Slow Cooker Filipino Chicken Recipe

Slow Cooker Filipino Chicken

I have been meaning to share my review of the Instant Pot for a while now, and since I’ve received several inquiries about it, today I am sharing my recipe for this Slow-Cooker Filipino Chicken Adobo, and taking the opportunity to tell you about this seven-in-one appliance I love.

I have been hearing about the Instant Pot for years through the cooking websites I read, and my interest grew and grew as I noticed the adoration some bloggers have for it. It is an appliance sold by a Canadian company, and offers seven main programmable features. It is all at once:

  • A slow-cooker, for low-temperature cooking over several hours,
  • A pressure cooker with two pressure settings, high or low,
  • A sauté pot, to brown ingredient before stewing or pressure cooking,
  • A rice cooker, to cook rice, grains, and legumes,
  • A steamer,
  • A yogurt maker,
  • A hot plate to keep dishes warm, which is very convenient for entertaining and parties.

I finally took the plunge and bought myself the 6-quart model last fall, taking advantage of a good deal on Amazon. I immediately adopted it, thereby replacing my pressure-cooker, my steamer, and my yogurt maker, which I gave away or sold. (For now we are keeping our rice cooker because we are very attached to it; I told you about it when I shared my recipe for coconut spiced rice.)

Slow Cooker Filipino Chicken

My Instant Pot, available on Amazon.

Among the many things I love about my Instant Pot, I will mention:

  • Its high-quality stainless steel inner pot, of a size that’s perfect for my needs, easy to clean and dishwasher-safe, and compact enough to fit in my small refrigerator,
  • Its programmable functions, especially the fact that you can set up a start time later in the day, go out and come back when everything’s ready,
  • Its energy efficiency, for slow-cooking in particular,
  • How little noise and little steam it makes when it’s on, even in high-pressure mode (one caveat: the beeping that signals the end of the cooking is loud and can’t be turned off),
  • The great variety of recipes and inspiration available online for this very popular appliance.

After a few weeks of using the Instant Pot, I ordered two additional accessories: an extra inner cooking pot so I can start cooking something else while using the first pot to store the previous preparation, and a tempered-glass lid, which I use both as a cover for the pot when it’s in my fridge, and for slow-cooking preparations.

I now use the Instant Pot several times a week for:

All right. Let’s talk about this Filipino chicken, a.k.a. chicken adobo.

Slow Cooker Filipino Chicken

It became a part of my culinary landscape back when Maxence and I lived in California: we regularly visited Maxence’s father, who lives in the area, and stepmother Denise, who’s half Filipino. They often barbecued something in the garden (bliss!) but when it was a little cool to barbecue (which happens even in California), Denise might make a simple braised dish, and I have fond memories of this divine Filipino chicken, fall-off-the-bone tender and flavorful, a little sweet a little savory a little caramelized, served over white rice.

It is a perfect illustration of the Instant Pot in slow-cooking mode: you just plop all the ingredients in the inner pot, stir, turn the pot on, and go about your day. You can even set it up before you leave for work in the morning, and come home to find you supper waiting for you, and it is still hot, à la Where The Wild Things Are.

The braising liquid is a simple combination of cider vinegar, soy sauce, and sugar, with bay leaves, black pepper, and garlic. It is easy to keep those on hand, and all you need to get is fresh chicken legs. To make it into a complete dish, I add Napa cabbage or boy choy at the very end, and it is very very good. I serve it over white rice, as Denise does, or with a mix of rice and legumes I buy pre-made at the organic store, called riz mélo.

I think I’ve made it clear I have really good things to say about the Instant Pot, and I recommend it, but this braised Filipino chicken can also be made with a pressure cooker or an ordinary stew pot; I’ve included the corresponding instructions in the recipe below.

Instant Pot

My model of Instant Pot, My Instant Pot, available on Amazon.

PS: The napkins in the pictures are DIY cloth napkins. This tutorial is one of my all-time most popular posts!

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Slow Cooker Filipino Chicken Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 7 hours

Total Time: 7 hours, 10 minutes

Serves 4 to 6.

Slow Cooker Filipino Chicken Recipe


  • 4 organic chicken legs, cut in half at the joint
  • 1 tablespoon oil for cooking (optional, see recipe)
  • 2 ​​yellow onions, finely sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 80 ml cider vinegar
  • 80 ml soy sauce (substitute tamari is gluten-free, coconut aminos if paleo)
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar (use honey if paleo)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon whole peppercorns, roughly crushed with the flat of the knife
  • 300 grams (2/3 pounds) thinly sliced ​​Napa cabbage or bok choy
  • Steamed white rice, for serving (cauliflower “rice” for paleo)


