Grilled Chicken Adobo

Grilled Chicken Adobo: A Flavorful Fiesta on the Grill

Savor the Savory Char

Prepare your taste buds for a culinary journey with Grilled Chicken Adobo, a mouthwatering dish bursting with bold flavors and tender textures. Originating from the Philippines, this beloved dish features succulent chicken thighs marinated in a savory blend of soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, and spices, creating a symphony of tastes that will delight your palate. Whether you’re firing up the grill for a backyard barbecue or simply craving a taste of international cuisine, Grilled Chicken Adobo is sure to be a hit with family and friends. Join us as we explore the art of preparing and grilling this delectable dish, perfect for any occasion.


  • Meat:
    • 3 lbs chicken thighs, skinless, boneless
  • Produce:
    • 3 bay leaves
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • Condiments:
    • 3 tablespoons honey
    • 1 1/2 cups soy sauce
  • Baking & Spices:
    • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Oils & Vinegars:
    • 3/4 cup vinegar
  • Liquids:
    • 1 1/2 cups water


Marinating the Chicken: Infusing Flavorful Goodness

Step 1: Mixing the Marinade

In a large mixing bowl, combine the soy sauce, vinegar, minced garlic, black pepper, honey, and bay leaves. Stir well until the ingredients are thoroughly incorporated, creating a fragrant and flavorful marinade.

Step 2: Marinating the Chicken

Place the chicken thighs in a shallow dish or resealable plastic bag, ensuring they are arranged in a single layer. Pour the marinade over the chicken, making sure each piece is evenly coated. Cover the dish or seal the bag, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or preferably overnight, to allow the flavors to meld and the chicken to tenderize.

Grilling Perfection: Bringing the Heat

Step 1: Preparing the Grill

Preheat your grill to medium-high heat, around 375-400°F (190-200°C). Make sure the grates are clean and lightly oiled to prevent sticking.

Step 2: Grilling the Chicken

Remove the marinated chicken thighs from the refrigerator and let them come to room temperature for about 15-20 minutes. This ensures more even cooking on the grill.

Step 3: Grilling Technique

Place the chicken thighs on the preheated grill, discarding any excess marinade. Cook for approximately 6-8 minutes per side, or until the chicken is cooked through and reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C). Use a meat thermometer to ensure accuracy.

Step 4: Basting for Flavor

During the last few minutes of grilling, baste the chicken thighs with any remaining marinade to add an extra layer of flavor and moisture.

Step 5: Rest and Serve

Once cooked, remove the chicken thighs from the grill and let them rest for a few minutes before serving. This allows the juices to redistribute, resulting in juicier and more flavorful chicken.

Cook Notes:

  • Chicken Selection: Opt for boneless, skinless chicken thighs for this recipe, as they are more flavorful and juicy compared to chicken breasts. However, you can use chicken breasts if preferred, adjusting the cooking time accordingly.
  • Marinade Time: While a minimum of 2 hours is recommended for marinating the chicken, allowing it to marinate overnight yields the best results, as it allows the flavors to fully penetrate the meat.
  • Grilling Tips: To prevent flare-ups and ensure even cooking, keep a close eye on the grill and adjust the heat as needed. If using wooden skewers for kebabs, soak them in water for at least 30 minutes prior to grilling to prevent burning.


1. Citrus Twist:

Add the juice and zest of one lemon or lime to the marinade for a refreshing citrus kick that brightens up the dish.

2. Spicy Kick:

Incorporate a tablespoon of chili flakes or a finely chopped chili pepper to the marinade for a fiery flavor profile that packs a punch.

3. Herbaceous Blend:

Mix in a handful of chopped fresh herbs such as rosemary, thyme, or oregano to the marinade for an aromatic and herbaceous twist.

4. Pineapple Paradise:

Add chunks of fresh pineapple to the skewers or grill alongside the chicken for a sweet and tangy accompaniment that complements the savory flavors.

Keto and Low-Carb Versions:

Keto Version:

  • Substitute coconut aminos or tamari for the soy sauce to reduce the carbohydrate content of the marinade.
  • Use a keto-friendly sweetener such as erythritol or stevia in place of honey to keep the marinade low in carbs.
  • Serve the grilled chicken with a side of roasted vegetables or a crisp salad for a satisfying keto-friendly meal.

Low-Carb Version:

  • Follow the keto substitutions mentioned above to reduce the carb count of the marinade.
  • Pair the grilled chicken with cauliflower rice or zucchini noodles for a low-carb alternative to traditional rice or pasta dishes.
  • Enjoy the flavorful grilled chicken with a dollop of avocado salsa or sugar-free barbecue sauce for added taste without the added carbs.

Grilled Goodness

Grilled Chicken Adobo is a celebration of bold flavors, tender textures, and the joy of cooking over an open flame. With its savory marinade, succulent chicken thighs, and irresistible charred edges, this dish is sure to become a staple in your grilling repertoire.

Whether enjoyed as a main course, sliced and served atop a salad, or tucked into a warm tortilla for a flavorful taco, Grilled Chicken Adobo offers endless possibilities for culinary creativity and delicious dining. So fire up the grill, gather your ingredients, and treat yourself to the savory satisfaction of Grilled Chicken Adobo. Happy grilling!

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