Steamy Kitchen’s Chicken Adobo


Since welcoming our new son into the world this past summer, the wife and I have seemingly fielded 101 different variations of the same question:

“Are you getting enough sleep?”

I’m sure every new parent knows what I’m talking about, but after you have your first kid, someone with pitying eyes will inevitably look upon you as you’re tending to your crying/wailing/crapping baby and inquire as to whether or not you are getting any shut-eye.

For example, when seeing me for the first time after my son was born, a buddy of mine said to me, “Geez dude. You look like a bowl of sh*t warmed over. You getting any sleep?”

As the saying goes, when a friend compares you to temperate poo, enemies are unnecessary. Or something like that.

Anyways, while a lack of rest may have had an (obvious?) effect on my haggard appearance, I think there are more factors at play here. Sure, everyone warns new parents about sleep deprivation, but no one ever talks about kitchen deprivation. Eff sleep! I’ve got no time to cook anymore!

So as much as I find solace in slumping into bed and face-planting into a pillow (if only to nod off for just a few minutes), I also cherish each and every convenient and quick-cooking recipe I come across since time is now at such a premium.

And that is exactly why I was so excited to finally get my hands on Jaden Hair’s The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook: 101 Asian Recipes Simple Enough for Tonight’s Dinner. As I’m sure everyone knows, Jaden is the author extraordinaire of the Steamy Kitchen food blog.

But in addition to being a superstar blogger, Jaden is also a supermom with kids of her own. If Jaden could write an entire cookbook while simultaneously raising a family, I figured I could bang out one of her recipes while simultaneously propping my baby up in front of the TV my wife played with our son.

I was right.


So easy, I made this chicken adobo in my sleep.

The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook may very well be one of the most thoroughly tested cookbooks available. I should know, as I was one of the bazillion (a couple hundred really, but still) recipe testers that Jaden enlisted. So I had a pretty good idea of how awesome this cookbook was going to be.

But after receiving a copy and cracking open the finished book for the first time, I was still amazed at how wonderful everything looked. And I was also pleasantly surprised to see that Jaden included my blog in the Resource Guide section of her cookbook (THANK YOU SO MUCH, JADEN!)!

Of course, for this particular post I chose to cook the chicken adobo from The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook. According to the book, this specific chicken adobo recipe was created by Jaden’s Filipino sister in-law, Maridel.

With the addition of a little bit of sugar and water, the sauce in this dish strikes a great balance between the salty soy sauce and the tangy vinegar necessary in a good Adobo. And with the sauce poured over the crisp skin of a juicy chicken thigh, you’ve got yourself a deeply flavored and wonderful Chicken Adobo. Not counting marinating time, I was able to get this Filipino dish on the table for my wife and I in about 30 minutes (eat that Rachael Ray!).

Not only is Jaden’s new cookbook loaded with great-looking Asian recipes, but
true to it’s subtitle, the recipes are indeed easy enough for tonight’s
dinner–even for sleep-deprived new parents tending to crying/wailing/crapping babies.

Chicken Adobo

Adapted from The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook

1.5 lbs skin-on chicken legs and thighs
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup water

In a large pot or dutch oven, combine all of the ingredients and marinate the chicken for 2 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.

Place the pot over high heat and bring the liquid to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

Using tongs, remove chicken from pot and place on a dish. Keep the adobo sauce on the stove and increase heat to high. Boil sauce for 5 minutes to reduce and thicken.

Pat the chicken pieces dry with paper towels, then place skin-side up on a sheet pan. Place the sheet pan under the broiler and broil chicken for 2-3 minutes until skin is brown and crisp.

After chicken has browned, pour adobo sauce over chicken and serve over white rice.


  • Cherrie November 17, 2009, 2:17 pm

    I love adobo and I am always interested in finding different versions.
    How old is your son? Funnily enough, hubby and I ask the same question everyday, since we have a 3month old.

  • Maggie November 17, 2009, 6:54 pm

    Looks delicious!
    I have to try this out.
    I’m glad I found your site, my husband is Filipino and misses food from his childhood, but I’m at a complete loss at where to start since I never made anything Filipino. :)
    Book marking for sure!
    Thanks :)

  • jaden November 17, 2009, 9:01 pm

    LOVE IT! Thank you so much! We gotta hook up next time I’m in LA. Chinese New Year?

