6th Day of HTCE: Chicken Adobo


I’m giving away copies of the new How to Cook Everything iPad App, one every day until new year’s eve. Just sign up for the newsletter (look to your left) to enter the running. I’ll pick an email address at random and send you the App.

Chicken Adobo

Makes: 4 servings

Time: About 11/4hours

This Philippine classic has been called the best chicken dish in the world by a number of my friends and readers. It is cooked in liquid first, then roasted, grilled, or broiled. Here, however, the initial poaching liquid is reduced to make a sauce to pass at the table for both the chicken and white rice, the natural accompaniment. The coconut milk isn’t mandatory, though it does enrich the sauce considerably.

Other protein you can use: pork chops (bone-in or boneless).

1 cup soy sauce

1 /2cup white or rice vinegar

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

2 bay leaves

1 /2teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

11/2cups coconut milk

1 whole chicken, 3 to 4 pounds, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 8 pieces, or any combination of parts

1. Combine the soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, bay leaves, pepper, 1 cup water, and half the coconut milk, if you’re using it, in a covered skillet or saucepan large enough to hold the chicken in one layer. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add the chicken; reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, covered, turning once or twice, until the chicken is almost done, about 20 minutes. (At this point, you may refrigerate the chicken in the liquid for up to a day before proceeding; skim the fat before reheating.)

2. Heat the oven to 450°F or heat a charcoal or gas grill or the broiler to moderate heat and put the rack about 4 inches from the heat source. Remove the chicken pieces from the liquid and dry them gently with paper towels. Boil the sauce, along with the remaining coconut milk if you’re using it, over high heat until it is reduced to about 1 cup; discard the bay leaves and keep the sauce warm. Meanwhile, grill, broil, or roast the chicken until brown and crisp and hot, turning as necessary, 10 to 15 minutes total (roasting will take a little longer). Serve the chicken with the sauce.



Posted in Behind The Scenes


  1. james said...


  2. Denise Lankford said...

    A delicious, simple and impressive dish. Variations suggested by the author, plus my own “riffs” make Chicken Adobo a favorite. Home is where the Hearth is . . . 7 Stars.

  3. jsanc623 said...

    How I learned to cook this dish from my mother in law is the same recipe here – however her recipe calls for 1/5th of a large white onion and 1 tablespoon of sugar as well. Battonet the onion and add it to the chicken, bay leaves, black pepper, garlic, vinegar and soy sauce. Marinate this for 30 minutes or so, then cook. The sugar is added while its braising. I’ve found that if I don’t have time to marinate, I can add the sugar to a hot pan, wait until it melts a bit and caramelize the chicken – then add everything else and braise.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *