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If you’ve never had Filipino cuisine, you’re missing out on some serious Asian comfort food. Growing up, Filipino Chicken Adobo was one of my favorite things to come home to on the dinner table. My mom always cooked it when she was too busy to make a more elaborate dinner, but there were never any complaints from us.
If you cook often, you’ll be relieved to know that the 5 ingredients for this dish are probably already in your kitchen, aside from the chicken. Traditionally, the adobo sauce is made from a blend of soy sauce, sugar, and vinegar, and after simmering the meat in the sauce, all you need to do is add your garlic, peppercorn and bay leaves. It’s a really simple recipe that I highly recommend anyone try for their first attempt at Filipino cuisine.
My mom told me that she cuts down prep time for this dish by replacing the sauce ingredients with this secret weapon: a bottle of Mama Sita’s Adobo Marinade. You can grab a bottle at your local Filipino or Asian market such as 99 Ranch Market or Mitsuwa, but if you’re lucky you can probably find it in the Asian/Hispanic aisle at your regular grocery store. If you can’t find it locally, Amazon carries it in various sizes, albeit a few dollars more expensive than most grocers.
By marinating the chicken with Mama Sita’s, all you have to do is add crushed garlic, black peppercorns, and bay leaves, which makes this recipe perfect to make in a pinch! Onions are optional, but I always add them because they deepen the flavor and make the dish even more savory.
One thing to note when eating chicken adobo is to watch out for the peppercorns! While they add flavor, you definitely don’t want to bite into them, unless you want your nasal cavity to really open up. I personally eat around them, but others might pick them off before proceeding to eat.
Lastly, remember to serve your chicken adobo over a bed of jasmine rice! There’s something about the way that the rice soaks up the sauce that makes this dish simply out of this world.
Easy 6-Ingredient Filipino Chicken Adobo
- 2 lb chicken legs and thigh (or breasts cut into 1-inch chunks)
- Mama Sita's Adobo Marinade
- 5 pcs dried bay leaves
- 1 tsp whole black peppercorn
- 6 cloves crushed garlic
- 1/2 yellow onion, thinly chopped
- Marinate chicken in Mama Sita's Adobo Marinade for at least 30 minutes - 1 hour. Use a gallon plastic bag or small bowl to ensure that the meat is completely covered.
- Heat oil in a large pan. When the pan is hot, add the chicken and cook about 2 minutes per side. Save the marinade.
- Add the onions to the pan and cook until they turn golden yellow.
- Add in the remaining marinade and add the crushed garlic.
- Bring to a boil. As the liquid reduces, add water, tasting the sauce. If the sauce is too salty for your liking, continue adding more water to dilute the flavor.
- Add the bay leaves and whole peppercorns. Simmer with the lid on for about 30 minutes or until the chicken becomes tender.
Let me know in the comments if you try this recipe! Remember to follow me on Instagram and subscribe to my newsletter for more budget-friendly recipes, style tips, and more ways to save money.
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