Chicken Adobo is a Filipino dish that I grew up having all the time. Once you try it, you’ll understand why it was so popular with my family! Take a quick sauce that has layers of sweet, savory, salty, and tangy flavors, then add juicy chicken thighs and braise them until they’re unbelievably tender, and you have a winner!
Chicken adobo, like many Filipino dishes, has a surprisingly multicultural heritage. This cooking method was originally developed as a delicious way to preserve meat, as the combination of the acid in the vinegar and the salt in the soy sauce would keep the meat from spoiling. The Spanish observed this cooking process after they invaded in the 16th century, and they described it as adobo, their word for “marinade”.
At its base, adobo is a combination of soy sauce, vinegar, black pepper, and bay leaf. However, you can easily customize this with a few extra ingredients. Freshly grated ginger would add a delicious spicy-sweet note to the sauce, and you could add your favorite vegetables to the mix, as well. And of course, you’re going to want some steamed rice to soak up that delicious sauce!
Slow Cooker Filipino Chicken Adobo
3 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1/2 cup brown sugar, loosely packed
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
3 cloves garlic
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Rice for serving
Lay the chicken on the bottom of a slow cooker, and add all the other ingredients on top. Cover and cook on low for 10 hours, until the chicken easily shreds. Crush the garlic cloves and remove the bay leaf, then serve over rice.
Serves up to 6.