Myra’s chicken adobo

Here’s a way of making your chicken adobo go a long, long way… in style. chicken adoboThe idea of adding potatoes wasn’t mine. It was Myra’s, our househelp. Give credit where credit is due. So, this is her recipe, really. I just documented it. When we first interviewed Myra, she said she was only a so-so cook so we didn’t expect her to know any cooking beyond frying. Surprise, surprise! She knew her way around the kitchen. Her “Vegetable Lumpia” is really great! She makes the best “turon” (banana spring rolls) too.

Anyway, you can also subsitute WHOLE hard-boiled chicken or quail eggs for the potatoes. My sister-in-law does that and it’s also good. Add the eggs to the adobo a few minutes before cooking time is up. That way, they will have time to absorb some of the adobo’s flavor.

Ingredients :

1 kilo of dressed chicken, cut into serving pieces
1 head of garlic, crushed and peeled
1 onion, diced
3 medium-sized potatoes, quartered (optional)
1/8 c. of vinegar
1/4 c. of dark soy sauce
6 peppercorns
1 bay leaf

Cooking procedure :

Place the chicken pieces in a large skillet. Pour vinegar over them. Sprinkle with garlic and peppercorns. Add bay leaf. Set over medium-high heat until the vinegar boils. Turn chicken pieces over. Cook uncovered until the vinegar has been absorbed by the chicken. When quite dry, lower heat to medium and stir chicken until it starts to render fat. Increase heat to medium-high and fry until golden brown. Remove excess oil and add soy sauce and potatoes. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Check the liquid once in a while. Add a little water (about 1/4 cup) if chicken adobo dries up before fully cooked. Adobo should be quite dry at the end of the cooking time.


  1. Maria says

    Your website is heaven sent.

    I have been here in the U.S. for five years now but just recently tried cooking Filipino dishes (again).

    Before I migrated, I had very little experience cooking since we usually have somebody who does the cooking for you in the Philippines. In my case, it was my mom.

    Since I am now married and a mom, I am the one in charge of the cooking. I have to learn everything (not just cooking but running a whole household). Good thing most American recipes are not complicated (well, my husband likes steak, grilled meat and baked potato, isn’t that easy?). But I missed Filipino home cooking. I tried several recipes before from different Filipino cookbooks but did not like the outcomes.

    I came across your website while I was researching for a good chicken adobo recipe since people at work keeps on bugging me to make the dish. I tried this recipe and it was a big hit. Now, everytime we have a potluck or a gathering, they always ask me to bring adobo (I also bring white rice, of course).

    I have also tried your Pork Barbecue, Pork Adobo, pancit, and lumpia. Everything came out great and even my husband (who does not really want to try new dishes) loved them.

    Thanks again. I can’t wait to see your list of recipes again.

  2. says

    hello again. just one quick question. i’m off to the market and i’m buying ingredients for this one. what’s the difference between bay leaf and laurel leaf?

  3. says

    Hmmm, I THOUGHT my ex had taught me to make adobo until I read this. She used the same ingredients, but she would put them all in a pot or a slow cooker together and cook them that way. Have you ever heard of that? Which way would be better?

  4. says

    Bruce, “better” is relative, I think. As to preference, I like the chewy texture that is only possible by frying the meat first. Even better with pork adobo. Hmmm… now I’m dreaming of pork adobo with hard boiled eggs LOL

  5. aileen says

    Hi connie its me again. I was looking for your recipe of chicken ala 123 i think. Im pretty sure i saw it here on your blog before. Do you still have it?

  6. Susan says

    Hi Connie!
    I’ve tried several versions of adobo and I really like this one, masarap talaga!
    I have just one problem, my husband likes our adobo “masabaw” and I’m afraid that if I just continue to add water it will just loose its taste. Do I just double all the liquid ingredients including the vinegar?

  7. Robert says

    I tried the recipe, and my family loved. But, of course they are used to a soupier adobe. I thought i did pretty good for my first time cooking this popular dish. Thank you for the fantastic site, the wonderful recipes, and the outstanding support/responses. Keep up the good work…God Bless!

  8. jamie says

    i was always tought by my dad to use both eggs and potatoes…
    pang parami daw kasi e!
    i love your website, an dami choice!

  9. nina says

    Naghahanap ako ng recipe para sa chicken curry Filipino style, pero ang nahanap ko chicken adobo. Halos parehas kasi ang ingredients. I tried this recipe. Surprise. Masarap. Nagustuhan pa ng asawa ko. Thank you.

