Adobo Chicken Breast: A Tantalizing Twist on a Filipino Classic

Are you a fan of bold, robust flavors that dance on your taste buds? If so, you’re going to love this adobo chicken breast recipe! Adobo is the national dish of the Philippines, renowned for its succulent meat simmered in a tangy, savory sauce. While traditionally made with chicken thighs or even pork, this version puts a delightful spin on the classic by using lean, boneless chicken breasts. Get ready to embark on a culinary journey that will transport you to the vibrant streets of Manila with every bite!

What is Adobo?

Adobo is a beloved Filipino dish that is steeped in history and cultural significance. It is believed to have originated during the Spanish colonization of the Philippines, when the Spanish sailors introduced the practice of preserving meat in vinegar. Over time, the local Filipinos adapted the recipe to their tastes, incorporating soy sauce and various aromatics, resulting in the iconic adobo we know and love today.

The term “adobo” is derived from the Spanish word “adobar,” which means “to marinate” or “to cure.” This refers to the cooking process where the meat is marinated and then simmered in a flavorful sauce, typically made with vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, bay leaves, and whole peppercorns.

Ingredients for Adobo Chicken Breast

To make this mouth-watering adobo chicken breast dish, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Soy sauce (preferably low-sodium or gluten-free, if needed)
  • White vinegar (or apple cider vinegar, rice vinegar, or cane vinegar)
  • Garlic cloves, minced
  • Onion, diced
  • Bay leaves
  • Whole black peppercorns (or coarsely ground black pepper)
  • Brown sugar (or honey for a healthier option)
  • Water or chicken broth
  • Cooking oil (vegetable, canola, or peanut oil)
  • Green onions or scallions for garnish (optional)

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Prepare the Marinade: In a shallow dish or resealable plastic bag, combine the soy sauce, vinegar, minced garlic, and peppercorns. Add the chicken breasts and coat them evenly with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight.

  2. Brown the Chicken: Remove the chicken breasts from the marinade, reserving the marinade. Heat oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Brown the chicken breasts on both sides until they develop a nice sear, about 2-3 minutes per side. Transfer the browned chicken to a plate and set aside.

  3. Sauté the Aromatics: In the same skillet, sauté the diced onion until softened and slightly caramelized, about 2-3 minutes. Add the minced garlic and sauté for an additional minute, being careful not to burn the garlic.

  4. Simmer the Chicken: Return the browned chicken breasts and the reserved marinade to the skillet. Add the bay leaves, brown sugar (or honey), and water or chicken broth. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and let it simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until the chicken is fully cooked through and the sauce has thickened slightly.

  5. Finish and Serve: Once the chicken is cooked, remove the bay leaves from the sauce. If desired, you can remove the chicken from the skillet and let the sauce reduce further to your desired consistency. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper, or additional vinegar, if needed. Garnish with sliced green onions or scallions, if desired.

Serve the adobo chicken breast hot, over a bed of steamed rice or cauliflower rice for a low-carb option. The tender, juicy chicken will be infused with the tangy, savory flavors of the adobo sauce, making every bite a delightful explosion of taste.

Variations and Serving Suggestions

  • Use Bone-in Chicken: If you prefer, you can substitute bone-in chicken pieces (thighs, drumsticks, or a combination) for added flavor and moisture. Adjust the cooking time accordingly, as bone-in chicken may take longer to cook through.

  • Add Vegetables: For a one-pot meal, you can add vegetables like bell peppers, potatoes, or carrots to the skillet during the simmering process. The vegetables will absorb the delicious adobo flavors.

  • Spice it Up: If you enjoy a little heat, you can add a pinch of red pepper flakes or a chopped jalapeño or serrano pepper to the adobo sauce.

  • Serve with Sides: Complement your adobo chicken breast with traditional Filipino sides like garlic fried rice, adobo sauce-infused fried rice, or a fresh green salad with a tangy vinaigrette.

Adobo chicken breast is a delightful fusion of bold flavors that will transport you to the heart of Filipino cuisine. With its tangy, savory sauce and tender, juicy chicken, this dish is sure to become a new favorite in your household. Embrace the vibrant flavors of the Philippines and experience the magic of adobo with this easy-to-follow recipe. Enjoy!

Filipino Chicken Adobo (incredible, EASY chicken thigh recipe!)


What are the original ingredients in adobo?

In Mexico, adobo sauce starts with dried chiles like guajillo and ancho peppers. The chiles are rehydrated and combined into a thick paste with an acid like vinegar or citrus juice and flavorful additions like onions, garlic, cumin, and oregano.

What is chicken adobo made of?

Chicken Adobo is a Filipino dish made by braising chicken legs (thighs and/or drumsticks) in a sauce made up of vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, and black pepper. It’s tangy, salty, garlicy, slightly sweet, and spicy. The chicken is slowly simmered in the sauce making it flavorful and incredibly tender.

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