Chicken Adobo

Yesterday was my birthday, and now that I am an empty nester it was a pretty quiet one. Since my husband had to be at his practice in Pensacola Tuesday, we decided to celebrate Monday by having a day date. We went to Destin Commons to see Lincoln (which was awesome, and I recommend you see), and dined at Tim Creehan’s Cuvee Bistro, an early dinner and delicious as always. Cuvee has the best Happy Hour in Destin, with terrific drink and appetizer menu items half-priced from 5-10pm.  

Chicken Adobo Prep

My parents took on the task of my birthday dinner as they do most years. Growing up, they always asked my sister and I what we wanted to eat on our special day and then made it for us (doing the same for their grandchildren). The last few years my choice has been chicken fried steak with saw mill gravy, buttermilk biscuits, and a mess of greens; but after a heavy Thanksgiving meal, and with Christmas around the corner, I went back to our 1970’s roots and chose Chicken Adobo.

Dad is our family Chef de cuisine

We were stationed in the Philippines when I was a young girl, and this dish was prepared for us by our friend and appointed  house staff Lourdes. It is so easy to make, healthy if you remove the chicken skin and use light soy sauce, and one your family will devour. Serve over fragrant Jasmine rice and enjoy!

Fragrant Adobo

Chicken Adobo


4 pounds cut up chicken pieces, skin and fat removed

1/2 cup white vinegar

1/2 cup soy sauce, light

1/2 cup water

4 cloves garlic crushed

salt to taste

1 tsp. black peppercorns, ground

2 bay leaves

Note: chicken thighs and legs are most popular used in this dish, but I throw in a couple of breasts, and remove them a bit earlier so they don’t dry out.


Ready to serve Chicken Adobo


Clean chicken of fat and put in a pot covered with cold water in the refrigerator for an hour. Rinse and pat dry. Combine all other ingredients in a bowl. Lay chicken in a large flat pan and cover with marinade liquid from bowl, marinating chicken for 30 minutes. Turn the chicken for 30 minutes more, marinating a total of 1 hour. Bring to boil and then lower the heat. Cover and let simmer for 30 minutes, stirring and turning occasionally. Uncover and simmer until sauce is reduced and thickened, and chicken is tender, about 20 more minutes. Serve over steamed Jasmine rice, with additional soy sauce and hot sauce such as sriracha or tabasco as desired.


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12 thoughts on “Filipino Chicken Adobo & My Birthday

  1. I am so glad I stumbled upon your site. I really found you by mistake, while I was browsing on Yahoo for something else. Anyways I am here now and would just like to say thank you for a useful post and an all round enjoyable blog. (I also enjoy the theme/design), I don’t have time to read through it all at the minute, but I have added your website to my favorites, so when I have time I will be back to read more. Please do keep up the awesome job!

  2. Great story Eric, Thanks for stopping by and sharing! So happy your family enjoyed Amy!!

  3. Just made this for my picky family. It was a huge hit. Not a complaint in sight.

  4. Hi Susan, my parents were stationed in Cavite City in the Philippines in 1963, as newlyweds. I was almost born there before Dad was transferred to San Diego, where I was born. From 1974 until Dad’s retirement in ’79, we lived in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Oddly enough, our next door neighbors were Filipino-Americans. Mr. & Mrs. Felix were originally from Pasuquin, and moved to the U.S. when Mr. Felix enlisted, also in Cavite. There are 5 daughters, who were always like my own sisters, and remain so to this day. Chicken Adobo is one of my favorites. So is lumpia! :)

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