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Chicken Adobo with Pineapple

Chicken adobo with pineapple is a fun twist on the Filipino classic! Salty, sweet and sour all at the same time, adobo is packed with contrasting flavors that somehow come together in total harmony. Yes, even the pineapple. Serve over white rice for an easy dinner. 

Another easy chicken dinner with chicken thighs is this chicken and rice made in the instant pot.

Chicken adobo with pineapple in a plate.

What is chicken adobo?

Chicken adobo is a popular Filipino dish that packs a hefty punch. It has tender pieces of chicken thighs or legs glazed with a sticky adobo sauce. The magic of adobo lies in the sauce. Salty, sweet, sour, and a little spicy, it hits your tastebuds like a bolt!

What goes into the adobo sauce?

Glad you asked! At heart, adobo sauce is a very simple combination of vinegar, brown sugar, soy sauce, and garlic, with some bay leaves and peppercorns thrown in for a pop of heat.

From there, you can adapt it to your taste and liking. I find the vinegary sourness of adobo a tad bit overwhelming, so in this recipe, I have added broken pieces of pineapple from a can along with the juice. The extra sweetness and texture makes a world of difference to the sauce, and the pineapple tidbits, along with the chicken, taste so good!

How do you make chicken adobo with pineapple?

Note: detailed steps and amounts are included in the recipe card further down.

Chicken adobo with pineapple is made in four broad steps:

  1. Marinate the chicken thighs or legs in adobo sauce. This is when the chicken will absorb all the flavors from the marinade and become tender and flavorful when cooked.
  2. Remove the chicken from the marinade and sear it until you get a crisp brown outer edge. The chicken does not need to be cooked through, you only need to get it nice and golden-brown at this stage.
  3. Pour back the marinade into the chicken and simmer until the sauce is reduced by half and the chicken is tender.
  4. Add the pineapple tidbits and juice from the can and cook for just a bit more. The sauce will loosen after adding the liquid from the can, but you can thicken it right back up by stirring in a little cornflour mixed in water.

And that’s it. You’ve just made yourself some super-moist, tender chicken bathed in a flavorful sauce!

chicken adobo marinating in a glass bowl
chicken thighs marinated in adobo sauce
fried chicken adobo in a plate.
fried chicken
chicken adobo simmering in a pan
chicken simmering in sauce

What goes well with pineapple chicken adobo?

Good question. Pineapple chicken adobo tastes amazing served over a bed of steaming white rice. That’s the Filipino way, and it’s just perfect! Spoon some of that adobo sauce over the rice, sprinkle with green onions and dig in:)

Chicken adobo with pineapple and rice in two plates.

Top tips

  • Don’t skip the marination. Marinating the chicken makes it absorb the sauce so the flavors go deep. Plan ahead so you have time to follow through with this step.
  • Adjust the consistency of the sauce according to your liking. If you like a thin sauce, don’t add the cornflour towards the end.
  • The chicken in this recipe should be tender, so cook it in the marinade for at least 20 minutes after searing it.

Frequently asked questions

Can you make adobo with chicken breast?

I wouldn’t recommend making adobo with chicken breast. Breast meat dries out very easily and all that frying and slow simmering will probably result in the chicken being less moist than you want. Stick to chicken thighs or legs.

Can you make adobo without soy sauce?

Yes! You can replace the soy sauce with tamari, a gluten free Japanese sauce made of fermented soybeans.

Can you marinate adobo overnight?

Unfortunately, no. Don’t marinate the chicken for more than two hours as the acidity from the vinegar will mess with the texture of the chicken.

How long does chicken adobo last in the fridge?

Thanks to its high acidic content, it can stay in the fridge for up to 3 or 4 days with no problem.

Can you freeze chicken adobo?

Absolutely. Put it into a freezer safe container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight, then reheat on the stovetop.

Pineapple chicken adobo with white rice in a plate.

More easy chicken dinners

Chicken adobo with pineapple in a plate.

Chicken Adobo With Pineapple

Saima Zaidi
Chicken adobo with pineapple is a fun twist on the Filipino classic! Salty, sweet and sour all at the same time, adobo is packed with contrasting flavors that somehow come together in total harmony. Serve over white rice for an easy dinner. 
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Marination 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 35 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine Filipino
Servings 6 people
Calories 512 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 large bowl for marination
  • 1 skillet or wok for frying and simmering

Ingredients
 
 

  • ¾ cup white vinegar
  • ½ cup soy sauce or tamari
  • 8 cloves garlic minced
  • ½ tsp black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 ½ tbsp brown sugar
  • 2.5 lbs chicken thighs boneless
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 8 oz pineapple 1 can, broken pieces
  • 1 tsp cornflour dissolved in 2 tbsp water, use as needed
  • ½ bunch spring onions sliced, for garnish

Instructions
 

Marinate the chicken

  • Add the first 6 ingredients to a bowl and whisk. Add the chicken thighs, cover with cling foil and leave to marinate in the fridge for one hour.

Fry the chicken

  • Place a skillet or wok on medium heat and add the cooking oil.
  • Remove the chicken from the marinade, shaking off as much of the marinade as possible and slide into the hot oil. Fry the chicken on both sides until well browned (about 3 minutes each side).

Simmer the chicken in sauce

  • Pour the remaining marinade into the skillet and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and cook the chicken, uncovered, for 20 minutes or until the sauce is reduced by half. Stir occasionally.

Add the pineapple

  • Add the pineapple tidbits along with the liquid from the can and combine with the sauce. If the sauce is too thin, add the cornflour slurry and cook on medium-high heat for 1 minute or until the sauce thickens.
  • Garnish with the spring onions and serve with plain steamed white rice.

Notes

  • Don’t skip the marination. Marinating the chicken makes it absorb the sauce so the flavors go deep. Plan ahead so you have time to follow through with this step.
  • Adjust the consistency of the sauce according to your liking. If you like a thin sauce, don’t add the cornflour towards the end.
  • The chicken in this recipe should be tender, so cook it in the marinade for at least 20 minutes after searing it.

Nutrition

Calories: 512kcalCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 33gFat: 36gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 8gMonounsaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 185mgSodium: 1228mgPotassium: 501mgFiber: 1gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 194IUVitamin C: 20mgCalcium: 39mgIron: 2mg
Keyword chicken adobo, chicken adobo with pineapple
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