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29 Mar

Slow-Cooked Chicken Adobo with Coconut Aminos

Chicken AdoboIn this Primal version of Filipino chicken adobo adapted for a slow cooker, coconut aminos take the place of soy sauce. The result is a wheat-free, soy free meal that still has the authentic sweet, salty and slightly tart flavor that makes chicken adobo so good.

While coconut aminos don’t taste exactly like soy sauce, the differences in flavor are harder to detect the longer coconut aminos are cooked. Braising or simmering meat in a sauce laced with coconut aminos adds umami flavor to the dish. The coconut aminos also add a hint of natural sweetness. By the end of the cooking process, the sweet, salty and umami flavors are in perfect balance.

Chicken adobo adds one more flavor element, the subtle zing of vinegar. Way back when, vinegar was used as a marinade to preserve meat before it was cooked. These days, vinegar is added to Filipino adobo as a way to tenderize the meat as it simmers and to enhance the flavor of the dish.

The mouthwatering sauce at the bottom of the slow cooker can be served in a bowl with the chicken or soaked up by cauliflower rice or sautéed greens. The tender meat from chicken adobo is even more flavorful after sitting in the sauce overnight; consider making this recipe specifically to shred the cold chicken over salads for lunch.

Chicken adobo is a classic Filipino dish with innumerable recipes, each one claiming to be the best or most authentic. Using coconut aminos (and a slow cooker) means this recipe isn’t the most authentic, but it’s right up there with the best.

Servings: 4

Time in the Kitchen: 10 minutes of prep, plus 5 hours in the slow cooker

Ingredients:

Ingredients
  • 2 yellow onions, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 3-inch piece of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced (7.6 cm)
  • 2 1/2 to 3 pounds bone-in skinless chicken thighs (about 8 thighs) (1130 to 1350 g)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorns (5 ml)
  • 1/2 cup coconut aminos (120 ml)
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (60 ml)

Instructions:

Put the onion, garlic and ginger in the bottom of a slow cooker.

Step 1

Lay the chicken on top and scatter the bay leaves and peppercorns. Season the chicken lightly with salt.

Step 2

Pour the coconut aminos and vinegar on top.

Cook 5 hours on low.

Chicken Adobo

You want comments? We got comments:

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  1. Wow. The instructions are actually quite simple. I don’t think ill be making this anytime soon, but it seems good to have around. Prep in the morning, turn it on, go to work/school. Come home, turn off, serve.

    Steph wrote on March 29th, 2014
  2. Totally prepping this today for tomorrow’s Big Ass Salad! Had some coconut aminos on my pulled pork last week and it was beyond.

    LeapingYogi wrote on March 29th, 2014
  3. Adobo anything–chicken, crab, whatever–is amazing. But after reading about O3/06 ratios in chicken and pork–even in pastured animals, O6 levels are fairly high–I’ve been trying to cut back on both. Then after reading about how post-workout antioxidants aren’t a good idea, because inflammation is how you build muscle, I’m wondering whether high O6 meats might be okay as a post-workout meal. Anyone have any thoughts on this?

    Ben wrote on March 29th, 2014
  4. Me thinks I will make this tonight!

    Paleo Bon Rurgundy wrote on March 29th, 2014
  5. I would leave the skin on, too time consuming to try to get off!

    Jean finch wrote on March 29th, 2014
    • Leave on the chicken skin and then remove it after cooking. Then pan fry the skin until crisp for sorta “gribenes”. (I do this when I make schmaltz).

      Paleo Bon Rurgundy wrote on March 29th, 2014
  6. Sorry if this is a dumb question…

    What are coconut aminos and where do you find them (i.e. what section of the grocery store, typically)?

    Julia wrote on March 29th, 2014
    • Basically it’s brewed soy sauce made from coconut instead of soy or soy/wheat and a lot of stores don’t stock it. I’ve seen it next to soy sauce in well-stocked health food stores. Whole Foods has it but for me that’s thirty miles each way and a depleted wallet. Last I bought it, it was more expensive than any of the organic wheat-free soy sauces. Tastes similar but distinctively different.

      If you trust the fungi used in brewing proper soy sauce to put a big dent in the nasty stuff in soy, I suppose you could use soy sauce instead. There’s always pure MSG for umami and salt for saltiness: yeah, I know that’s not good either.

      Mark. wrote on March 29th, 2014
    • I’ve always found it in the same section as the soy sauce. It’s difficult to find in your local, every-day variety stores. If you can’t find it in your local area, then you can always order it on-line. Google “coconut aminos” and you’ll get all the links you can handle as far as info and where to order it.

      Personally, I buy it on-line as it’s cheaper than buying it from my local health food natural grocer store- unfortunately.

