Easy Chicken Adobo

Everybody needs dishes they can turn to that come together in less than half an hour, right?

Dishes that use basic, easy-to-find ingredients, right?

Dishes that please the sweet and savory lovers in your family all at the same and earn you major points, right?

If you answered yes to even one of these questions, making this Easy Chicken Adobo tonight is the right thing to do!

It’s tangy, sweet, salty and garlicky—in other words, delicious!


Classic Chicken Adobo, a popular Filipino dish, usually involves marinating bone-in chicken pieces in a mixture of soy sauce, vinegar, peppercorns, brown sugar and lots of thinly sliced garlic and then slowly braising the chicken for at least an hour. I’m sure it’s totally yummy that way, but it’s not exactly practical for a busy weeknight, so here, we’re keeping the same basic ingredients but using boneless chicken tenders instead and sort of quick-poaching them in that salty/sweet marinade.


Then we just toss them under the broiler for a few minutes so they get a little charred (and cooked all the way through) and top them with some of the sauce that you reduce at the same time. Gotta love that multi-tasking!


Every bite is tender and coated with that lovely sweet/sour addictive glaze which definitely would benefit from a starchy side (I’m thinking rice) to mop up all of that finder-lickin sauce. Add in a green veggie or simple salad and dinner is done in less than half an hour! Doesn’t get much “righter” than that!! Happy Tuesday!


Easy Chicken Adobo

Makes 4 servings

Prep Time: Less than 30 minutes


  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled

  • ½ cup low-sodium soy sauce

  • ¼ cup rice vinegar

  • 1 packed tablespoon brown sugar

  • 2 bay leaves

  • Black pepper

  • ½ cup water

  • 1 ½ pounds chicken tenders

  • 3 tablespoons canola oil, divided

  • Chopped scallions for garnish

The Recipe

1. Place an oven rack in the second highest rung and turn on the broiler.

2. Smash the garlic with the flat side of a knife and place it in a large deep skillet along with the soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, bay leaves and a pinch of pepper. Whisk in the water and bring the mixture to a boil.

3. Add the chicken tenders and lower the heat so that it is just barely bubbling. Cover and cook for about 7-10 minutes until the chicken looks cooked on the outside and is mostly cooked inside.

4. Pour 1 tablespoon oil in a large rimmed baking sheet and spread it around. Use tongs to transfer the chicken to the sheet and drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons oil all over the tenders. Place into the oven and let cook for about 5 minutes, watching closely. If the chicken is too close to the flame, this will catch fire easily, so be careful. You want the chicken to be cooked through and browned on top but not blackened. Meanwhile, turn the heat up on the sauce in the skillet, and cook for another 5-7 minutes, until the mixture reduces and becomes thicker and more syrupy. Place the chicken on a platter and pour the sauce over it. Garnish with the scallions and serve.


Note: Recipe adapted from Dinner for Everyone by Mark Bittman.

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