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Slow cooker recipe for Filipino chicken adobo

Filipino chicken adobo

For one of the very first food stories I ever wrote, I interviewed a woman living in a halfway house where formerly-incarcerated parents stayed while working to regain custody of their children. The residents, adults and their kids, shared the duties of the house, including cooking. As a volunteer, I often taught cooking classes there, but on that day I was the student, and the lesson was a Puerto Rican-style pork adobo. It was very similar to this recipe from The Philippines, both with vinegar as the base of the stewing liquid. Adobo originated in Spain, and Spanish settlers (adventurers? conquerors?) brought it to other parts of the world, where each region put its own spin on the basic marinade. In this slow cooker version, the meat marinates as it cooks. Most chicken adobo recipes call for a whole chicken, cut up and cooked on the bone, but boneless, skinless chicken thighs work perfectly. Serve over steamed rice.

Filipino chicken adobo, made in the crockpot.

Slow cooker Filipino chicken adobo

From the pantry, you'll need: garlic, bay leaf, reduced-sodium soy sauce, distilled white vinegar, ginger root, fresh black pepper, brown sugar, cornstarch or arrowroot, chicken stock.

Adapted from The Gourmet Slow Cooker Volume II. Serves 4.


8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed, cut into 2-inch pieces
3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1 bay leaf
3/8 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 Tbsp distilled white vinegar
1 tsp ginger paste or grated ginger root
1/2 tsp fresh black pepper
1-1/2 tsp brown sugar
2 tsp cornstarch or arrowroot
3 Tbsp chicken stock
Sliced scallions, for garnish
2 cups cooked rice, any type, for serving


In a 3- or 4-quart slow cooker (Crockpot), place the chicken pieces, and add the garlic, bay leaf, soy sauce, vinegar, ginger, pepper, and brown sugar. Stir to combine, set cooker to HIGH, and cook for 3-1/2 hours (you can also cook on LOW for 7 hours). Stir the cornstarch into the chicken stock, and add this slurry to the slow cooker. (If you have been cooking on LOW, turn the cooker to HIGH.) Stir, and cook for 30 minutes, until the sauce thickens slightly and the chicken practically shreds on its own.

Serve over rice, garnished with scallions.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]

More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:
Slow cooker chicken vindaloo
Slow cooker Cuban-style ropa vieja
Pakistani "old clothes" beef curry
Half sour dill pickles

Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Marketman's best adobo, from Market Manila
Pork adobo, from Appetite for China
Grilled adobo chicken (pollo adobado), from Andrea Meyers
Chicken adobo in coconut milk, from Apple Pie, Patis, and Paté
Adobo fried rice, from The CookMobile

Filipino chicken adobo, easy in the crockpot.

Disclosure: The Perfect Pantry earns a few pennies on purchases made through the Amazon.com links in this post. Thank you for supporting this site when you start your shopping here.


I was just browsing through a cookbook yesterday, and noticed a recipe for an adobo dish that sounded good, but this one sounds even better - I love my slow cooker!

what a wonderful and delicious blog

I love the idea of making Chicken Adobo in the slow cooker! This sounds really good (and just ordered that cookbook!)

That looks so simple and so good, Lydia! A friend has told me that chicken thighs are great comfort food. I think this recipe would definitely qualify. :-)


The Adobo chicken I have eaten at Philippine restaurants in Hawaii have been vinegary and full of pepper and ginger and I can't wait to try this method of cooking it. But I'm going to add roughly chopped onions to the pot. Island style adobo chicken always has adobo style onions served along side the chicken and rice. I figure it can't hurt!

Pam, this adobo is perfect for the slow cooker. The longer it cooks, the more the meat just falls apart -- and it is so delicious.

Delphine, thanks so much.

Kalyn, I've made several things from this book and I love how they've worked out. I think you'll find lots of new ideas.

Shirley, I don't know about comfort food, but chicken thighs really hold up to the long cooking in the slow cooker.

Cousin, onions never hurt anything! And I love how each culture puts its own spin on adobo. Hope you like this one.

I've been addicted to my slow cooker ever since I got it years ago. I've been looking around online for some Filipino and other southeastern Asian dishes I could make in my crock pot - this is by far the best one! I love the usage of ginger root. I like to serve this dish on just a plain white long-grain rice like in the photo, doesn't distract from the flavor of the chicken.

Looks great Lydia! I have made this before but never with a slow cooker.

Lydia, this reminds me of the adobo chicken my mom made growing up. She spent a large part of her life in the Philippines. I never thought to make it in a slow cooker, but I will keep that in mind next time I make this.

Chelsey, I have promised to use my slow cooker more this summer, to keep the heat down in the kitchen. And because I love Asian food, too, you'll probably see more recipes here.

Chase, this was my second slow cooker adobo. So easy!

Jeanette, this dish adapts so beautifully to the slow cooker. You can use chicken parts on the bone, too; just remove the skin before cooking in the slow cooker. But the boneless, skinless thighs make it even easier.

This sounds like the perfect meal for our upcoming predicted to be rainy Sunday!!

Hi Lydia,
Like many posters, I too never thought of making this dish in the slow cooker. One question: The recipe calls for 3 tbl. chicken stock. Is that right? Doesn't it need more liquid- 3 cups?

Gina, good question, but in this case, the chicken stock is used to make the slurry that thickens the sauce. Three cups of liquid would drown the chicken (or maybe make a great chicken soup), but liquid doesn't evaporate in a slow cooker, so the smaller amount of liquid is used just at the end. Thanks for asking; I surely do make mistakes and appreciate readers who take the time to let me know.

Mmmm! Yum!

If I use boneless skinless breasts do I need to change the cook time?

Jeni, boneless chicken breasts cooked in the slow cooker tend to get dry faster than the chicken thighs, so check them after 3 hours on high, or 6 hours on low.

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