Chicken Adobo is a traditional dish and a staple in any Filipino household. It’s pretty much an equivalent of what spaghetti is for Italians and burritos and tacos are for Mexicans. I’ve just made your life a bit easier because this chicken adobo in an instant pot or pressure cooker. Not to worry, I've also added a stove top version. Try this easy Chicken Adobo Instant Pot recipe and it will sure become a family weekly favorite. It truly is a great recipe made in 20 minutes or less.
This recipe is a bit of tang, a bit of salty and a bit of sweet all combined to create a burst of flavor! Surprisingly, you won't even need to marinate the chicken ahead of time. Depending on family’s traditions, there are many additions to the recipe. I kept it pretty basic here, but you can add boiled eggs, sweet potato or regular potato. Every lola or Filipino grandma will have their own twist to it. I have Filipino roots and I can guarantee the authenticity of the taste. This recipe to me is one of the country's national dishes and one of my favorites.
I wanted to introduce this to my children so they knew where they come from, and I'm glad I did because they love it. Rice is the perfect pairing. If you ask any Filipino person, they’ll say it’s a requirement. Just take it from me!
The Instant pot makes this dish incredibly tender and fall of the bone. I do however prefer to use boneless chicken thighs for this recipe. I don't suggest using chicken breast in this recipe. It creates a very dry texture.
Why You'll Love This Authentic Filipino Chicken Adobo Recipe
- Fast and easy – this recipe takes only a handful ingredients and just less than fifteen minutes to prepare
- Comfort Food–this is one of those dishes you can’t stop eating. You just get one helping after another.
How to Make Chicken Adobo Instant Pot
First, season your chicken thighs with seasoning salt and black pepper on both sides. Then, turn your instant pot on to saute mode, add about three table spoons of oil into the instant pot. Then add some minced garlic. You can also add some chopped onion if desired (optional). If using a regular pot, just add above and turn stove on to medium heat.
Next, add your chicken pieces to the pot. Brown both sides for about 7 minutes. If you are cooking on stovetop, cook the chicken in medium heat, turn over on the skin side and cook on medium high.
Give it a few minutes so the chicken will have a pretty brown on the skin side.
Then you’ll want to get a small bowl and add the rest of your ingredients in including your soy sauce and vinegar, and sugar.
Finally, just add the sauce mixture into the pot, and add 3-4 bay leaves. The bay leaves really bring this dish to life. Please don't forget this ingredient! Turn on manual mode for 10-13 minutes (depends on the thickness of the chicken). Most organic smaller boneless and skinless chicken will only take 10 minutes. If cooking under stove top, cook on low covered to simmer. You'll want to reduce the sauce by about half. Serve with rice.
- Additions – you can easily add some boiled eggs to this. It sounds a bit odd, but it tastes so great! Some folks also add steamed potatoes. I usually cook it separately and just add it to the cooked dish when it's done. If you prefer to cook it all together, you may, but you'll have to stop the cooking process after a few minutes and then add your potatoes in. To be honest, it is quite hard to get the exact cook time, hence why I cook it separately.
- Chicken thighs are best for this recipe.
- Substitutions: you may use brown sugar if white sugar is not accessible.
- If cooking on stovetop, I don't suggest cooking on high heat.
- What does chicken adobo taste like?
- It has a sweet, salty, and tangy taste. Unlike Hispanic adobo dishes, the filipino version is usually not spicy.
- How long does this keep in the fridge?
- You can happily store this in the fridge for 2-3 days. This tastes best fresh though.
- What is served with chicken adobo?
- It's main partner is rice! This dish is rich and flavorful. White rice makes a perfect pairing.
- How do I thicken chicken adobo?
- If you prefer a thicker sauce, just add about one tablespoon of cornstarch to this recipe.
- What kind of vinegar do I use?
- White vinegar or cane vinegar is preferred, not apple cider vinegar.
- What if I don't have an instant pot?
- You may use any pressure cooker or cook this dish on a stove top. It may take about 30 minutes, bring to a boil and simmer to soften the chicken.
Easy Chicken Adobo Recipe:
- Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker
- 7-8 Small Chicken Thighs with skin I suggest boneless organic!
- 4-5 bay leaves
- ¼ c. White vinegar
- 4 tbs. Sugar
- ⅓ c. Soy sauce
- Olive oil for browning
- 2 tsp. garlic minced
- 1 tsp. Pepper corn
- Seasoned Salt and pepper to taste
- Diagonally sliced scallions for garnish
- Instant Pot Instructions:
- Optional - Salt and Pepper your chicken before cooking
- On sauté mode add olive oil and minced garlic, add chicken and brown
- In a bowl, mix all ingredients and add mixture over the chicken in the instant pot. On manual mode, cook for 13 minutes. Release valve.
- Serve with white rice
Stove Top Instructions
- In a dutch oven, add oil and minced garlic. Add chicken and brown
- In a bowl mix all ingredients for the sauce.
- Pour over chicken and simmer on low until chicken is tender.
Looking for more chicken recipes? Try these:
Peruvian Chicken with Aji Sauce
Tried this easy Filipino chicken adobo recipe and loved it? Leave a comment and rating below. For inspiration follow us on Instagram or like us on Facebook
Disclaimer: Some of the links are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, I will make a small commission if you click through and make a purchase. This helps keep all of my content free. Thank you!
Jennifer Donovan says
How Would this work without and instant pot????
Charisse Yu says
Hi, it will but the cook time will vary. The instant pot really softens the chicken!
I can’t wait to try this recipe. I could only find bone in thighs. Should I change the cooking time in the Instant Pot? Thank you!
Charisse Yu says
Hi Sheila! If you brown them long enough it should be just fine. Just check for doneness.
Sheilla Josanna says
Love love love this recipe. So easy to make with basic ingredients, quick (thanks for the Instant Pot version!) and SO delicious. Definitely going to save this one for busy weeknights rotation!
Charisse Yu says
Thanks so much for letting me know. I'm so so glad you love it!