      You could always sub “wheat free” soy sauce called Tamari Soy Sauce, but that’s up to you – they are 2 completely different things: one is made from coconut (the aminos) and one is soy based (the Tamari).

      PrimalGrandma wrote on March 29th, 2014
    • I order mine from Amazon, although I occasionally see it in the Natural Foods section of my Kroger

      Terri wrote on March 31st, 2014
    • I have read you can use fish sauce as a substitute, which I was able to pick up at Wal-Mart. Giving it a try tomorrow.

      Keith wrote on April 3rd, 2014
      • As an update, the fish sauce worked great and the dish was incredible. I also just left the skins on, as I am lazy.

        Keith wrote on April 4th, 2014
  7. Now, here’s an additional idea — keep the bones! After you get all the meat off the bones, don’t throw the bones out. I collect all the bones from all the chicken/meat pieces we eat and put them in a zip-lock plastic bag in the freezer. When the freezer bag is full, I throw all the bones in to the crock pot and fill it to the top with water. Add a bay leaf, carrots, onions and celery, etc. and let it simmer all day. You’d be surprised how much flavor and good stuff you’ll get out of those bones that you would have thrown out!

    This recipe is a perfect example of re-using the bones!

    PrimalGrandma wrote on March 29th, 2014
    • I’ve been wanting to make bone broth but was disappointed to find how expensive grassfed bones are. :( I will definitely start saving the ones we use!

      Briana wrote on May 24th, 2014
  8. Easy way to make this a more complete meal is adding a ton of different veggies and let them slow cook with the chicken!

    Dr. Anthony Gustin wrote on March 30th, 2014
  9. Don’t forget to add the chicken livers….

    Bruce wrote on March 30th, 2014
  10. What would you advise as a side for this? (traditionally)

    Laïta wrote on March 31st, 2014
    • For greens, water spinach seems to be a go-to favorite of Filipinos. Google “kangkong” for recipes. I’ve only eaten water spinach once, and it’s very pungent and bitter, with a slightly swampy flavor, so it needs a good sauce to coat it. If you can’t find it at an Asian market, I’d imagine chard or mustard greens would work well in some of the kangkong recipes.

      Adobo is traditionally eaten with white rice, so a good alternative would be riced cauliflower. I made some recently by shredding the cauliflower (using the cheese grater attachment in my food processor), tossing it with oil and salt, and then baking it in the oven on a cookie sheet, stirring occasionally. Comes out nice and fluffy like rice with little bits of browned and crispy cauliflower throughout.

      Mantonat wrote on April 1st, 2014
  11. I made this last night – it is HEAVENLY. Chicken is falling-apart-tender, and the flavor is great. I cooked on high (instead of low) because I only had 3 1/2 hrs instead of 5 – but it did the trick. I had quick pan seared green beans with it. Would advise also considering something as a side that will soak up the “gravy” (or jus?) because it is way too tasty to just leave in the pot!

    Jennifer wrote on March 31st, 2014
    • Soak up the jus with some oven-roasted cauliflower rice. Or, even a small scoop of white rice if you’re a paleo rebel.

      Lars wrote on March 31st, 2014
  12. I have to try this…sounds easy and delicious.

    JacqsFlyingPrimal wrote on March 31st, 2014
  13. Great recipe! It sounds delicious and 10 min of preparation sounds just amazing, I don’t really like spending ours in the kitchen. I will definitely give it a try as soon as I receive my coconut aminos which I just ordered. I’m looking forward to tasting it with a nice salad.

    Robert Skinner wrote on April 1st, 2014
  14. Coconut aminos = over priced seasoning
    Thai Fish sauce = more pungent, much less dollars, look for brands with fish, salt and a minuscule amount of sugar added. The brand without sugar is way too expensive.

    samc wrote on April 2nd, 2014
  15. this is probably a dumb question but, what type of vinegar should I use? The link in the article is to a tutorial on red wine vinegar. should i use red wine? does it matter?

    mitt wrote on April 3rd, 2014
    • The recipe says to use apple cider vinegar, I am not sure I would use the red wine vinegar, and white would be too sharp. I use raw apple cider vinegar and it is really yummy stuff.

      Karen wrote on April 10th, 2014
  16. I made this yesterday and it was delicious, thank you!

    Bon wrote on April 4th, 2014
  17. Thank you for posting an alternative way to cooking this yummy dish. I’m Filipina and grew up eating chicken adobo, among other great Filipino foods, but have given it up since eating paleo. Definitely going to try this one!

    Tina wrote on April 18th, 2014
  18. Anyone try this with a vegetable other than onions?

    Theresa wrote on April 22nd, 2014
  19. Any suggestion on the cooking time if I would rather use tenderloins or breasts rather than thighs?

    Julie wrote on April 28th, 2014

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