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Barbecued Chicken Adobo

Servings: 4 to 6

This chicken gets a double dose of potent pantry ingredients. First, the meat absorbs a vinegar-soy mixture seasoned with garlic, ginger, and peppercorns. Then, after the mixture has been boiled and the chicken is on the grill, the thighs get a glaze of sweetened soy flavored with bay leaves. This recipe is adapted from Weber’s Ultimate Grilling.


  • 6 large cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
  • 1 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 2 tsp. black peppercorns, lightly crushed
  • 1 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 2 Tbs. vegetable oil
  • 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (each about 6 oz.), trimmed of excess fat and skin
  • 2 packed Tbs. light brown sugar
  • 4 dried bay leaves
  • Herbed rice, for serving (optional)

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 390
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 210
  • Fat (g): 24
  • Saturated Fat (g): 6
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 7
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 9
  • Cholesterol (mg): 175
  • Sodium (mg): 1680
  • Carbohydrates (g): 7
  • Fiber (g): 0
  • Sugar (g): 6
  • Protein (g): 32


  • In a food processor, pulse the garlic, ginger, and peppercorns until finely chopped, scraping down the bowl occasionally, about 3 minutes. Add the vinegar, soy sauce, and oil. Process until combined, about 30 seconds.
  • Put the chicken in a large zip-top plastic bag, and pour in the marinade. Press the air out of the bag and seal tightly. Turn the bag to distribute the marinade. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 4 hours.
  • Heat the grill to 500°F. When hot, brush the grill grate clean. Prepare the grill for direct and indirect cooking, and reduce the temperature to medium heat, as close as possible to between 350°F and 375°F.
  • Meanwhile, remove the chicken from the marinade, letting the excess drip back into the bag; reserve the marinade. Pour the marinade into a medium saucepan, and stir in the sugar and bay leaves. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium high, and continue to boil until the liquid is reduced to 3/4 cup, whisking occasionally and lowering the heat if necessary so that it doesn’t burn, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the glaze from the heat.
  • Keeping the lid closed as much as possible, grill the thighs skin side down first over direct medium heat until golden-brown, turning once, 10 to 12 minutes. Move the chicken pieces over indirect medium heat, skin side up. Brush with the glaze. Continue to grill with the lid
    closed until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thighs and not touching the bone registers 160°F to 165°F, 20 to 25 minutes. Halfway through cooking time, turn the thighs over to skin side down, and brush with more of the glaze. Remove from the grill. In a small saucepan, bring the remaining glaze to a boil again. Serve the thighs on a bed of herbed rice, if you like, and drizzle with the extra glaze.


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Reviews (4 reviews)

  • bakergal53 | 12/05/2020

    PS - we take the pepper down to 1 tsp

  • bakergal53 | 05/23/2020

    This is fabulous! We marinated for 4 hours in a bowl - please don’t add to our plastic pollution issue by using a plastic bag. The flavor was deep, and multi-layered. I did find that I had to grind the peppercorns in my spice grinder (the food processor blade never hit them) but after that it was easy to follow the recipe as written.

  • Taunted | 08/31/2019

    Fabulously deep flavours and quite easy to make, this adobo sauce is a new favourite. It's perfect on chicken but I'll try this again with pork tenderloin. We managed to make the sauce in a blender rather than pulling out the food processor by adding a small amount of the liquid & smashing the peppercorns beforehand - far more than 'lightly crushed' - with a mortar & pestle.

  • MAJofMass | 07/26/2019

    Easy to make and great flavor. Grilled on our Big Green Egg. Took longer to reduce the remaining marinade into a glaze on the stove than stated but still worked out fine. My husband keeps raving about it.

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