Filipino Adobo Grilled Chicken

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We served this dish to friends for dinner and everyone– INCLUDING all of the KIDS- enjoyed it. 🙂 The adobo marinade is salty from the soy sauce and fish sauce; it’s tangy from the apple cider vinegar. It also has a little sweetness and a little spiciness. The original recipe called for two 3 1/2-pound chickens, cut into pieces. I substituted 20 boneless, skinless chicken thighs- so much easier. I marinaded the chicken for 24 hours. This was my first experience with star anise– it’s so pretty! This dish was adapted from a Food and Wine “staff-favorite” recipe.

  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup coconut vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup tamari or soy sauce (I used low sodium)
  • 1/4 cup Asian fish sauce
  • 10 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 5 whole star anise pods
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 20 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • Canola oil, for brushing
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  1. In a large, sturdy resealable plastic bag, combine all of the ingredients except the oil, salt and pepper. Shake to evenly distribute the chicken and adobo marinade; seal the bag, pressing out the air. Refrigerate overnight.
  2. Remove the chicken from the marinade. Pat the chicken dry and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, light a grill. Brush the chicken with oil and season with salt and black pepper. Grill over moderate heat, turning occasionally, until lightly charred and an instant-read thermometer registers 165°. Transfer the chicken to a platter and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.
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