Football season is just starting in this country, so if you tuned into FoodTV last weekend you’d have noticed that most shows featured “game food,” stuff you can serve for friends who come over to watch that big match.  Giada joined the party too, one of the dishes featured in her show was chicken adobo, a recipe from a Filipino friend of hers, using chicken drumsticks.  I liked the marinade with its strong vinegar component,  but changed the method of cooking a bit. After a slow braising, I moved the dish to the oven, blasted it at high temperature to crisp up the skin.  I also included chicken thighs because they happen to be the best part of the bird. By far.

(adapted from Giada de Laurentiis)

3/4 cup white wine vinegar
3/4 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup light brown sugar
2 cloves garlic, crushed
3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 dried bay leaves
4  chicken drumsticks
4 chicken thighs
1 + 1/2 cups  chicken broth
2 tablespoons arrowroot
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from 2 large limes)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
chopped fresh parsley or cilantro (optional)

Make the marinade by combining in a medium bowl the vinegar, soy, sugar, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Whisk until the sugar is completely dissolved, add the bay leaves.

Arrange the chicken in a single layer in a glass baking dish. Pour the marinade over the chicken and refrigerate for 2 hours, turning the chicken over halfway through.

Place the chicken and marinade in a Dutch oven and add the chicken broth. Bring the liquid to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 1 hour, turning the chicken every 20 minutes, until cooked through.  Transfer the chicken to a baking dish, add some of the cooking liquid over it, and place in a 450F oven.

Meanwhile, reduce the marinade to make a sauce.  Remove and discard the bay leaves and the garlic cloves.  Whisk the arrowroot in  1/8 cup of water, add it together with the lime juice into the Dutch oven. Cook until the mixture thickens, about 5  minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

When the chicken is well browned, and the skin crisp, transfer to a serving dish, and pour some of the thickened sauce around it.  Sprinkle with fresh herbs, if using.


to print the recipe, click here

I love the slightly acidic kick given by the vinegar in this dish.  At first I was a bit wary of using a 50/50 proportion of vinegar to soy, but it worked quite well for our taste.  The chicken melts apart, but the final blast in the oven ensures that the skin won’t be mushy.  I served it with sauteed zucchini, but a more traditional approach – which I recommend – would be white rice.  Come to think of it, sweet potatoes would complement it well too.  Any chicken leftover can be shredded into tortillas, a little salsa on the side, another great option while watching the big game.  Or your favorite cooking show… 😉

ONE YEAR AGO:  Shrimp in Moroccan-Style Tomato Sauce

TWO YEARS AGO: Golden Zucchini: A Taste of Yellow

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25 thoughts on “GIADA’S CHICKEN ADOBO

  1. I’m definitely putting this on our chicken night menu. This looks delicious Sally! And I love the idea of using the leftovers in tortillas. And I have to tell you, your salmon tacos have become a favorite in our house as well. We made them again this week and that salsa is just wonderful. It makes for great leftovers too! 🙂


    • The best part is having leftovers for lunch, the chicken re-heats quite well, and the flavors intensify. A perfect dish to make the day before, then blast in the oven when it’s time to enjoy it.

      must try that… 😉


  2. Those are mighty fine looking chicken pieces (gorgeous colour on the skin!). I agree, flashing works well to crisp up without drying out the flesh. The vinegar in adobo is wonderful and I like the other flavours going on in this marinade as well. Yum!


  3. Sally, the dish looks great and I think you were smart to crisp up the chicken at the end. There are so many good recipes that leave the skin mushy. If you are going to eat chicken skin…it should be crispy when possible.


  4. Pingback: Giada’s Family Dinners

  5. I made these last night and they were great. We eat so much chicken, I probably have feathers!

    Tonight, Jim is grilling steaks for us and I’m making a salad. Simple and primal…….


  6. chicken broth and arrowroot in an adobo? i’m a filipina and i never heard of using those. at all. not in a traditional adobo, anyway.


    • I doubt Giada reads my blog, but you might jump to the FoodTV website and leave a note for her in that site…

      however, I would love to try a very authentic recipe – if you send me one, I promise to redeem myself – just make sure it’s not a copyrighted recipe, preferably something from your family and I’ll cook it and blog about it! Would love to do that…


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