Garlic and Black peppercorn chicken


I felt like asian flavours and stumbled on Filipino Chicken Adobo. There are hundreds of variations of this recipe and I definitely will play with it a bit more in the future. I didn’t add any sugar because I’m trying to limit that at the moment. I still loved the flavours and even though there is so much garlic and black peppercorns ,the flavours were indeed robust but not overpowering. Obviously you need to like these types of flavours to enjoy the dish. I had recently bought rice vinegar and wanted to use that in this recipe, you can use regular white vinegar but to be authentic I would stick with the sweeter version of rice vinegar. The flavours are not so flat and vinegary. If you do choose to use white vinegar then I would suggest you add 2 Tbls of brown sugar to the recipe.

Filipino Chicken Adobo
serve with basmati rice and vegetables of your choice

An alternative to this method of cooking would be to put the thighs on a braai after marinating for the 3 hours. Baste the thighs as you go and serve with a salad. I would still reserve the sauce though as its too good to toss out. What could work is to place all the sauce in a braai-proof container and put that on the grid whilst you baste. This will cook the sauce and reduce it as you go. Pour over chicken once cooked.

Garlic and Black peppercorn chicken


  • 16 organic free range chicken thighs
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar or white vinegar and 2 Tbls brown sugar
  • 25 ml each dark and light soy sauce
  • 100 ml coconut cream
  • 1 1/2 tsp whole black peppercorns lightly crushed in mortar and pestle to release flavours
  • 2 tsp chopped chilli
  • 8-12 cloves fresh garlic smashed with the back of a knife and roughly chopped I used 8 because they were big
  • 3 bay leaves loosely torn

After marinading for 3 hours

  • 100 ml chicken stock


  • 3 spring onion sliced thinly
  • 2 Tbls sesame seeds


Mix all the marinade ingredients together. Place the chicken thighs in a casserole dish large enough to fit in a single layer.  Pour the marinade over the chicken and marinade for 3 hours.  Turn every now and then to ensure maximum flavour penetration.  
Put oven on to 180ºC
Pour chicken stock over marinated chicken and bake in 180°C for 25-30 min.  (My chicken thighs were small, if yours are larger make sure the juice runs clear.)  Remove from the oven to check that chicken is properly cooked. The sauce will be very runny and the juices from the chicken will make a lovely chicken stock. Pour these juices into a pan and reduce until thick. Alternatively to thicken add 1 Tbs of maizena to a cup, mix with a bit of water and add to the chicken juices to thicken. I prefer to use the reduction method to thicken the sauce.
Put the oven grill on and brown the chicken until skin is crispy. About 3 minutes  ensure the shin doesnt burn.  Remove and drizzle with reduced garlic and black peppercorn sauce, spring onion and sesame seeds
Serve on a bed of fluffy steamed basmati rice and sesame broccoli and green beans.
Cuisine: Asian, Filipino
Keyword: black peppercorns, Chicken, garlic

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