Chicken Adobo (2 ways!) with Montepulciano d’Abruzzo

Chicken Adobo

I have wanted to make Filipino Chicken Adobo for a long while. For some reason I didn’t expect my family to appreciate it though. Having not had it for so long myself, I just assumed the vinegar flavor would be too over the top intense for them. NOT SO! This Chicken Adobo is wonderful and flavorful, a teensy bit spicy and almost sweet. Simply wonderful layers of flavor for such an uncomplicated dish. I am so happy they let me make this for them, and very pleased that its been requested again!

I am offering two methods of preparing the Chicken Adobo–Instant Pot or Slow cooker. Both are basically the same. Cook chicken and reduce sauce. One takes less time and less mess, but with greater nervousness for some. Don’t be scared of the instant pot, it is your friend! But, if you don’t have one (or haven’t tried it yet), you can always make this in the more traditional slow cooker. This is how I was introduced to it years and years ago. Tastes basically the same either way–really fantastic!

Pairing Chicken Adobo with Wine

Montepulciano d’Abruzzo with Chicken Adobo

I really had to do my research with this meal. I am just not a beer drinker by nature, and most sources relied on beer for a pairing. Meh, to each their own. But please, let me have wine!

I chose this Montepulciano d’Abruzzo for its red and black fruit notes and its inherent pepperiness. Soy sauce, vinegar, and garlic are kinda hard to pair with sometimes, but we thoroughly enjoyed this matching.

  • Cantina Zaccagnini 2016 Tralcetto Montepulciano
  • 🗺 From Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Italy DOC
  • 🍇 100% Montepulciano with an 13% ABV
  • 👁 Dark Ruby
  • 👃🏼 Aromas and flavors of: earthy cherry, plum, blueberry, blackberry, raspberry, cranberry, smoke, vanilla, baking spices
  • 👅 Dry, medium plus acidity, medium body, medium tannins, medium finish with notes of vanilla, cocoa, oak, and a hint of tobacco
  • 💵 Under $15
Montepulciano d’Abruzzo with Chicken Adobo

I also think this Chicken Adobo would go very well with other reds such as Barbera, Dolcetto, Garnacha, Merlot, Rioja, and Sangiovese. If you prefer a white wine, I would choose a Chardonnay or an off-dry Riesling because of its ability to pair with just about everything–especially peppery spicy chicken dishes. A week after I made this dish my husband and I were at a tasting room and came across a White Merlot. We agreed that this would have been a stellar pairing as well.

I have to thank Josh Likes Wine for his helpful post and for chit-chatting with me about my thoughts. You are the best!

Chicken Adobo
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Chicken Adobo–two ways

Filipino vinegar, soy and garlic chicken–made in the instant pot or slow cooker!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: asian
Keyword: black pepper, chicken, electric pressure cooker, garlic, instant pot, slow cooker, soy sauce, vinegar
Servings: 4


  • electric pressure cooker
  • Slow Cooker


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 pounds chicken thighs boneless and skinless, about 8
  • 1 large onion sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic smashed
  • 1 inch ginger grated, or 1 tablespoon
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce low sodium
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1 tsp peppercorns whole
  • 3 bay leaves

to serve

  • white rice or cauliflower rice prepared
  • sugar snap peas steamed


Instant Pot

  • Heat instat pot to saute. Add oil when hot. Add half the chicken to oil and sear 2-3 minutes per side. Repeat for other pieces. Set chicken to the side. In remaining oil, saute the onions for 3-5 minutes. Add in garlic and ginger and saute an additional minute.
  • Pour in vingear and soy sauce and scrape up bits on bottom of pan. Stir in peppercorns. Place all the chicken back in liquid and place bay leaves on top. Turn off saute mode on pot. Place and lock lid on pot, set valve to sealing, and set to manual high pressure for 15 minutes. When done, let pressure naturally release for 10 minutes before manually venting.
  • Remove lid, and place pot back onto saute mode. Reduce sauce for about 10 minutes. Remove chicken to platter. Discard bay leaves and peppercorns. Pour sauce over chicken and serve with rice or cauliflower rice and steamed sugar snap peas.

Slow Cooker (add 6 hours to cooking time)

  • Heat oil in large skillet. Sear chicken in batches, 2-3 minutes per side. Place pieces in slow cooker. In remaining oil, saute the onions for 3-5 minutes. Add in garlic and ginger and saute an additional minute. Place cooked aromatics in slow cooker. Pour vinegar and soy saue over chicken. Add peppercorns and bay leaves. Cook on low for 6 hours.
  • Remove chicken and pour sauce into a sauce pan to reduce on the stove for about 10 minutes. Discard bay leaves and peppercorns. Pour sauce over chicken and serve with rice or cauliflower rice and steamed sugar snap peas.
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1 thought on “Chicken Adobo (2 ways!) with Montepulciano d’Abruzzo”

  1. 5 stars
    Chicken adobo is traditionally made with chicken chopped with bones and all. the use of boneless chicken breast makes it a much safer meal. In the Navy this was a popular meal often made by Filipino cooks and was referred to as dynamited chicken.

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