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Paleo Chicken Adobo

Quick and easy Paleo Chicken Adobo recipe made soy-free and refined sugar-free. This sweet and tangy Filipino chicken recipe is amazingly flavorful and results in tender, delicious chicken!

Paleo Chicken Adobo - Filipino Chicken Recipe made soy-free, refined sugar-free and healthy

Have you ever tried Chicken Adobo?

Until very recently, I had gawked at photographs of the classic Filipino dish, but hadn’t tried it. 

The main bullet point: This paleo chicken adobo is so tender, flavorful, hits the salty-sweet with a little heat flavor essentials. And, it is plenty saucy, Ideal for those of us who love saucy chicken and/or adore absorbing sauce of all forms with rice.

Filipino Chicken Adobo is often served with steamed rice or boiled potatoes; however, I learned I absolutely love it with the Cabbage Stir Fry I showed you a couple days ago.

Check it!

Filipino Chicken Adobo made paleo-friendly - refined sugar-free, soy-free, delicious healthy chicken recipe

What is Chicken Adobo?:

Chicken Adobo is a traditional Filipino dish. “Adobo” comes from the Spanish, adobar, which translates to marinade, seasoning or sauce. In this sense, adobo is also a term used in referencing a cooking process in Philippine cuisine where meat, seafood, or vegetables are marinated in vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, bay leaves, and black peppercorns. The protein is browned in oil, and simmered in the marinade.

The most important takeaway? Chicken adobo is DELICIOUS!

How to Make Soy-Free, Refined Sugar-Free Paleo Chicken Adobo:

I make chicken adobo using coconut aminos, which takes the place of both soy sauce and sugar. Coconut aminos have a similar flavor to soy sauce, but it is slightly sweeter. Because it is naturally sweet, we can swap out both the soy sauce and sugar for coconut aminos.

If you aren’t concerned about making the recipe soy-free and refined sugar-free, simply swap the coconut aminos for soy sauce or liquid aminos and add 2 tablespoons of brown sugar to the sauce.

Paleo Chicken Adobo - soy-free, refined sugar-free healthy adobo chicken recipe - a Filipino dish.

How to Make This Recipe:

Place the chicken thighs in a zip lock plastic bag and add the rest of the ingredients. Seal it up, shake it all around and refrigerate at least 20 minutes (ideally overnight). Note: You can also marinate the chicken in a glass sealable container if you don’t do plastic 🙂

How to make Filipino Chicken Adobo

Add the avocado oil to a large deep skillet (I use a 12-inch skillet with a lid that has a deep lip) and heat over medium-high.

Once the oil is very hot (but not smoking) carefully add the chicken thighs (save the marinade for later!!). Brown for 3 to 4 minutes, until one side is deeply golden-brown. Carefully flip and brown on the other side for another 3 to 4 minutes, until both sides are golden-brown. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.

How to Make Chicken Adobo in a skillet

Add the chopped onion to the skillet and stir well. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until onion has softened. If the onion begins to stick at any point, deglaze the pan using about ¼ cup of the chicken broth and stir well.

Sauté the onions for adobo chicken

Transfer the chicken thighs back to the skillet, along with the marinade, the chicken broth (or water) and the black pepper. Stir well, cover and bring to a full boil.

How to cook Filipino Adobo Chicken in a skillet

Cook for 3 to 5 minutes covered at a full boil. Remove the cover and continue cooking, flipping the chicken occasionally, until the sauce has reduced by half and chicken is cooked through.

Serve chicken adobo with choice of side dishes. I like serving it with Cabbage Stir Fry.

What Should I Serve with the Chicken?:

In addition (or in lieu of) cabbage stir fry, I’m a huge fan of plain steamed white or brown rice with this dish. If you need something more exciting, my Turmeric Ginger Aromatic Rice makes an AMAZING pairing.

Fancy fried rice? Red Curry Fried Rice  or Basil Fried Rice would be amazing.

If you’re more into potatoes than rice, go for my German-Style Potato Salad with Caramelized Onions.

Instant Pot Option:

Want to make Instant Pot Chicken Adobo? No sweat! Here’s how you do it.

Place the chicken thighs in a zip lock plastic bag and add the rest of the ingredients. Seal it up, shake it all around and refrigerate at least 20 minutes (ideally overnight).

Add the avocado oil to the Instant Pot and press ‘Sauté.’

Once the oil is very hot (but not smoking) carefully place the chicken thighs in the Instant Pot (save the marinade for later!!). Brown for 3 to 4 minutes, until one side is deeply golden-brown. Carefully flip and brown on the other side for another 3 to 4 minutes, until both sides are golden-brown. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.

Add the chopped onion to the Instant Pot and stir well. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until onion has softened. If the onion begins to stick at any point, deglaze the surface using about ¼ cup of the chicken broth and stir well.

Transfer the chicken thighs back to the Instant Pot, along with the marinade, the chicken broth (or water) and the black pepper. Stir well, and secure the lid on the Instant Pot. Press ‘Manual,’ and set the time for 5 minutes. Leave the pressure release valve closed. After the 5 minutes is up, allow the Instant Pot to naturally release at least 15 minutes. Manually release any remaining pressure.

Remove the lid from the Instant Pot and press the ‘Sauté’ button. Bring mixture to a full boil and continue boiling, stirring occasionally, until liquid has reduced in half. Serve and enjoy!

More Healthy Chicken Recipes:

Go forth and ADOBO!

Paleo Chicken Adobo - soy-free, refined sugar-free healthy adobo chicken recipe - a Filipino dish.

Paleo Chicken Adobo

Yield: 6 Servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Filipino Chicken Adobo recipe made paleo-friendly without soy or refined sugar makes for a flavorful, clean dinner! Serve it up with Cabbage Stir Fry for an amazing meal!

Ingredients

Chicken & Marinade:

  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 4 cloves garlic or garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup coconut aminos or liquid aminos
  • ⅓ cup rice vinegar
  • 2 bay leaves

For Cooking:

  • 2 Tbsp avocado oil
  • ½ medium yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 1/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth or water
  • 2 tsp coarse black pepper

For Serving:

Instructions

  1. Place the chicken thighs in a zip lock plastic bag and add the rest of the ingredients. Seal it up, shake it all around and refrigerate at least 20 minutes (ideally overnight). Note: You can also marinate the chicken in a glass sealable container if you don’t do plastic 🙂
  2. Add the avocado oil to a large deep skillet (I use a 12-inch skillet with a lid that has a deep lip) and heat over medium-high. Once the oil is very hot (but not smoking) carefully add the chicken thighs (save the marinade for later!!). Brown for 3 to 4 minutes, until one side is deeply golden-brown. Carefully flip and brown on the other side for another 3 to 4 minutes, until both sides are golden-brown. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.
  3. Add the chopped onion to the skillet and stir well. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until onion has softened. If the onion begins to stick at any point, deglaze the pan using about ¼ cup of the chicken broth and stir well.
  4. Transfer the chicken thighs back to the skillet, along with the marinade, the chicken broth (or water) and the black pepper. Stir well, cover and bring to a full boil.
  5. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes covered at a full boil. Remove the cover and continue cooking, flipping the chicken occasionally, until the sauce has reduced by half and chicken is cooked through.
  6. Serve chicken adobo with choice of side dishes. I like serving it with Cabbage Stir Fry.

Notes

*If you aren't soy-free, you can use liquid aminos + 2 tablespoons of coconut sugar or pure maple syrup.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1 of 8
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 188Total Fat: 12gCarbohydrates: 3gSugar: 3gProtein: 16g
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