Chicken Adobo (Cook's Illustrated)

Total Time
1hr 40mins
Prep 45 mins
Cook 55 mins

This is a classic Filipino dish that Cook's Illustrated researched and revised. Chicken thighs are braised in soy sauce, vinegar and coconut milk. I served with coconut rice and a salad. The pre-cooking of the thighs releases a lot of fat that is discarded.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Toss the chicken with the soy sauce in a large bowl. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.
  2. Remove chicken from the soy sauce allowing excess to drip back into the bowl. Transfer the chicken, skin-side down, to a 12 inch non-stick skillet; set aside the soy sauce.
  3. Place the skillet over medium-high heat and cook until the chicken skin is browned 7 to 10 minutes.
  4. While the chicken is browning, whisk coconut milk, vinegar, garlic, bay leaves and pepper into the soy sauce. (I chopped the garlic).
  5. Transfer the chicken to a plate and discard the fat in the skillet. Return the chicken to the skillet skin-side down, add the coconut milk mixture, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes. Flip chicken skin side up and continue to cook, uncovered, until chicken is done, about 15 minutes (175 deg F internal temp).
  6. Transfer chicken to platter and tent loosely with aluminum foil.
  7. Remove bay leaves and skim any fat off surface of sauce. Return skillet to medium-high heat and cook until sauce is thickened, 5 to 7 minutes.
  8. Pour sauce over chicken, sprinkle with scallion and serve.
  9. Note: I made half the recipe and found that the sauce reduced very quickly. I covered the skillet after turning the chicken, but still had very little sauce left - more fat. I will try stirring in some cream to make more sauce, but did not do so this time - the chicken was very moist and flavorful. In any event, if you do make just half the recipe, keep your eye on it!
Most Helpful

4 5

I have made this recipe several times and found several modifications to be helpful. 1. I use chicken quarters instead of chicken thighs. 2. I buy air chilled chicken, only. (Harris Teeter has it for cheap!) 3. I use HALF the amount of chicken called for. There simply isn't enough sauce, otherwise. 4. Use light coconut milk. I find the full fat masks the flavor of good quality chicken. 5. Serve over coconut rice (just 1 cup of rice cooked with half water half full-fat coconut milk)

5 5

Prior cooking I washed the tights and cut of the big parts of skin with fat! In this way I did not have so much fat in the skillet.
I prepared 4 tights for us 4, I don't think that somebody needs more (or I hope :lol:).
I used light soy sauce bat I added I teaspoon of the dark one. The sauce was really delicious and the chicken tasty.
I'm used to diescard the chicken skin (if not grilled), but here I didn't because I believe that's necessary for the taste.
Thanks a lot for this posting.

4 5

Flavors were really nice and chicken was tender. Sauce still had a slightly oily feel to it...maybe next time I'll see how the Light coconut milk works. I did drain the fat before making the sauce, and tried skimming off any excess chicken fat at the end, but it was difficult.

On the skin--I followed the process but it still came out pretty soggy. I thought I had crisped it up pretty nicely, but it wilted in the sauce. Anybody else have this issue? Any suggestions?

Even with the soggy skin, I'd probably make this again.