl and keep the marinade. 
  • Put the skillet on the stove and turn the heat to high. When the skillet is hot, add the chicken thighs, skin side down, and cook until well browned, about 7 minutes. (Be careful: the chicken might spatter.) 
  • Turn the chicken thighs over and cook 3 minutes. Remove the chicken from the skillet and put it on the plate. Very carefully, pour the fat from the skillet into a can or bowl to cool before throwing it away. 
  • Return the browned chicken to the skillet and add the marinade. Add the water and, if using, the coconut milk. Bring the mixture to a boil, then turn the heat down to low, and cook 20 minutes. Throw away the bay leaves. 
  • Serve right away garnished with scallions, or cover and refrigerate overnight. 
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