  • moxiemaxey November 17, 2009, 10:50 pm

    This looks delicious! My husband and I are going to put it on the menu next week!

  • Heather November 18, 2009, 6:29 am

    When I made your adobo chicken from an earlier post in this blog, I took the chicken out and did the reduction. I also skimmed off some of the fat as it was reducing(personal preference). But I really think the reduction and browning of the chicken is the key to concentrating the flavors and getting it really nice and golden brown. YUM!

  • Heather November 18, 2009, 2:37 pm

    P.S. Have you tried to make adobo chicken wings?

  • ahnjel November 19, 2009, 12:24 pm

    i remember my 1st month with my daughter (now a 20 month old energizer bunny), i was the only one sleep deprived unless i kicked, pushed, shoved and smacked my hubby out of bed. and i remember sleeping according to the baby’s sleeping/napping time every 2 hours or so. but it was indeed very tiring.
    the chicken adobo looks great, i have to try this out myself… though my version of adobo already is easy enough but hubby likes me frying the chicken afterwards for a crispy finish, so broiling it should give the same effect! thanx a lot… and i do have to get one of jadens cookbook

  • Gina November 23, 2009, 2:38 pm

    Okay, that’s it – I need to buy that cookbook! I keep seeing recipe’s from it on a lot of food blogs (I don’t have kids so I have plenty of time to indulge in Food Blogs!). Thanks for the honest and funny intro.!

  • Cynthia November 23, 2009, 4:11 pm

    I am clearly late – congratulations on the little bundle of joy!

  • tramadol November 23, 2009, 11:00 pm

    Like Cynthia, so am I! Congratulations to your little angel and a very big thanks for the original Filipino Adobo recipe!

  • wasabi prime November 25, 2009, 8:05 am

    thank heavens for quick recipes — I do appreciate The Steamy Kitchen. I can respect and will periodically do meals that require a decent amount of prep and process, but nine out of ten times, I have to go with what’s fast because food blogging is merely a hobby, not a full-time job. Will definitely have to try this one, as it looks fantastic!

  • Manggy November 26, 2009, 6:35 pm

    You mean you look MORE haggard, Marvin? Kidding! Lord knows our Asian youthiness could use taking down a notch or two :) Go go superdad! :)

  • Balikbayan box November 26, 2009, 7:22 pm

    Love this menu for this day!

  • linz November 26, 2009, 8:08 pm

    Made this last night and my boyfriend LOVED it. I’m slowly bringing him over to the pinoy side :)

  • Lori Lynn @ Taste With The Eyes November 28, 2009, 5:43 pm

    Sounds great Marvin. I have to get Jaden’s cookbook! Missed you in San Francisco, but it sounds like you have your hands full, in a good way!
    Hope your Thanksgiving was awesome!

  • darleene November 28, 2009, 9:04 pm

    I wonder if there’s a way to put this cookbook on my baby registry…

  • Nastassia November 29, 2009, 3:28 pm

    Great post! I really enjoy steamy kitchen, and I feel inspired to tap into my Filipino heritage (finally!) and make some adobo at home. I just hope my grandma like it =)

  • Divina November 30, 2009, 4:29 am

    That looks fantastic. This is another must-try recipe for adobo. And congratulations that your blog is mentioned on the Resource Guide section. You truly deserve it.

  • Bianca November 30, 2009, 10:26 am

    Adobo was the second Filipino dish I learned to make. It’s so easy, and so comforting too!

  • dax December 3, 2009, 12:12 am

    tol, do you have pata tim recipe?

  • Alisa December 5, 2009, 4:15 am

    This is a nice take on chicken adobo,the best thing about adobo is it’s even better the following day :) Hope your family is doing okay…we miss your post :)

  • Kitchen Butterfly December 6, 2009, 1:00 pm

    I’m a proud mum. I work full time and don’t like being away from home on travels but by God, the one thing I’m thankful for….is SLEEP. Though less so, since blogging began!

