Braised Filipino Chicken Thighs, Adobong Manock in Tagalog, also known as Adobo Chicken is a must-try recipe! It’s bright and balanced, flavourful and deeply satisfying. Served with simple steamed rice, green onions, fresh cilantro and a wedge of lime to finish, it’s a terrific chicken recipe to have in your kitchen arsenal.
Taste The World
A good way to break out of a food rut is to try something completely new. Try a new flavour profile. Taste test a whole different culture in your kitchen. Sometimes you’re going to have a flop. But most times, you’re going to find new interesting and every so once in a while, you hit a home run! Chicken Adobo was a HUGE hit.
If you love heat (I’m a huge fan of hot chilies in all forms!) add a dash of your favourite hot sauce. I found Sambol Olek worked particularly well with Braised Filipino Chicken Thighs. Good balance of vinegar and chili against the background flavour.
Notes on Authentic Filipino Ingredients
Traditional ingredients can often be hard to come by when you’re cooking from a whole different continent. In this case, Calamansi (also known as Calamondin, Philippine lime, or Philippine lemon) are hard to source here in Canada.
Calamansi is green on the outside, and orange on the inside, ripening to a green-orange colour, they’re mostly used in their unripened state. While still green, Calamansi limes have a tart, sour, lightly acidic flavour, sort of like a cross between a lime and a tangerine.
Otherwise, the remaining ingredients; garlic, bay leaves and seasoning powders are widely available to replicate the recipe with a measure of accuracy.
To replace Calamansi limes in Adobo Chicken, many used lemon, with a dash of sugar, or pure white vinegar. I opted for lime, and two tablespoons of sugar to give the sauce a solid acidic taste and a hint of sweetness which adds to the caramelization of the sauce in the end stages of cooking.
Simple Method for Passive Cooking
Meals that more or less make themselves make me very happy! Braised Filipino Chicken Thighs is as easy as: make the sauce, pour over chicken, cover, braise for 30 minutes, uncover, baste, finish uncovered for 20 minutes – and done.
Cook your rice in the final phase, once the chicken is uncovered and crisping. 20 minutes is the perfect timing. Chop a few scallions. You can pan crisp them if you like, but I left them raw so they softened with the hot rice.
While plating I added a couple of the soft, juicy roasted garlic cloves and some sauce from the pan over the rice, then plated the chicken on top, finishing with the green onions and a serious blast of cilantro.
This was literally my first time attempting Braised Filipino Chicken Thighs, and I was thrilled with the results, but I reserve the right to revisit this recipe for adjustments later.
Don’t you love it when something you serve makes your people happy?! I mean the lip-smacking, silence-at-the-table kind of happy. I have a tough crowd so when I nail it, it’s guaranteed that that recipe will be on replete. We completely fell in love with the sauce here. In fact, it may well be my sauce of the summer. I have notes on new ideas already.
For the moment, thrilled to have a new, SUPER easy, amazingly tasty chicken recipe that makes everyone happy!
Braised Filipino Chicken Thighs, or Adobong Manock, also known as Adobo Chicken is a must-try recipe! It’s bright and balanced, flavourful and deeply satisfying. Served with just steamed rice, green onions, fresh cilantro and a wedge of lime to finish. Another terrific chicken recipe to have in your kitchen arsenal!
6 – 8 chicken thighs
1/2cup soy sauce
1/2cup lime juice (or white vinegar)
2 tablespoons sugar
3 teaspoons garlic powder
3 teaspoons onion powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
1 head of garlic
4 – 6 bay leaves
Preheat the oven to 400° F (205°C). To make Adobo Sauce: combine soy sauce, lime juice ( lemon juice, or white vinegar), sugar garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper and chili flakes in a small bowl and whisk until sugar is completely dissolved. Reserve.
Trim chicken thighs of any excess skin and fat, then dry well. (No need to season, you have both sodium (soy sauce) and pepper in your sauce.) Spray 9 x 13 cooking pan well with non-stick spray. Arrange chicken thighs one layer deep in a deep pan or dish (see note). Pour sauce over chicken, coating well over entire surface. You can spoon or brush your Adobo sauce over each piece, or roll each thigh in the sauce so that the skin is well coated. Then place skin side up. Add garlic cloves and bay leaves (bonus points if you can find FRESH bay leaves) on top and then cover tightly with aluminum foil and place in 400°f (205°c) oven for 30 minutes.At the 30-minute mark, remove from oven and remove tinfoil. Baste each thigh well with the sauce in the pan then return to 400°f (205°c) for an additional 20 minutes, uncovered. This step will help to thicken and caramelize the sauce, making the chicken skin crisp and deeply coloured.
Remove from oven and let stand for about 5 minutes before serving with plain steamed rice, and finishing with green onions (either crispy-fried or fresh) cilantro and a wedge of lime. We used some of the sauce and the delicious, soft garlic cloves on top of the rice while plating, with the chicken on top. Yum!!!
Note: For this recipe, I used my favourite lasagna pan, a 9 x 13 ceramic dish. The chicken thighs were a little big and I feel like they may have been a bit crowded in the pan, that and the fact that ceramic is not as conductive as glass (Pyrex) or metal I was left with a little looser sauce than I was thinking it should be. I feel like this recipe for Filipino Braised Chicken Thighs might render better results in either a meal or Pyrex baking dish.
Cooking in her home kitchen just outside Ottawa, Canada; Cori Horton is a food photographer and recipe blogger. A Cordon Bleu-trained Chef, Cori spent five years as the owner of Nova Scotia's Dragonfly Inn and has been sharing all things delicious - right here - since 2010.