Chicken Adobo | CUESA

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Chicken Adobo


Amy Besa and Romy Dorotan, Cendrillon Restaurant.

 Serves 6


2 ½ - 3 pounds chicken, cut into pieces
1 ½ cups sherry vinegar or rice vinegar
¼ – ⅓ cup soy sauce (depending on how dark and salty you want it)
½ cup coconut milk (optional)
12 cloves of garlic, peeled whole
3 bay leaves
½ tablespoon whole black peppercorns
3 Thai chili peppers (optional)


  1. Marinate chicken in all the ingredients for at least 2 hours.

  2. Arrange chicken in a stainless steel or enamel-coated pot. Pour marinade over the chicken and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for about 20-25 minutes until tender.
  3. Remove chicken and reduce sauce to a heavy cream consistency.
  4. Return chicken to sauce and cook for another 5-10 minutes on medium heat until golden brown. (Optional: chicken can be broiled or fried before returning to sauce.)

(1) My preference is to salt the chicken while marinating (about 2 teaspoons for a whole chicken) and to lessen the soy sauce. I usually put the soy sauce in for color and a little bit of flavor, but I prefer the taste of salt in adobo.

(2) Using coconut milk is optional. It is a regional practice common to areas where coconuts grow in abundance such as Southern Luzon (where Romy comes from). The coconut milk adds richness to the stew and makes the chicken meat creamy soft. The sauce thickens a bit and coats the chicken.

(3) For most people in my generation, fried chicken was really dry chicken adobo with the chicken braised in the vinegar, garlic, salt and/or soy sauce mixture and then deep fried.



CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) is dedicated to growing thriving communities through the power and joy of local food. Learn More »