Back in December my Aunt, daughter and I went on our semi-annual “Girls’ Day” lunch. This time we chose a small Asian fusion restaurant we had never been to before but that I had heard good things about from a friend. The menu had the usual fare – pad Thai, lo mein, sweet and sour chicken, and the most amazing Filipino Adobo Chicken.
Over the course of our meal, we made small talk with our server. She was just infatuated with my daughter so she made her way over to our table a little more often than is typical during a lunch service and chatted with us. After a while, I asked her what made up the delectable sauce on my Filipino Adobo Chicken. I was more than surprised to learn that it started with just a few simple ingredients – maybe even pantry staples if your house is anything like mine. I thought I tasted a “secret” ingredient but she wouldn’t crack! After lunch, I told my Aunt it would be my mission to try and make the delicious Filipino Adobo Chicken I’d just eaten again at home. One rainy Saturday afternoon, my daughter and I did just that.
Having a skeleton list of ingredients and a verbal recipe to work with, I poked around the internet to find a recipe to help with the marinade and then I set off to make this easy and delicious chicken in my Instant Pot. Now, my instant pot pressure cooker also has the ability to steam rice on one of its many settings but today – all I made in the Instant Pot was the Filipino Adobo Chicken. I had some leftover steamed rice in the fridge. Ordinarily, I would steam fresh rice with this meal. Also, occasionally we do steam a big batch of rice and then portion it out and freeze it for quick weeknight meals. That’s another great option as well. If you’re watching your carbs, try cauliflower “rice” it’s a great vehicle for soaking up this delicious adobo sauce!
Speaking of sauce, I often substitute Bragg Liquid Aminos in my recipes that use soy sauce. I buy it in the grocery store and it’s usually sold near the gluten-free foods. It is recommended for people like myself who are sensative to MSG.
Traditionally, Filipino Adobo Chicken starts with bone-in chicken pieces. At the restaurant, I was served a leg and a thigh. It was so completely moist and delicious. However, I wanted to use boneless chicken thigh and breast filets so I could cook it up quick and avoid the 3-hour marinade. Using the pressure cooker, I skip the marinade altogether and the pressure cooker does the work for me by pushing the flavors into the meat. Pressure cookers are an amazing piece of cooking equipment.
So now into my sauce, I add the sliced chicken fillets and secure cover making sure the quick release valcve is closed.
Set the pressure to high and set the time to 12 minutes. Once the Instant Pot indicates that the 12 minutes have completed (through a series of beeps), use the quick release the valve to depressurize the pot and carefully open the lid being very careful of the steam. The sauce this point is very thin but the chicken is so moist and tender. You can choose to remove the chicken and boil down the sauce or thicken it. I use a little corn starch (not traditional to this dish at all) and I thicken the sauce to create a glaze.
Top with sliced green onions and serve over steamed Jasmine rice.
Instant Pot Filipino Adobo Chicken
Yield 4 servings
Instant Pot Filipino Adobo Chicken is ready in just 12 minutes! It's a simple yet delicious recipe and I bet you already have all the ingredients in your pantry!
For the Chicken:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 4-6 cloves garlic, minced (or about 1 heaping tbsp pre-minced garlic)
- 1 tsp whole black peppercorns (about 10)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/4 cup soy sauce or Bragg Liquid Amino Soy Sauce Alternative
- 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 pound boneless, skinless, chicken thighs - sliced into strips or filets
To Thicken the Sauce (see instruction variations below)
- 1 tbsp cornstarch or other thickener plus 2 Tbsp cold water
- 3 fresh green onions, sliced diagonally
- Preheat the Instant Pot by selecting Saute and high heat. Add the olive oil. Then add the onions, garlic, bay leaves, and peppercorns. Saute until the onions are translucent, about 3 minutes.
- Add the soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, and water. Then add the chicken slices. Secure the lid.
- Select manual and cook at high pressure for 12 minutes.
- Once cooking is complete, use a quick release. Remove the chicken and set aside which the sauce thickens.
- Thicken the sauce in one of two ways:
- Select Saute and boil the sauce down until it thickens OR
- Add some cornstarch mixed with water. The cornstarch method is not traditional but is a quick way to thicken the sauce.
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