  • Jaana December 28, 2009, 3:26 pm

    Hey Marvin! Thanks so much for writing your blog. Your posts are very informative, helpful, and marvelously entertaining. I find myself laughing out loud a lot when reading your blog, I swear you’re like the dude version of me. Similar sense of humor, and like you, I didn’t start appreciating the culinary details of my upbringing until recently, and also married to a non-Filipino.
    Unlike you, though, my mom didn’t cook and can’t teach me, hence how I found your blog looking for recipes. This is the first recipe I tried out and it worked out wonderfully. So yeah, just wanting to say, thank you, and keep up the good work! I look forward to your future posts! =)

  • Soup Recipes January 6, 2010, 6:04 pm

    The secret to adobo is the right heat, I have tried it a lot and I can say I am going into perfection! Thanks for this post!

  • Burnt Lumpia January 7, 2010, 3:35 pm

    Hi Cherrie, thanks for visiting. My son is now almost 5months old.
    Thanks Maggie. Your husband is lucky that you’re willing to learn to cook Filipino food.
    Sounds good, Jaden.
    I hoped you liked it, moxiemaxey.
    I agree heather. Things are so much better after reducing and browning. And yes, I’ve tried various versions of adobo chicken wings.
    Hi ahnjel. I don’t always get up at night, it’s tiring enough for me during the day too!
    Thanks Gina. The cookbook is well worth it.
    Better late than never, Cynthia;) Thanks!
    Thanks very much tramadol.
    I’m the same as you wasabi prime. The quicker the better!
    Asian youthiness goes out the window once you have kids, Manggy;P
    Thanks stephanie.
    Your boyfriend is very lucky, linz.
    My hands are definitely full, LL!
    The cookbook would make for a nifty gift, darleene!
    Hey Nastassia! I’m glad you’re inspired to make some Filipino food.
    Thanks Divina. And yes, it is a must-try recipe.
    That means you at least know how to make 2 Filipino dishes, Bianca. That’s better than none!
    Sorry dax. I don’t have a recipe for pata tim. Someday hopefully.
    Adobo is definitely better the next day Alisa. That’s why you should always make enough for leftovers!
    Hi Kitchen Butterfly. It’s a tough choice choosing btwn blogging and sleep:)
    The dude version of you? I’ll take that as a compliment;P Thanks Jaana.
    I usually go low and slow on the heat. Thanks Soup Recipes!

  • Ivan Maminta January 30, 2010, 4:41 am

    I tried out this recipe. I love adobo, and any recipe i come across screams for testing. Because I am on a quest for the perfect Pinoy Adobo recipe. One that would curl my tongue in pleasure and clogmy arteries. And you know what? This recipe comes really, really close. Thank you for posting

  • Andrew@Promotional Duffel Bags February 11, 2010, 1:00 pm

    You’re right…Jaden’s site is great, as is this one. I love the idea of broiling the chicken in the process.

  • Marie April 20, 2010, 2:30 am

    I love adobo chicken

  • Tina June 28, 2010, 8:42 am

    I asked my nanay for an adobo recipe I could use to make dinner for over 100 people so she sent me this link bec. the baking part would be more efficient, the adobo in the picture looked awesome so why not…I pretty much followed the recipe. I used 40lbs chicken and multiplied the rest of the ingredients by ~20 except I kinda eyeballed the bay leaves coz my nanay said I probably do not want to put too much of that. I also used both cracked and whole peppercorns, I was afraid people would find it hard to eat around them haha (sorry). I believe non of them were Filipino too. It turned out awesome, the baking part added so much color and texture to the chix, I think I would always bake them from now on.

  • angie November 23, 2010, 7:53 am

    holy crap i can’t wait to try this.
    my recipe’s a little soupier, but i love the idea of thickening the sauce and broiling the chicken. i’m amazed at how simple it is… and why the heck i didn’t think of cooking the chicken twice before?
    love this blog.

  • tonia October 6, 2011, 1:53 am

    the picture of your adobo dish looks so yummy and it really looks like it’s easy to do. good job! i will definitely give this a try and make my dad taste. adobo is one of the best filipino food out there and my family loves it. :)

  • jk September 17, 2012, 2:03 pm

    can you tell me how many servings this recipe yields? looks good!


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