    In the slow-cooker:
  1. In the slow cooker, combine the chicken with the onions, garlic, vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, bay leaf, and pepper.
  2. Cook on low for 7 to 8 hours, until the meat and onions are very tender.
  3. Add the cabbage, switch to high temperature mode, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the cabbage is just cooked through.
  4. Note: If your slow cooker has a searing function, you can start by browning the chicken on all sides in the tablespoon of oil, about 5 minutes on each side.
  5. In the pressure cooker set over medium heat, brown the chicken on all sides in the tablespoon of oil, about 5 minutes on each side.
  6. Add the onions, garlic, vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, bay leaf, and pepper.
  7. Bring the cooker to pressure and cook for 15 minutes before releasing the pressure. The meat and onions should be very tender.
  8. Add the cabbage and continue to cook, uncovered, for 2 to 3 minutes, until the cabbage is just cooked through.
  9. In the pot set over medium heat, brown the chicken on all sides in the tablespoon of oil, about 5 minutes on each side.
  10. Add the onions, garlic, vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, bay leaf, and pepper.
  11. Cover, bring to a simmer, and cook over gentle heat for 45 minutes, until the meat and onions are very tender.
  12. Add the cabbage and continue to cook, uncovered, for 2 to 3 minutes, until the cabbage is just cooked through.
  13. To serve:
  14. Ladle over steamed white rice.


  • If you have an instant-read thermometer, use it to check that the chicken is cooked through; the target temperature is 74°C (165°F).
  • You can add some lemongrass and/or ginger, thinly sliced, if you have them on hand.
  • This tastes even better the next day.

Slow Cooker Filipino Chicken

  • Alexandra Shytsman

    This tool seems absolutely amazing! It’s almost unbelievable that you can make chicken AND dessert using the same pot :)

  • Judith Scott

    Clotilde, I bought 1 of these on Amazon after reading your glowing post.
    It’s so large, I opened it up and put it in my garage where it has sat ever sense. As a single person, I’m wondering if it’s really right for me? The recipes all seem to call for vast quantities of ingredients, and although I know I can adapt them, just not sure.
    On a happier note, I plan on being in Paris September 10/23-27 or so.Haven’t been in a few years,so looking forward to it. Would love to do 1 of your walks; although I lived there,I’m not all that familiar with your neighborhood, so we could do 1 there? And,I’m looking for a short term apartment rental, do you have any rental companies you refer or do you personally know of any apartments? I usually stay on the Left,but would consider other locations. Best,Judith

    • Bonnie

      Just read this and let you know that I use Rent Paris Now for short term rental and have been very pleased with their service. Check out their website. I have fallen in love with the Right Bank. I just stayed in the North Marais and found it very exciting with new places everywhere.

      • Judith Scott

        Hi Bonnie, Actually I’ve been to Paris many times, and have my own rental sources,but thought C might have her faves as well.I was hoping to find the place I lived in, not sure if they’d do a short term rental though. I will check Rent Paris, thanks!

        • Bonnie

          A woman after my own heart, although I think you actually lived there. I only get to visit 2 times a year just for the love of it. If you do contact RPN use my name and your service will be even better.

          • Judith Scott

            Have already gone to their site, and I’ll mention you, thanks!

      • Thank you so much for sharing your tips and recommendations, Bonnie! I know a lot of people use Airbnb and also

    • You can adapt the recipes, or you can batch-cook and freeze extra servings. The recipes made in the Instant Pot are often freezer-friendly stews, soups, stock, etc. I would give it a shot, but if you find it just doesn’t work for you, I wouldn’t have any qualms about selling it!

      • Judith Scott

        Great ideas,thanks!

  • dksbook

    Clotilde, thank you for all you do to help me put good food on the table. The recipe above is a family favorite – it is exactly how I make it, either with chicken or pork, but the addition of cabbage or bok choi is genius. This will be made in my house this week. You are a treasure!

    Diane in Sonoma County

    • My pleasure! Do you have family in the Philippines?

      • dksbook

        My daughter-in-law is Filipina. She hates to cook, but does this beautifully. We also make pancit when we get together. An interesting cultural note – when the rice is cooked and the pot is opened, a cross is cut in it before serving, sort of like one sees on baked bread in some parts of Europe.

  • Ooooh, adobo… but with cabbage! Sounds lovely.

  • Annabel Smyth

    I must get the glass lid for mine! I can live without an extra​ lining pot as it doesn’t fit in my fridge. Have been away for the last Three weeks, and it will be good to get back to it again.

    • Wow, amazing to imagine you have a smaller fridge than I do. :D

      • Annabel Smyth

        It’s not that the fridge is small (it isn’t, especially not compared to the one in the motor home we’ve been living out of for the past three weeks), but that the shelves are close together!

  • Candy Sidner

    Can’t wait to try this!

  • David

    Thanks Clotilde! I’ve been prevaricating for months about buying this locally invented item as i’ve read nothing but great reviews, but at the same time thinking that i really don’t need yet another kitchen gadget! But you’ve made my mind up—off to C. A. Paradis this weekend to pick one up!

  • Alison Henry

    Such perfect timing! I have extra yu choy and lemongrass that needs to be used, and today is a day I will be out of the house until right before supper time. This is now in my slow cooker, and I can’t wait to taste it this evening! I used rice vinegar, since we were out of cider vinegar, but I expect that will be fine with these flavours.

