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  • 1 cup rice vinegar (*see notes)
  • 1 cup light or low-sodium soy sauce (*see notes)
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 tablespoons neutral oil I use avocado oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion thinly sliced
  • 5 cloves garlic thinly sliced or minced
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 bay leaves (preferably fresh)
  • 2 teaspoons cane, brown, or white sugar (*omit if using cane vinegar)
  • 4 green onions thinly sliced
  • white rice for serving


  • In a large bowl, combine the vinegar, soy sauce, and peppercorns. Add the chicken thighs and marinate for at least 20 minutes, or up to overnight.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil over high heat in a large skillet or pot. Remove chicken from the marinade allowing most of the marinade to drip back into the bowl (reserve the marinade). Place the chicken, smooth side down, in the hot pan. Cook undisturbed for 2 to 3 minutes, or until just a bit brown and golden. Flip and cook for only 2 more minutes—do not cook through. Transfer chicken to a large plate.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low and add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the skillet. Add the onions and garlic and cook until garlic is fragrant and slightly brown, about 2 minutes. (The onions do not need to be brown).
  • Pour in the water and bay leaves, scraping up any brown bits at the bottom of the pan. Add the reserved marinade and sugar and bring to a rolling boil. Once boiling, lower the heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Nestle in the chicken thighs, smooth side up. Lower heat to a simmer, and cook, uncovered, for 20 to 25 minutes, occasionally spooning sauce over top of the chicken.
  • At this point, if the sauce doesn’t seem thick enough, remove the chicken to a plate and continue to cook the sauce until it reduces to your desired consistency. I like it a bit glaze-y but not too thick so that I lose too much sauce. Return chicken back to the skillet to warm slightly, if necessary.
  • Serve immediately with fluffy white rice, passing around extra adobo sauce at the table.

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