Braised Chicken In an Adobo Reduction

Alas, my very first Filipino recipe. With a twist, nonetheless. And a bon voyage to us!

When I started blogging several months ago, I’ve had a few requests from friends and family to recreate a classic Filipino dish with my own special “pinky up” factor. It’s taken me a while to finally man up, especially since my culinary expertise lies far from my own cultural background. It was difficult to find any motivation to learn how to cook Filipino food when I could always rely on my mother’s cooking or if need be, make a quick pit stop at one of the plethora of Filipino eateries sprinkled all throughout Los Angeles and Orange County.

I’ve come to the realization that my list of French dishes surpass my whopping TWO Filipino dishes that I’ve ever tried to make – leche flan and sinigang. How sad to think that my kids would be spoiled rotten with oeufs en cocotte and mousse au chocolat but yet, they may never know the ultimate, quintessential Filipino food? Bad Filipino (as I lecture myself mentally)!

Sadly, another challenge that has always hindered me from whipping up any of my motherland’s cuisine is the aesthetic factor. The photographer/food stylist side of me is struggling to visualize a way to capture Filipino cuisine in a way that is not too…homely. In its most authentic form, Filipino food IS rustic but how can I make it look more appealing to the western culture?

I sought refuge in one of my fellow Filipino food bloggers, Malou from Impromptu Diva who cooks up some amazing dishes. I used her classic adobo recipe as a guideline but of course, added my own personality. If you’re craving for more delicious Filipino cuisine, check out Malou’s blog to fill in that adobo-shaped void in your life. You won’t be disappointed!

So as my last entry before we begin our Costa Rican adventure tomorrow, I present my first attempt at the one dish that is undeniably synonymous with my culture. And from someone who grew up on adobo, I don’t think this fancier version falls far from the tree. And if you happen to not like my rendition of this time-honored recipe, I don’t care because I’m in Costa Rica! Woo hoo :)


2 lbs. chicken thighs
5 cloves garlic, smashed
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 cup white vinegar
2 cup water
2 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp whole black peppercorns
4 fresh bay leaves
2 russet potatoes, peeled and diced in large pieces
12 quail eggs, hard-boiled and peeled (leave them whole)
chives (optional)
pickled baby carrots (optional)
adobo fried rice (optional)
cooked white rice (NOT optional!)
  1. Rinse chicken thoroughly and pat dry. In a medium saute pan, combine smashed garlic, soy sauce, vinegar, water, peppercorns and bay leaves. Bring to a simmer. Add chicken and bring mixture to a boil then lower to low heat. Cover with a lid and braise chicken for about 45 minutes, flipping over the pieces occasionally to coat evenly. About halfway through the braising process, add the diced potatoes and quail eggs.
  2. When the chicken is done, remove from heat. Carefully remove the chicken from the pot and keep warm on a separate platter. Strain about 1 1/2 cups of the adobo sauce into a small saucepan and reserve the potatoes and quail eggs in another container. Throw out the bay leaves and whole peppercorns but reserve some of the remaining adobo sauce if you’d like to serve it with the fried rice.
  3. Next, place the adobo sauce over medium heat and add the honey. Bring this mixture to boil until the sauce has thickened and reduced to about 3/4 cup. Use a wire whisk and whisk vigorously to combine the sauce thoroughly. Remove from heat and keep warm.
  4. For the triple bypass version of this adobo, coat the braised chicken lightly in a flour/paprika mixture and deep fry for a few seconds until the skin is nice and crispy (this is how I prepared this adobo but quite frankly, it didn’t make or break the dish so I’ll forego it next time).
  5. For the adobo fried rice, heat a skillet with plenty of crushed garlic and olive oil. Add about 4 tablespoons of the adobo sauce (before the reduction process) then add 5-6 cups of cooked rice. Combine thoroughly.
  6. To serve, place braised chicken over the rice and add the potatoes and quail eggs. Drizzle a spoonful of the adobo reduction sauce. Garnish with chopped chives and pickled carrots.

22 Responses to “Braised Chicken In an Adobo Reduction”

  • Divina Says:

    A photo could say a thousand words and I think you did a great job with this adobo. There are so many version and this yours to keep. And for us, we could never get enough of adobo. Whatever variation, it will still be good. This is definitely a five-star meal. Have a safe trip and definitely enjoy. :)

  • Evan Says:

    This looks amazing, though i dont know where to get quail eggs

  • Magic Adobo Says:

    Adobo… great first Pinoy dish and great job on the Photog!!! BTW, Manny’s fighting this weekend. MANNY, MANNY, MANNY!!!

