My twist on a classic Filipino dish, One Skillet Filipino Coconut Adobo Chicken. Pan seared chicken braised in a soy sauce, vinegar, coconut milk, and bay leaves, a classic Filipino recipe that’s both easy and delicious. I added coconut milk for just a touch of creaminess to this sweet and tangy adobo sauce. This is best served over steamed rice with fresh avocado and a side of beans. The perfect healthy dinner, any night of the week.

overhead close up photo of Filipino Coconut Adobo Chicken

It’s no secret, but I truly love a good skillet dinner. When things are as hectic as they are right now, I turn to skillet recipes just about every other night. I feel like everyone’s on the same page…easy, tasty, healthy..ish weeknight dinners. You’re with me on this, right?

100% yes. With family in town for the Burton-US-Open, and not much time to spare, this adobo chicken has been on repeat. Since I’ve been making it so often lately, I figured it needed to be shared. Because that’s just what I do.

So here’s the story. My brother’s girlfriend is Filipino. Over Christmas, she told me I needed to make a good adobo chicken…among other dishes…which will be coming shortly! Oddly, I’d never made adobo chicken before, so I immediately tried out a few recipes. Over the last couple months I’ve perfected my version of adobo chicken (and I’m working on a few other Filipino recipes too).

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Even though I’ve been making this chicken for weeks now, I am still so excited about the recipe.

For those of you who might be unfamiliar, adobo is a Filipino dish that can be made with pork or chicken. I believe pork is traditional, but I’m going with chicken. What’s really most important here is the sauce…the sauce is always the most important.

Traditionally, adobo sauce is made with soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, black pepper, garlic, and bay leaves. The chicken is braised slowly in the sauce until it is tender and falling apart. It’s super simple, but also so delicious.

Me being me, I of course had to adapt the recipe a bit to make it my own. I made two simple additions that really make all the difference. I swapped out the brown sugar for honey and added in creamy coconut milk. The honey adds a nice touch of sweetness, but it’s not over powering. Plus, I love that it makes the dish lower in sugar content too. The coconut milk gives a hint of sweet coconut flavor and makes for a super rich adobo sauce. It also helps to tame the tanginess from the vinegar, while making the sauce a little creamier.

Trust me, this sauce is a game changer.

overhead photo of Filipino Coconut Adobo Chicken

Best part? This is so easy to make. Start by pan searing the chicken (I prefer breasts over thighs, but use what you love). This will give the chicken its color and lock in those juices. Then add the adobo sauce and let the chicken slowly cook in the sauce. While that’s happening, I highly suggest making some rice, slicing up an avocado, and warming the beans.

You cannot serve adobo chicken without a side of rice. I recommend this sesame rice, which is very much my go-to. If you’d like to add a vegetable, roasted asparagus, broccoli, and sautéed peppers would all be delicious pairings.

And guys? That’s kind of it. Like I said, it’s really a very simple recipe, but do not let that fool you one bit. Everyone in my family has agreed, they could easily eat this once or twice a week and still not be sick of it. The chicken is extra tender, and the sauce is mouth wateringly good…sweet, tangy, and a touch coconutty.

Perfect!

overhead close up photo of Filipino Coconut Adobo Chicken

If you make this Filipino coconut adobo chicken, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to also tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

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4.46 from 188 votes

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

The Recipe

One Skillet Filipino Coconut Adobo Chicken.

Pan seared chicken braised in a soy sauce, vinegar, coconut milk, and bay leaves, a classic Filipino recipe that's both easy and delicious. I added coconut milk for just a touch of creaminess. Best served over steamed rice with fresh avocado and a side of beans. 

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 372 kcal

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. 1. Season the chicken all over with black pepper. In a large glass measuring cup, combine the soy sauce, vinegar, coconut milk, honey, and 1/4 cup of water.

    2. In a large skillet with sides, heat the olive oil over high heat. When the oil shimmers, add the chicken, working in batches if needed. Sear on both sides, about 4-5 minutes per side.

    3. Add the garlic, cook until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and pour in the soy sauce mixture. Add the bay leaves. Cover and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes, uncover and cook another 10-20 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce is thickening slightly. If the sauce is thickening too fast, add ¼ cup of additional water. If the sauce is not thicken, simmer an additional 10 minutes. It's better to have more sauce than less sauce.

    4. Remove the bay leaves and discard. Serve the adobo over rice and top with green onions and squeeze of lime juice, if desired

Filipino Coconut Adobo Chicken on plate with rice