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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!

One Skillet Filipino Coconut Adobo Chicken.

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

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

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Ingredients

Instructions

  • 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
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Filipino Coconut Adobo Chicken on plate with rice

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This week’s post of adobo chicken, reminded me the old one, which is on my top 10 favourites of yours! Yesterday, we hosted two pairs of parents who happen to be professional level gourmet cooks, and a couple of 3yrs-old toddlers, who are somehow – as most kids this age – picky and hard to please food-wise.

    So, I bought the pineapple for later on in the week, but for Saturday I sticked with the tested and loved original version, just served with the “YES!” coconut rice. Served as you suggest with cucumber, fresh onions, coriander for the rice and some black sesame seeds. One of my friends, suggested using grated lime zest instead of juice, so I grated a thin bed of lime zest to place the food on top and this – apart from the awesome looks – kept the dish low in acidity but also added it’s fine aroma!

    Basically…this dish took us along to the heavens…Refills and take aways for both parents and toddlers means a total success!

    So, once again, I would like to express my gratitude! Thank you for this awesome blog and all the effort you put in each of your posts! I owe you for upgrading both my cooking skills my family’s indoor dining experience.

    I look forward trying the pineapple/jalapeño version later this week!

    1. Hey there,
      Wonderful!! I am so so glad to hear that this recipe was enjoyed. Thanks a bunch for making it! Thank you so much for your kind message. xT

    1. Hey Melanie,
      Wonderful! Love to hear that this recipe was a hit, thanks for making it! Have the best week:) xTieghan

      1. 5 stars
        If I’m wanting to try this recipe, but without the coconut milk (allergy), would I need to add more of another ingredient for a more traditional chicken adobo or just cut out the one ingredient?

        1. Hi Chelsea,
          I would use another kind of milk that you enjoy. Please let me know if you give the recipe a try, I hope you love it! xTieghan

  2. 5 stars
    I loved this recipe so much. My family (10 yo, 14 yo and husband) all cleaned their plates. Next time I will add more chicken thigh b/c it was that good!! It is in our repetoire now.

  3. 5 stars
    This recipe is SO delicious. I’ve never had any Filipino food before, but now I’m obsessed. I’ve been following HBH since the beginning of this year and make Tieghan’s recipes at least twice a week.

    For those whose sauce was peanut butter-colored, I found that I had to make two minor tweaks to the recipe. 1) I did add a little cornstarch slurry 2) I had to cook the sauce much longer than I expected and ended up taking the chicken out for 10 or so minutes to let the sauce cook solo. HOWEVER, once the sauce was that beautiful deep brown/red color, I put the chicken back in, and it was the yummiest, sauciest chicken that tasted fantastic on rice.

    1. Hey Karis,
      So so glad this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a lot for giving it a try!! Thanks for sharing the tricks that worked for you as well:) xxTieghan

  4. 5 stars
    This is my favorite adobo recipe. I’m no expert in Filipino food, but this particular ratio just sings (and is quick and easy too)!

    The sauce is delicious. I add shallots and let them cook in the pan for a few minutes before I pour the coconut milk and soy liquid in, and the result is this sweet, unctuous, thick sauce full of flavor from chicken bones simmeringn for about 20-30 minutes. Served on top of rice with steamed bok choy or sayyeed broccoli, its a clean plate evening whenever i cook this! Thank you, this has become a staple dish in our monthly meal rotation!

    1. Hey there,
      Thanks so much for making this recipe, I am so glad you enjoyed it! Have a great weekend!! xxTieghan

  5. Does this come out spicy because of the black pepper? I would like to make it kids friendly for my 3-year-old toddler who doesn’t like food that’s very spicy. Should I skip the pepper?

    1. Hey Eugenia,
      This is not a spicy dish, so I would keep the ingredients as is. I hope you love the recipe! xTieghan

  6. 5 stars
    This is soooo good! We make it at least a few times a month. I use coconut aminos instead of soy sauce. Yummm!!

    1. Hey Nicole,
      Thanks so much for making this recipe, I am so glad it was enjoyed! Have great week:) xTieghan

    1. Hey Sarah,
      The adobo sauce is made with the ingredients listed:) I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  7. 5 stars
    This is the easiest recipe and super tasty! Although my sauce didn’t turn out as dark or thick as it appears in the pictures, it was still extremely delicious. I served this over basmati rice and black beans. Will definitely be making again!

  8. This recipe is incredible (and simple)! The sauce is so rich. OMG. Here’s what I discovered after making it and then reading these comments: the sauce needs to simmer longer than the recipe states. I don’t know how long mine simmered (because I had friends over and was distracted) but I just let it go until it was deep amber in color. AMAZEBALLS.
    The best part: I had leftovers and ate this for 2 more days!
    Highly recommend!

    1. Hey Monique,
      Thanks so much for trying out this recipe, I am thrilled that you liked it! I hope you have a great week:) xTieghan

  9. 3 stars
    Nice flavor, but like so many others, no, the sauce did NOT thicken and was nowhere near the color of the pic. You keep telling people to keep cooking the sauce, but in the meantime you’d be totally over cooking the chicken. I love your site and recipes, I just wish you’d offer real solutions and explanations for why things don’t turn out as they should. Yes, chances are we ALL make the recipe exactly as you state, so no need to ask what we did differently. 😉. We trust you and just expect the promised results.

    1. Hi Debra! I am sorry this recipe did not turn out well for you. I hope you still enjoyed it! I will look into the recipe again. xTieghan

  10. 2 stars
    Followed the recipe but didn’t look anything like the photo. It’s sewage brown sauce, not a red glazey sauce. The flavours are there, but you may want to update your photos 👍

    1. Hi Holly! I am really sorry the sauce did not turn out the same color. Was there anything that could have been changed in the recipe? The photos are the exact recipe written! xTieghan

  11. As soon as i started making the rice it instantly brought me back to my Lola’s house. She moved back to the Philippines 7 years ago, and adobo was my favorite dish that she would make. It’s on the stove now, I can hardly wait to devour it!