InstantPot Chicken Adobo

I finally gave into the hype and purchased an InstantPot thanks to a lightning deal on Amazon a few weeks ago. And needless to say, I am completely hooked. I love nothing more than cooking things low and slow but now that I’m working full-time in a kitchen, frankly, the last thing I want to do is braise something when I get home from work and eat dinner crazy late. And a few nights ago, I didn’t want to eat cereal for dinner for the third night in a row. So, that’s how I ended up here.

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Inspired by one of my favorite food bloggers and Instagram-selfie doppelgängers, Holly, I tried my hand at making chicken adobo for the first time after seeing her share her adobo pork belly a while back. I messaged her to make sure I was getting the right ingredients and got the green light. Filipino food is very similar to Puerto Rican cuisine (thanks to Spanish colonialism) and I love how similar our cultures’ dishes are in flavor and ingredient-usage: most notably, we adore rice and a good lechón.

So, chicken adobo to the rescue for a weeknight meal and to break in my brand new InstantPot! Pressure cooking the chicken took a total of 20 minutes (including warm up time for the pot) and I finished it under the broiler for 5 minutes. Served with white rice drenched in the adobo sauce with tons of sliced green onion? Perfect.

Keep in mind, if you don’t have an InstantPot, you can easily make this in a big pan or Dutch oven but it will take longer since this dish is traditionally braised. Either way, let’s get cooking!

InstantPot Chicken Adobo

Serves: 4

Cook time: 30 minutes 

8 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs

1 and 1/3 cups distilled white vinegar 

2/3 cup tamari or soy sauce

24 whole garlic cloves, crushed (about 2 heads)

4 large bay leaves

4 rounded tsp fresh coarsely ground black pepper

Steamed white rice, for serving

Green onion, thinly sliced for garnish 

Place the chicken thighs skin side down in the InstantPot container. Add the white vinegar, tamari, garlic cloves, bay leaves, and black pepper. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for a high pressure cooking cycle set for 20 minutes. 

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Next, preheat oven to broil at 500ºF. While the chicken is working in the InstantPot, make yourself a pot of white rice to serve with it. By the time the chicken is done, the rice will be ready. Once the InstantPot’s cooking cycle is finished, carefully follow the manufacturer's directions for quick releasing the steam. When the steam is completely let out, the lid will be able to be unlocked and you can open up the pot.

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Remove the chicken from the pot and place on a sheet pan. Next, turn on the sauté function on the InstantPot on high and let the sauce reduce for about 5 minutes while smashing up some of the garlic cloves with the back of a spoon. The fat from the chicken also helps thicken up the sauce to pour over the rice.

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Broil the chicken for about 5 minutes or until the skin is very crisp. This will deepen up the color of the skin along with reinforcing the umami goodness cooked into the meat. Immediately serve the chicken over steamed white rice, spoon over the adobo sauce from the InstantPot, and garnish with lots of green onion.

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¡Buen provecho!