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Chicken Adobo over Rice

Active Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
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Why we love it:

Here’s our version of Filipino Adobo Chicken, one of the most famous dishes. It looks beautiful, smells incredible while cooking, and strikes all the notes from savory, sweet, tangy, and a little spicy with the jalapeño. Takes some time in the pot but it’s all unattended!


  • 4 Whole Chicken Legs (skin on, about 2-2.5 pounds)
  • 1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
  • 34 cup White Vinegar (distilled)
  • 34 cup Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
  • 5 Bay Leafs (dried)
  • 1 head Garlic
  • 2 Jalapeños (divided, optional)
  • 12 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1 cup Long Grain White Rice (uncooked)
  • 2 cups Water
  • 12 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter
  • 34 pound Brussels Sprouts

Cooking Instructions

  • 1. CHICKEN

    You can leave the legs whole, which saves a step, or slice them into separate pieces.

  • 2. SEAR

    Heat the vegetable oil in a large, heavy Dutch oven or pot over medium heat. Add chicken skin side down and cook, without touching for about 5 minutes. After that initial sear, use tongs to gently lift the pieces to let the hot oil go underneath.

  • 3. SAUCE

    Measure out the vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, and bay leaves. Slice the head of garlic in half - right though the paper skins and all. Slice one jalapeño in half lengthwise; slice the other one into rounds and set aside. Pour all of this over the chicken in the pot. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low, stirring to dissolve sugar. Season generously with black pepper.

  • 4. SIMMER

    Once simmering, turn to coat the chicken, and turn the heat down to low. Maintain a gentle simmer for about 30-35 minutes, occasionally flipping the chicken over. It’s done when the meat is very tender if you pull it with a fork. The sauce will thicken by evaporating but if it ever looks too thin, turn heat lower and partially cover the pan.

  • 5. RICE

    Combine rice, water, and salt in a small pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce to low and cover. Steam for 17 minutes or until water is absorbed and it’s tender. Leave on the stovetop, off the heat until ready to serve.


    Trim the ends of the brussels sprouts and cut them in half. Using a large sauté pan over high heat, melt the butter, then add the brussels. Sear for about 3-4 minutes, and once they’re golden brown, toss to flip them over and brown the other side. Add about 1 Tablespoon of water to the pan and let it sizzle off while shaking the pan, this will help them steam a little bit. Continue cooking for another minute or so to brown.

  • 7. SERVING

    Serve a big scoop of rice topped with chicken and sauce. Brussels sprouts go on the side. Garnish with jalapeño rounds to taste.

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  • PALEO:
    omit rice and serve with double veggies or cauliflower rice. Omit sugar and add maple syrup. If you can’t do soy sauce you can use half Braggs Coconut Aminos and half chicken stock
    if you prefer chicken breast, you can find skin-on pieces and sear until golden brown. Then remove them from the pan and start the sauce without the chicken, simmer it for about 10 minutes to reduce. Add the chicken back in and simmer it for about 18-25 minutes so they’re tender but not over cooked
  • RICE:
    serve with side of choice, anything goes
  • SUGAR:
    you can use maple syrup or honey if you prefer
    some recipes use cider or red wine vinega
    this is delicious leftover, so it’s a great one to double up!
    if they’re very sensitive to heat, omit both jalapeños. Shredding the chicken makes it look great for kids, or they may prefer either the leg or a breast piece. The color of it ends up being brown and sticky, familiar for most even if this dish is new
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