Mom's Filipino Chicken Adobo

"My mother is Filipino, and I have been cooking or helping cook this dish since I've been old enough to reach the counter. I looked at some of the other recipes and mine is significantly different so I'm going to post it. This recipe is great for pretty much any pallet since it's not as tart as some other recipes. I also think the cinammon sticks are a necessity."
photo by DbKnadler photo by DbKnadler
photo by DbKnadler
photo by Pneuma photo by Pneuma
Ready In:
2hrs 5mins




  • Place the liquid ingredients in a pot, starting with about half the amount of sugar. Taste and adjust the seasonings, the vinegar flavor will lessen during cooking, but if it is too sweet or too tart it's easier to adjust the sugar now than trying to adjust the other flavors at the end of the cooking to your preference.
  • Add the cinnamon stick, peppercorns, garlic, bay leaves and chicken. If you don't want the seasonings in the final dish you can wrap them up in cheesecloth, but usually they're all left loose. Pack the chicken fairly tightly in the pot and if the chicken is not covered in liquid add water, often I add about 2 cups of water. The water can also help make the flavor less intense if the vinegar is too strong.
  • Simmer on medium low for about 1 hour, or until the chicken is cooked through. I often leave it until the chicken is pretty much falling off the bones. Add water if you would like to thin out the sauce during cooking. This can also be done in a slow cooker that you start in the morning and leave on low for 6 hours. The meat will fall off the bone, but that just makes it easier to get at it all!
  • Serve over rice with the sauce. One other addition I have made, though not traditional I believe is red pepper flakes (about 1 tsp) to the seasonings.

Questions & Replies

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  1. DbKnadler
    We thought this was delicious. I did mine in the slow cooker, but I put it on high for 6 hours rather on low as I wanted the sauce to thicken up a little and slow cookers are notorious for keeping everything nice and juicy. Even at high though the sauce was not thickening so I cracked the lid open for the last 2 hours and the sauce was still as thin as water. I think next time I will either halve the water or omit it altogether if I do in the slow cooker again. My 4yo daughter kept asking all day when dinner was gonna be done because it smelled so good, and she cleaned the meat clear off the drumstick bone. This is a miraculous feat since normally she is very picky when it comes to meat and will not eat anything chewy (ie tendons, or gristle etc). I served with brown rice and lima's. Thanks for sharing your mom's excellent recipe MC Baker.
  2. TLu1089
    Glad I tried this. I added about 2 cups of water, I think my stove cooks quicker than most. Served it with brown rice. Thanks for sharing! Made for ZWT 4
  3. Pneuma
    Sure tastes like the authentic adobos (soy laden chicken cut-ups) even though there's cinnamon in it and white sugar is added (usually it's brown). I don't think I waited for 2 hours as the water was slowly dissipating. Could have added more water aside from the 1 cup given but it was good as it is. Thanks! Made for WZT4.
  4. bigbadbrenda
    We had this for supper and unfortunatly I really didnt care for the flavours For me I thought it was the cinnamon hubby said it was the soy .Maybe I made it wrong I will try it again making an adjustment to the spices. I wont rate it now. Made or Zingo ZWT4 for the Chic Chefs.


I'm a chemistry grad student with a passion for cooking in my spare time. I'm not vegetarian, but have been and love to explore ways to take typical recipes and make them vegetarian.
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