  10. Art says

    What is the basic rule of thumb with adobo in general? Soy sauce, vinegar, water. Is it 2 to 1 for the vinegar and soy sauce respectively. I tried cooking to other day. I used 1 is to 1 and it got pretty salty. Some recipes are saying you should put more vinegar than soy sauce and the others are saying the opposite. What is it really. I can see from Myra’s recipe there is more shoyu than vinegar. won’t that get salty? Please help me. Thanks.

  11. brandy says


    at what point should i add the potatoes? during the simmering? and should the potatoes be fried to golden brown before adding them in?

    thanks again for your wonderful recipes. i am really a suki of your blog. hope you will not get tired of replying to some of my questions.
    you really are an answered prayer to a neo cook like me.

  12. Ebba says

    I am married to an texan american and yeah I added potatoes too to my usual adobo – I guess I am trying to “americanize” it, and wow, it came out great. One time I even added bell pepper a minute before I turned it off. On the soupy adobo – I tried adding sayote, and gosh it was good.. my daughter copied this but added gata and topped it with roasted garlic before serving. Ummm… sarap ginutom tuloy ako. Baka ito ang lutuin ko mamayang dinner.

  13. des says

    I am absolutely clueless here—what is ‘dressed chicken’? Is it chicken with with skin left on? Sorry, a bit embarrassing that I don’t know what this is. hehe Please clarify na lang. Thanks!

  14. sharon says

    Does a tablespoon need to be made with the “official cooking tablespoon?” Or would it be acceptable to use the ordinary tablespoon (used for eating?)

    Sounds stupid, I know, but thanks. :D

  15. lia says

    hello, connie,

    i’m a stay-at-home mom just arrived in edmonton, canada 4 months ago. it’s my first time to cook in my own kitchen and i’m loving it.

    adobo is the only filipino food i crave for here, and my husband and i like saucier adobo. but i love the idea of extending it with potatoes or hardboiled eggs.

    my question is: when do you put in the onions? (they were in your list of ingredients but not in the procedure).


    • carlota chan says

      i am wondering where are the potatoes in your recipe.. you have the onions listed but these were not included when you cooked your chicken adobo. perhaps you might have overlooked your instructions. thank you for sharing!

      • Connie says

        I’ve already answered Lia re the onion issue.
        If you read through the recipe again, it says there exactly when to add the potatoes.

  16. helen says

    Hello, I am trying to fine Myra’s Abobo chicken receipe but I can not seem to find it. I am new to this website..sorry Thank you for the help.

  17. jowie says

    i just love this site. thank you for being an inspiration, miss connie!
    i sometimes add one or two table spoons of kalamansi juice to my adobo recipes, i learned this from my father. :-) kakaibang sarap, add the kalamansi juice seconds before you turn the fire off.

  18. Coleen says

    I there a recipe for pork adobo? I only see it mentioned in several reciepes as either an added ingredient or as a reference. I love pork adobo and could never find the right balance of soy sauce and vinegar. I think it’s the type/brand of soy and vinegar that I use. Please help

  19. Coleen says

    One more thing….Can you please tell me what type/brand of soy sauce and vinegar was used in this recipe? Thanks again.

  20. marco fiek says

    me agrada mucho vuestra pagina de recetas Filipinas, el unico problema que existe es el castellano tan rudimentario que usan, algunas recetas son muy confusas de entender, el resto es bueno, muchas gracias

  21. Johnvir dela Cruz says

    I’ve tried to this twice and both times during the frying part, I feel like I’m burning the onions and garlic plus the chicken is still not thoroughly brown yet. Plus the onions and garlic seem to just get in the way…
    after that do you cover the skillet when your simmering the chicken cuz I had to put the 1/4 c of water at least three times…
    I’m used to making adobo w/ sabaw and I really wanted to learn to make a dry one, but this seems really hard…

  22. says

    Fire’s too hot, Johnvir. And you don’t fry the chicken for a long time anyway. By the time the vinegar the evaporated, the chicken would have started to render fat.

    Re “how did you get the extra oil out”

    You pour it off.

  23. says

    Tried this recipe for the first time. Added a bit of butter with the vinegar. I think I put too much vinegar in the dish as it took a very long time for the vinegar to evaporate and in the process the chicken fat started to dissolve. So I wasn’t able to brown the chicken. Nonetheless, it came out tasty. I think next time I might add the potatoes a bit earlier as it took a while to cook them through. Delish though. Thank you for the recipe.

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