Oh man. Oooooh man oh man. Sticky, spicy, tangy adobo chicken on the grill OR in the oven. That type of recipe versatility has crept up to the top of my priority list since moving to Alaska.
I am by no means an expert on the whole adobo thing, but I do know there are some basic elements – vinegar, chicken, and some high heat. This recipe is next level. Especially when you’re just trying not to singe your eyebrows off on your boyfriend’s beloved temperatureofthesun grill.
And like I said – if you’re not so into the whole risking your nose hairs or it happens to be -10 degrees in the dead of winter where no chicken could ever get adobo-ed ever, it’s totally doable in the oven! In fact, I originally tested this recipe and fell madly in love with it out of the oven. But, it’s July, so grilling just happened.
Whatever cut(s) of chicken you like will work too. We typically go for thighs and drumsticks. But breasts or even quarters would also work. You’ll just have to pay some extra attention to timing, and definitely use a thermometer. I always use a digital meat thermometer with bone-in chicken; one too many dinners were ruined by undercooked chicken. And there just isn’t any way to tell! So either use a thermometer, or cook the ever-loving shit out of it and eat dry chicken. Those are your options. Sorry to be bossy, but this is important to your chicken cooking game!! Everyone will love you for it.
Complete meal ideas: mashed sweet potatoes and glazed carrots! White rice and stir fried veggies. Mashed potatoes and grilled sweet corn. Chicken and…waffles? OMG.
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 T olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ tsp ea salt and pepper
- ¼ cup adobo sauce
- 1.5 lbs chicken pieces (thighs, drums, breasts)
- ½ cup dark brown sugar
- 2 T tomato paste
- Whisk together the vinegar, oil, garlic, salt and pepper, and adobo sauce.
- Rinse the chicken and pat dry. Place in a single layer in a deep baking dish, skin side up.
- Pour marinade over chicken and allow to marinate in the fridge, at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours. You don't want the vinegar to break down the chicken too much.
- Preheat the grill on high. Place the chicken skin side down on the grill and allow to cook for about 5 minutes. You want it to get a good char.
- Pour the remaining marinade into a saucepan and simmer over medium heat while the chicken chars. You want the garlic to get a little soft and the mixture to start thickening. Whisk in the brown sugar and tomato paste until smooth and reduced, a couple more minutes.
- Flip the chicken and turn the heat to low. Baste generously with the sauce. Cook for 15-20 more minutes, or until a thermometer placed in the thickest part of the meat reads 160 degrees.
- Baste the chicken one more time before you take it off the grill and let it rest 10 minutes. The final internal temperature should be 165 degrees.
- For the oven method: take the chicken out of the marinade and place on a foil lined cookie sheet, skin side up. Bake at 400 degrees in the middle to upper half of the oven for 20 minutes. Baste generously with the sauce and bake another 10 minutes, checking the temperature using the same method as above.
As for the adobo sauce – I’ve tried a few brands of chipotle peppers in adobo, and some are saucier than others. Since you need the sauce for this recipe (the whole peppers would make it way too spicy), I’ve found this Embasa brand to consistently have the most sauce. Smokey, spicy, delicious sauce.