This could also be made with another meat besides chicken. (Photo: Shawanda Mason)

Have you grown tired of the holidays already? I know, technically, the holiday season has just started, but this time of the year has a tendency to be very overwhelming. This past Thanksgiving holiday, the husband and I decided to stay home, and we basically had a much-needed quiet Thanksgiving dinner with just the two of us. Typically, we’re with one of our families, but this year, we were all about drinking champagne, eating and watching movies—and it was fantastic. But I cooked all the things, as if we were having dinner with a full house.

Prior to Thanksgiving, I found a bit of time to make a meal that was simple and would provide leftovers before the Thanksgiving madness started. This recipe came from Bon Appétit’s sort-of-new site, Basically. Basically has lots of easy recipes, but what I love most about it is that simple, step-by-step instructions (and even videos) come with the recipes. It’s really cool. This site is all about teaching you the basics of cooking without being overwhelming. Anyway, this recipe is so flavorful and yummy. I have to admit though, prior to making this dish, I had a totally different idea of what chicken adobo is. If I’m not mistaken, chicken adobo is a dish that originates in the Philippines and involves marinating meat with garlic, vinegar and soy sauce—which is exactly what we’ll do today.


  • 1 head of garlic
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  • 1 chili (serrano or jalapeño)
  • 4 bone-in chicken thighs and 4 chicken legs
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup white vinegar
  • 3/4 cup soy sauce
  • 5 dried bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar (light or dark)
  • Black pepper


First, cut the garlic head in half. No need to peel or chop it up, and don’t worry if some of the cloves detach from the head. Thinly slice the chili—remember to remove the seeds if you don’t want much heat in your dish.

In a Dutch oven, heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil and cook the chicken, skin side down, until it’s golden brown (about seven to 10 minutes). Remove the chicken and place it on a plate.

The braising liquid is delicious drizzled over rice. (Photo: Shawanda Mason)

In the Dutch oven, add vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, bay leaves, garlic and the chili. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low. Season with pepper.

Return the chicken to the pot, skin side up. Cover and cook about 40 minutes.

When the chicken is done, transfer to a plate. Increase heat to bring the braising liquid to a boil. The sauce will thicken a bit, which may take about five minutes.

Remove the pot from the heat, add in the chicken, and coat in the sauce.

Serve the chicken over rice and enjoy.

Simple chicken adobo makes for a wonderful weeknight meal. (Photo: Shawanda Mason)

Shawanda Mason is the creator and blogger of Eat.Drink.Frolic. For recipe questions or to chat about eating, drinking or frolicking, she can be reached at [email protected] or by following her on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. The opinions expressed in this column belong solely to the author, not or its employees.