Chicken Adobo

Chicken Adobo

My whole family is actually visiting our homeland Philippines as this issue is being printed. They’re going to island resorts where they’ll be swimming in the reefs and I couldn’t go because of uni (sobs). So when Critic emailed saying they were doing a travel issue, I thought I’d bring the Philippines to you. 

Filipino Adobo has a very distinct, tangy, savoury taste. If you wanted to cheat the process there is a spice mix from a brand called Mama Sita’s. The recipe itself has very few ingredients, I adapted this recipe from the cookbook “Good and Cheap” by Leanne Brown. She worked it out to be only $10.40 to make, so it’s a very cheap way to feed the flat.


Serves 4

  • ¾ cup white vinegar
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 chicken breasts*, cubed
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • ¾ cup water
  • 2 medium potatoes, chopped
  • 4 medium carrots, sliced
  • 2 tsp cornstarch

*Or chicken thighs or wings, which is what is traditionally used. I only had breasts when I made this.


  1. In a large bowl, stir together the vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, pepper, and bay leaves. Add the chicken.
  2. Coat each piece thoroughly. Cover and let marinate for at least 30 minutes, but overnight is great.
  3. Take chicken pieces out of the marinade. Set aside. 
  4. Pour the oil into a large pot on medium heat. 
  5. Once the oil is hot, add the chicken. Let it cook for a few minutes.
  6. After the chicken is browned, add the marinade, water, potatoes, and carrots. 
  7. Add more water if needed, just enough for the potatoes to absorb.
  8. Turn the heat up until the liquid comes to a boil, then reduce to low heat and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the meat and potatoes are cooked through.
  9. Remove the bay leaves from the adobo. In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch with a tablespoon of water, then stir it into the sauce. Let the sauce boil and thicken until the chicken and vegetables are well glazed. Serve over rice.
This article first appeared in Issue 10, 2016.
Posted 1:36pm Sunday 8th May 2016 by Kirsten Garcia.