Slow Cooker Chicken Adobo – Manila Spoon

Adobo chicken slow cooker recipe

Chicken stewed slowly in vinegar, soy sauce, garlic and bay leaves until it falls tender and DELICIOUS. This classic slow cooker chicken marinade recipe can be made a day in advance and tastes even better the next day!

Life gets in the way sometimes. I intended to publish this well-claimed recipe last week, but unfortunately my migraine headache for 3 days in a row prevented me from doing so. 🙂

Therefore, I apologize to those who were normally waiting for another prescription last week. Things were certainly out of my control.

I guess better late than never. Anyway, let me assure you dear readers that this recipe is certainly worth the wait!

As some of you know, Adobo is the national dish of the Philippines.

It is very popular not only because it really is tasty, but also because of the ease of preparation and the fact that, at least according to Filipino practice, it does not require refrigeration.

Vinegar acts as a preservative and not just a flavor enhancer. This was important during the old days, when refrigeration was virtually unknown.

Therefore, the marinade cooking technique that uses vinegar is very popular in our country and is used in many other indigenous dishes.

To make it even easier, I have decided to finally try a slow cooker version for chicken marinade, after all, it already requires some stew time and the slow cooker is the perfect vehicle for this dish.

Some, like her husband, prefer the classic, salty taste of marinade. I, on the other hand, prefer a slightly sweeter version. It’s not really sugary sweet, but just a touch of it and, for me, it also adds depth of flavor to the dish.

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I have provided an option for any of the versions for me to choose from.


One thing you should not forget is rice, which is the perfect accompaniment to chicken marinade. There’s no better pair than rice that can absorb all that tasty marinade sauce.


Yes, it can be done a day or 2 before. It would develop even more flavor as you sit in the fridge overnight.


It can take between 5-6 hours on low depending on whether the chicken pieces were previously browned or not. It is cooked when the chicken is completely tender and the juices when pierced run clear.

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Chicken stewed slowly in vinegar, soy sauce, garlic and bay leaves until it falls tender and DELICIOUS. It tastes even better the next day if there are leftovers!

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  • Chicken pieces: Use thighs and thighs with bone, traditional chicken cuts

used for chicken marinade oil

  • (to brown the chicken): this will decrease the amount of fat as the chicken marinade is cooked in the slow cooker.
  • White vinegar – if possible and for a more authentic taste, use Philippine sugarcane vinegar, but in a pinch rice vinegar works too.
  • Soy sauce: This refers to a regular seasoning or table soy sauce.
  • Whole head garlic – this is the right amount and adds a lot of flavor to the chicken marinade.
  • Black pepper: The use of whole black peppercorns is traditional, but freshly ground black peppercorns can be substituted instead.

Bay leaves

  • : dried is what is traditionally used, but you can also use fresh leaves.
  • A little sugar: It is used as a flavor enhancer and for those who prefer a slightly sweeter Adobo, but omit it if they do low carb or if they want a more traditional flavor. I personally like it with a little sugar, not to sweeten but to balance the flavors.


  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Brown all chicken pieces in batches. This step is highly suggested, but if you are in a hurry, this may be skipped. Alternatively, you can use skinless chicken pieces to avoid the browning process. Mix the vinegar, soy sauce and water in a bowl.
  2. Place the golden chicken pieces in the slow cooker. Pour the vinegar mixture all over the chicken. Evenly distribute garlic, peppercorns and bay leaves. If you don’t feel like choosing peppercorns on your plate, feel free to replace them with freshly ground pepper, but adjust the amount to your flavor preference (a teaspoon for starters). Simmer for 4-6 hours or until the chicken is tender.
  3. NOTE: If you want a slightly sweeter marinade, add the sugar to the vinegar mixture or towards the end, you can also sprinkle the sugar all over and stir it gently. Serve with freshly cooked rice. It can be done a day or 2 ahead.
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Performance: 6 ServingsPreparation time: 00 hrs. 10 mins. Cooking time: 5-6 hours 00 minutes. Total time: 5 hours 10 minutes. Tags: Adobo, Chicken, Filipino, Asian, Main Course

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