This Instant Pot chicken adobo recipe is a convenient guide to Filipino comfort food made in the pressure cooker. Chicken drumsticks are cooked in a hearty, rich broth full of Asian flavors and are elevated by the savory, tangy, spice-infused dark sauce.
What Is Chicken Adobo?
Chicken adobo is a Filipino dish that consists of searing marinated chicken until golden, then tossing it in a thick, savory sauce.
The word “adobo” is derived from the Spanish word “adobar”, which means marinade. In Filipino, this word refers to both the cooking method and the sauce.
Filipino adobo is different from the Mexican or Caribbean dish that bears the same name. It follows the Malaysian cooking practice and is intensely flavored with Southeast Asian seasonings, including soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, bay leaf, and red pepper.
A traditional Filipino chicken adobo usually requires several hours of marinating, sometimes overnight, to tenderize the meat. For today’s recipe, we have the pressure cooker to complete this task. 25 minutes of sautéing and pressure cooking are all it takes to make deliciously juicy tender chicken drumsticks.
Is Chicken Adobo Healthy?
Yes, it is.
Although this chicken adobo looks quite greasy and sharply-flavored with a generous amount of sauce, it sits beautifully as the main dish for a full meal. With 489 calories and 2.9 grams of saturated fat per serving of this dish, you’ll get a taste of all the complex flavors in every bite: garlicky, sweet, salty, and spicy.
Chicken drumsticks are the star of today’s Instant Pot chicken adobo as they’re a healthy protein choice with little saturated fat (they add 1.75 grams in one serving of this dish).
The restaurant recipe version of chicken adobo usually winds up the total sodium content far more than needed. However, since soy sauce takes the place of salt in this recipe, the problem of an overly seasoned dish is off the table.
With the help of the pressure cooker, you can create the same level of satisfaction as restaurant-style dishes without going heavy on flavor enhancers. We also used unsalted chicken broth to pressure cook the chicken, so it won’t end up too salty.
Instant Pot Chicken Adobo Ingredients
- Chicken drumsticks: We chose skin-on, bone-in chicken drumsticks for today’s recipe as they’re more succulent and don’t dry out as quickly as chicken breasts. You can opt for a mixed combination of chicken drumsticks and thighs (or any other favorite combos) if preferred.
- Adobo sauce: To whisk up the rich and tasty adobo sauce, all the ingredients we need are paprika, brown sugar, black pepper, soy sauce, cornstarch, sriracha, hoisin sauce, vinegar, and red pepper. The addition of brown sugar balances the tang from the vinegar, the saltiness from hoisin sauce and soy sauce, and the mild heat from peppers and sriracha. Feel free to add more or less of any of the above items to make them suited to your taste.
- Flavoring agents for the chicken: They’re onion, garlic, bay leaf, and unsalted chicken broth. As no marinating for the chicken is required in this recipe, we developed our way to amp up the characteristic adobo flavor profile by infusing these flavoring agents to the chicken in the pressure- cooking process.
How to Make Chicken Adobo in an Instant Pot
This Instant Pot chicken adobo recipe is an easy guide to Filipino comfort food made in the pressure cooker. Chicken drumsticks are cooked in a hearty, rich broth flavored with a savory, tangy, spice-infused dark sauce.
Make the sauce.
Sauté onion and garlic in olive oil until golden.
Add the chicken drumstick. Stir.
Add chicken broth and bay leaf. Close the lid, seal the valve, and cook on the “Meat/Stew” setting.
Quick-release the steam and remove the lid. Add the sauce and cook on the “Sauté” setting until it thickens.
Garnish and serve with cooked rice.
How to Store and Reheat Chicken Adobo
This Instant Pot chicken adobo recipe can be a great make-ahead idea.
Contrary to many people’s prejudice on leftovers losing their flavor and texture, chicken adobo tastes better when it has more resting time. If the dish lasts to the next day, the chicken will have more time to absorb the savory sauce, resulting in an even richer and deeper flavor profile.
This means you can cook more servings of this chicken adobo than a meal needs and reserve some leftover portions to enjoy on the following day. This dish can be stored in airtight containers in the fridge for up to a week, so no need to hurry!
To reheat, simply warm up the leftover portions in the Instant Pot or on the stovetop, and add a splash of meat broth to the sauce to thin it out a bit if needed before serving.
If you love instant pot recipe like this one, we also have an Instant Pot dinner roundup that you may like.
What to Serve With Instant Pot Chicken Adobo
Our Instant Pot chicken adobo already serves great as-is on a bed of hot cooked rice. To incorporate diverse sources of nutrients, we decided to enjoy it alongside two more sides:
1. Greek Salad
Fresh mixes of greens are always great compliments to protein-rich mains, and Greek salad is no exception. Pairing with today’s intensely flavored chicken adobo, Greek salad completes a cuisine-fusion meal while offering heaps of fresh veggies and an extra source of healthy fats from feta cheese.
2. Orange Pineapple Juice
This five-ingredient orange pineapple juice will be a perfect choice to complete this meal, reset your appetite, and soothe the stomach. On other occasions, this versatile juice also works great as a meal starter or a cold, thirst-quenching fizzy beverage.
|Instant Pot Chicken Adobo||Main Dish||467||3.6 g||544 mg|
|Greek Salad||Side Dish||173||3.0 g||275 mg|
|Orange Pineapple Juice||Beverage||112||0.0 g||6 mg|
|Total||752||6.6 g||825 mg|
Trying to include more chicken in your meal plan? Save these delicious and easy Instant Pot chicken recipes into your list:
- Instant Pot Chicken Wings Recipe
- Instant Pot Chicken Thighs Recipe
- Instant Pot Chicken Breast Recipe
- Instant Pot Chicken Legs Recipe
Instant Pot Chicken Adobo Recipe
- 14 oz chicken drumstick yields 4 drumsticks with bone
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 1/2 tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- 1 1/2 tsp sriracha
- 1 tsp hoisin sauce
- 1 tbsp vinegar
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes divided
- 2 oz onion sliced
- 1 tbsp garlic minced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup unsalted chicken broth
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 1/2 cup cooked medium-grain white rice
- 2 tbsp scallions chopped
- 0.5 oz jalapeño sliced
- Make the sauce: In a small bowl, combine 1/2 tsp paprika, 1 tsp brown sugar, 1/2 tsp ground black pepper, 2 1/2 tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce, 2 tsp cornstarch, 1 1/2 tsp sriracha, 1 tsp hoisin sauce, 1 tbsp vinegar, and 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes. Whisk.
- On the “Sauté” setting, sauté 2 oz onion and 1 tbsp garlic in 2 tbsp olive oil for a minute until golden.
- Add 14 oz chicken drumsticks and 1 bay leaf. Stir for 2 minutes.
- Add 1/2 cup unsalted chicken broth. Close the lid and set the valve to the sealing position. Cook on “Meat/Stew” setting for 7 minutes.
- Quick-release the steam and remove the lid. Add the sauce and cook for 10 minutes on the “Sauté” setting until it thickens.
- Transfer chicken adobo to serving plates with cooked rice. Scatter 2 tbsp scallions, 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, and 0.5 oz jalapeño on top. Enjoy.