    • Did you end up trying it, Alison?

      • Alison Henry

        I did, it was great! We buy Tamari, but even that “light” version was a bit salty for my taste. I might reduce the tamari to 2 Tbsp next time, and add a little chicken broth to make up the difference. But there will be a next time!

  • Kim W

    I have a regular slow cooker (I may pass on the Instant Pot) and am going to have to try this. I tend to get a lot of bok choy in my CSA vegetable box.

    • Let me know how you like it! Made it again over the weekend — so. good.

  • Coco

    Welcome to the Instant Pot cult, Clothilde! I’ve been following your blog for oh jeez, over a decade now? Anyway you’re one of the OG food bloggers who inspired me to begin my own food writing journey, and now I have The Essential Instant Pot cookbook coming out w/Ten Speed Press in a few months. Excited to see all the IP recipes you come up with, too! :-D

    • How very exciting, Coco! If you want to add me to the list of people you notify when the book comes out, I’ll be very interested to hear more.

  • Anna Johnson

    How wonderful and surprising to see Chicken Adobo on the menu. I am filipino and it is my British husband’s favorite Filipino dish. Thank you Clotilde. On some cooking days, I add coconut milk the last five minutes of cooking, it takes on a different note, but as gorgeously yummy!

  • Griff WODTKE

    Hi Cloltilde — love your site, but have one question: the recipe calls for chicken thighs, and says to “cut in half at the joint.” I’m not aware of any joints in thighs — are you maybe thinking of what the Brits call “chicken Marylands” (God knows why), i.e., the drumstick-thigh, all in one piece? Thanks.


    • Ah thank you for pointing out this mistake. It’s 4 chicken legs, not thighs.

      This always trips me up because in French, une cuisse de poulet is the whole leg, which is divided into “le haut de cuisse” (the upper thigh) and “le pilon” (the drumstick).

      I have corrected the recipe. Thank you again.

      • Griff WODTKE

        As a feeble French speaker, I appreciate the lesson.

    • Pia maria

      Only just read your note on clotilde adobo so sorry this seems out of any context. I’m British and NEVER heard of anyone here calling any cut of chicken ‘chicken maryland’!!!! Wondering where you heard/read it?. There is a recipe that we got from USA called this.

  • Zoe Deleuil

    Oh thank you Clotilde. With two young growing boys I am now cooking for four every day and always looking for ways to speed up the process while still making healthy, delicious food for my family within a reasonable budget, and hopefully enjoying the process. I have read your blog for years and many of your dishes are now staples – kimchee, banana breakfast bars, coconut ice-cream – but I am loving your emphasis on convenience. This slow cooker and your froothie recommendation may well complete my kitchen set up. Then it’s just a matter of not killing my starter.

  • Mumsy and Bub

    Seeing a recipe from my home country on your blog made me blush! :) Adobo has always been a favourite and it feels great to know others around the world are loving it too. Thank you for sharing!

  • placidolaid

    Trying this today.
    Thanks for the recipe.

    • Thank you! How did it go?

      • placidolaid

        It went well. I used bone-in chicken breasts and thighs. It has an unusual flavor combination that was very good and I really liked the addition of the Nappa cabbage which is so good for you. Thanks for the recipe.

  • Oh Clotilde! Your blog was one of the first I read (almost 12 years ago) before deciding to start my own…so happy to see our beloved adobo here :) The Instant Pot sounds amazing! My counter real estate though is already in high demand though…sigh!

    • Good to see you here, Joey! I keep my instant pot in a cabinet. I have very little counter space also. :)

  • Salut, Clotilde! Well, since you posted this article I’ve been in this inner struggle – go for it? not go for it? The thing is, like you, I do own a regular pressure cooker, a slow cooker – and feel that they do exactly the same… But you mentioned a few advantages and I am a bit tempted indeed. I have a question, though – I never use my pressure cooker to brown stuff because – this might sound odd – it doesn’t “clean’ well- I always end up with some spots that are impossible to clean, the surface of the pressure cooker is not as smooth as some saute pans. Is the surface of the instant pot easy to clean to its originai shinning state?

    thanks for your input….

    • I understand your hesitation! Just know that whatever you decide, your life will continue to be a very happy, well-fed one. :)
      To answer your question, I find the inner pot of the InstantPot is very easy to clean, much easier than my pressure cooker was (I had the same problem as you).

      • thanks, Clotilde… that definitely helps me decide!

        • Let me know what you decide to do!

          • Well, I am not getting it. My pressure cooker reaches 15psi, whereas the instant pot gets to 12psi. I also heard that adjusting recipes for the slow cooking feature takes some fiddling around, most people are super happy with the pressure cooker side of it, but not that satisfied with the slow-cooking. Since I have enough space to store both my appliances and have been cooking with them both for years, I don’t think I would be gaining anything by bringing the instant pot home. So, at least for the time being, I’ll stick with what I have… ;-)

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