  • Mimi Says:

    Great job on the photos. I think foods involving noodles, rice and stews are difficult to photograph appetizingly. (I think I said that politely)
    Have a great time in Costa Rica.

  • grace Says:

    homely? no. enticing, alluring, and appetizing? yes, yes, and yes. :)

  • Skip to Malou Says:

    I’m sure Costa Rica has interwebs so I’m definite that you’ll still be reading this haha! Unless you are having too much fun in the sun then I would understand… i LOVE your rendition of adobo! that quail eggs makes it fancy. It’s true that serving Filipino food aesthetically is a challenge, but you’ve done it explicitly well!
    Thank you for the mention… I felt my face turn red while reading it! for real! … and when I read Impromptu Diva spelled out I heard a tiny voice say “hey that’s me!” (remember I changed the name of my blog to SKIP TO MALOU?) It made me miss my “other self”. In fact I mentioned that in my latest post which btw featured another adobo (pom glazed adobo) hahaha!
    Have fun in Costa Rica… can’t wait for your stories and stunning photos!

  • julo Says:

    Homely? No way. Homey, yes! But in a good way! You know, often it’s the homey foods that make me run out and try a recipe right away. I think you nailed the certain sophistication. Looks good!

  • Sook @ My Fabulous Recipes Says:

    I recently tried abodo for the first time and loved it. This looks delicious with those eggs. :)

  • pierre Says:

    thanks for the journey !! Pierre

  • sagemom Says:

    As part filipino, I rarely eat filipino food (even though my grandparents made it all the time), and I’ve never had adobo, but I would definitely try this–you really make it look delicious!

  • Magic Caldereta Says:

    HAHAHA… someone said, “Homely? No way. Homey, yes!” I wish I made that comment it’s so funny. Another funny thought that crossed my mind… I could imagine waiting in line at Pinoy Pinay (a local Filipino restaurant) and asking the servers for “Braised Chicken In an Adobo Reduction”. They would be like “Sus mariosep!”

    Once again, good job Dhale

  • Dhale @ Culinary Musings Says:

    @Divina: Salamat :) I love adobo and now that I know how to make it, we’ll be having a lot more of it! I still do prefer the classic way but it’s nice to make it fancy once in a while.

  • Dhale @ Culinary Musings Says:

    @Evan: They have quail eggs at Whole Foods or if you have any Asian markets nearby, they definitely have them there!

  • Dhale @ Culinary Musings Says:

    @Magic Adobo: Thanks buuuuuuuuud :) And yes, I heard about the ass-whooping he gave when I was in Costa Rica.

  • Dhale @ Culinary Musings Says:

    @Mimi: We had a great time in Costa Rica. Thanks Mimi! And yup, noodles, rice and soups are tough to capture. I made a lentil soup once and just gave up photographing it!

  • Dhale @ Culinary Musings Says:

    @Grace: Lol! Thanks Grace :)

  • Dhale @ Culinary Musings Says:

    @Skip to Malou: OOOPS! I keep forgetting you’ve changed your identity! I need to make that correction STAT! Thanks for being my Filipino inspiration :)

    And yes, I did see your comment while I was in CR. I’m a nerd, I know! It totally made me laugh when I read what you said too! You were spot on!

  • Dhale @ Culinary Musings Says:

    @Julo: Lol! So have you had a chance to try this “homey” recipe yet? 😉

  • Dhale @ Culinary Musings Says:

    @Sook: Glad you loved adobo! The classic recipe doesn’t include quail eggs but they’re so yummy with it!

  • Dhale @ Culinary Musings Says:

    @Pierre: Je t’en prie! Have you ever tried adobo before? I’m not sure there’s even a Filipino restaurant in Paris…

  • Dhale @ Culinary Musings Says:

    @Sage Mom: You NEED to try adobo! It’s so synonymous with the culture. Let me know when you do :)

  • Dhale @ Culinary Musings Says:

    @Magic Caldereta: HA! I thought it was actually you at first. Someone beat you to the punch! And yes, they’d glare at me if I asked for this at Pinoy Pinay or DJ Bibingkahan! And thanks again BUUUUUUUUUUD!

Leave a Reply


Subscribe without commenting