Savory, slightly-sweet chicken adobo is made even easier thanks to the Instant Pot! Tender chicken thighs are pressure cooked in a delicious sauce made from vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, brown sugar, and bay leaves, then finished off under the broiler for a wonderfully crisp skin.
🍗 What Makes This Recipe So Good
- This Instant Pot chicken adobo has all the rich flavors you love in the classic Filipino dish. The umami of the soy sauce, the sweetness of the brown sugar, the earthiness of the bay leaves. There’s even a tiny bit of spiciness from the peppercorns.
- Since the chicken thighs are pressure-cooked in the sauce, they come out incredibly flavorful and incredibly juicy. There’s no need to marinate them first, either, saving you a decent amount of prep time.
- This is a quick dish that requires minimal effort, so it’s great for busy evenings. Serve it on a bed of basmati rice or cauliflower rice to soak up all that delicious sauce. Add a few sautéed veggies and you’ve got a delicious, simple, well-rounded meal the whole family can enjoy!
👩🏼🍳 Chef’s Tips
- I don’t recommend swapping the chicken thighs out for chicken breasts. Like traditional chicken adobo, Instant Pot chicken adobo is intended to be a thigh recipe. In fact, the sauce needs the fat from the chicken thighs to reduce and thicken properly.
- When you take the chicken thighs out of the Instant Pot, the sauce will seem pretty thin and watery. Don’t panic – that’s expected! Since the Instant Pot is fully sealed during cooking, there’s no evaporation. The sauce can’t reduce until you open the Instant Pot back up. It’ll look watery basically until the moment it doesn’t, so don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t seem to be thickening.
♨️ Instant Pot Recipes You Won’t Want to Miss
- Instant Pot Pork Roast with Carrots, Potatoes, and Gravy
- Instant Pot Mississippi Pot Roast
- The Best Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala
- Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers
- Instant Pot Paella
- Dreamy Instant Pot Chicken and Rice
- Instant Pot Chicken Tacos
- Instant Pot Lobster Tails
- ⅓ cup distilled white vinegar
- ⅓ cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 packed tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns roughly cracked
- 3 dried bay leaves
- 1 medium white onion thinly sliced, approximately 6 ounces
- 2-2 ½ pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs approximately 6-8 chicken thighs depending on size
- 2 green onions thinly sliced on diagonal
- small mixing bowl
- Instant Pot
- large baking sheet
- Aluminum Foil
- ladle or large spoon
- Add ⅓ cup distilled white vinegar, ⅓ cup soy sauce, 2 tablespoons minced garlic, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 2 packed tablespoons light brown sugar, and 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns to small mixing bowl.
- Whisk vigorously until ingredients are incorporated and brown sugar has dissolved completely. Once sugar is dissolved, add 3 dried bay leaves and gently stir to incorporate. Set bowl aside.
- Place slices of 1 medium white onion in one even layer across bottom of Instant Pot. Top onions with 2-2 ½ pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, then pour vinegar mixture evenly over tops of chicken thighs.
- Secure lid on Instant Pot with vent in Sealing position. Set Instant Pot to Manual High Pressure for 10 minutes. Instant Pot will pressurize, then 10-minute cook time will begin.
- While chicken cooks, line baking sheet with aluminum foil. Set baking sheet aside.
- When 10-minute cook time on Instant Pot ends, carefully Quick Release pressure. Use caution – escaping steam will be very hot.
- Carefully remove lid and set aside. Transfer chicken thighs to foil-lined baking sheet, placing thighs skin-side up without overlapping or stacking. Set baking sheet aside.
- Set Instant Pot to Sauté. Stir remaining sauce and simmer 3 to 5 minutes or until sauce has thickened.
- While sauce simmers, adjust oven rack to approximately 6 inches beneath heating element. Preheat broiler on high.
- Place baking sheet under preheated broiler. Broil chicken thighs 6 to 8 minutes or until skin is crisp. When satisfied with texture of chicken skin, carefully remove baking sheet from oven.
- Transfer chicken thighs to serving plates. Ladle thickened sauce over tops of chicken thighs, then garnish with sliced green onions and serve.
- Soy Sauce: If you’re watching your sodium intake, use a low-sodium soy sauce. You can also use lite tamari or coconut aminos instead of soy sauce.
- Brown Sugar: You can replace the brown sugar with coconut sugar or a brown sugar substitute like Swerve Brown.
- This recipe was tested and perfected using a 6-quart Instant Pot. If you’re using a larger pressure cooker, you may need to increase the amount of sauce to prevent a burn notice.
Number of total servings shown is approximate. Actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes.
Nutritional values shown are general guidelines and reflect information for 1 serving using the ingredients listed, not including any optional ingredients. Actual macros may vary slightly depending on specific brands and types of ingredients used.
To determine the weight of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed. Weigh the finished recipe, then divide the weight of the finished recipe (not including the weight of the container the food is in) by the desired number of servings. Result will be the weight of one serving.