Serves 2

Chicken adobo is one of the most popular recipe searches on the Internet, and for good reason. It’s universally loved, easy to prepare, and after being cooked, it lasts for a week in the refrigerator and reheats perfectly. This recipe comes from Daniel’s sister-in-law Stephanie, a first-generation Filipina American who learned to make the dish from her mom, Susan Aquino (Tita Baby). Dark drumstick and thigh meat will yield the juiciest results, so they’re always the first choice, but if you prefer breast meat, you can follow the same recipe. Make sure to marinate adobo for at least twelve hours before cooking to ensure the flavor penetrates. This recipe also works well with pork belly, but you’ll need to increase the cooking time to an hour.


  • 1 1/4 cups water

    Food IQ Book cover FOOD IQ Daniel Holzman and Matt Rodbard
  • 3/4 cup white distilled vinegar

  • 3/4 cup dark soy sauce

  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns

  • 8 cloves garlic, smashed

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 2 whole chicken legs, each split into thigh and drumstick

  • 2 cups warm cooked white rice

  • 3 green onions, white and green parts, thinly sliced


1. In a bowl, stir together the water, vinegar, soy sauce, peppercorns, garlic, and bay leaf. Add the chicken pieces, cover, and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours or ideally overnight.

2. Pour the chicken along with the marinade into a pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Turn down the heat to low and simmer gently for 30 minutes.

3. Transfer the chicken to a plate. Raise the heat to high, bring the cooking liquid to a boil, and boil until reduced by three-fourths, about 8 minutes. Strain the liquid through a fine-mesh strainer set over a heatproof bowl. The braising liquid will thicken slightly into a sauce that you will use to glaze the chicken. (It will thicken as it cools, so don’t be worried if it seems thin at this point.)

4. Preheat the broiler. Position an oven rack about 8 inches from the heat source. Arrange the chicken, skin side up, on an oven-safe pan, and broil to caramelize and crisp the skin, about 4 minutes (be careful not to burn the skin).

5. Divide the rice between two individual plates. Place the chicken on the rice and top with the warm braising liquid. Garnish with the green onions.

From the book FOOD IQ by Daniel Holzman and Matt Rodbard Copyright © 2022 by Daniel Holzman and Matt Rodbard . Published by Harper Wave, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. Reprinted by permission. Photos by: Ed Anderson Illustration: Miguel Villalobos

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