In 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.
Time in the Kitchen: 10 minutes of prep, plus 5 hours in the slow cooker
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)
Put the onion, garlic and ginger in the bottom of a slow cooker.
Lay the chicken on top and scatter the bay leaves and peppercorns. Season the chicken lightly with salt.