Adobo Chicken Wings

"This dish is fully inspired by my dad," says chef Anna Swann. "His family's chicken adobo is the first Filipino dish he taught me how to make when I first started getting into cooking." At her pop-up, Ulam, in Dallas, Swann combines the flavors of chicken adobo with another childhood favorite, fried chicken wings. The resulting Adobo Chicken Wings are flavored to the bone thanks to a stint in an umami-rich soy sauce and vinegar marinade. While they bake, the marinade is cooked down to concentrate its flavors — the better for tossing the cooked wings in — adding a final, sticky, finger-licking layer of deliciousness. "This dish was a natural blend of the two dishes, an ode to some of my favorite meals he cooked for us," Swann says. "I also think this dish shows the beauty of Filipino food. How it can take simple ingredients and the end result is a rich complex layering of flavors. So simple, but so good!" Serve the Adobo Chicken Wings as Swann does, with steamed rice and a bright and acidic Filipino Pico, which combines chopped fresh tomatoes with herbs, fish sauce, and thin slices of serrano chile.

Adobo Chicken Wings
Photo: Photo by Greg DuPree / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Kay E. Clarke
Active Time:
50 mins
Marinate Time:
8 hrs
Total Time:
9 hrs 10 mins


Chicken Wings

  • 2 pounds chicken wing drumettes and flats, patted dry

  • 1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt

  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 small (6-ounce) white onion, thinly sliced (about 3/4 cup)

  • 1 (2-ounce) garlic head, cloves separated, peeled, and smashed (about 14 garlic cloves)

  • cup soy sauce (such as Silver Swan)

  • cup white vinegar (such as Datu Puti)

  • 2 tablespoons neutral cooking oil (such as grapeseed oil)

  • 2 to 3 dried bay leaves

  • Cooking spray

Filipino Pico

  • 4 medium scallions (about 1 3/4 ounces), thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup), divided

  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided

  • 1 medium (3/8-ounce) serrano chile (unseeded), thinly sliced (about 1/4 cup), divided

  • 2 medium tomatoes (about 10 ounces), cored and chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)

  • 1 ½ teaspoons fish sauce (such as Red Boat or Rufina)

  • Kosher salt, to taste

Additional Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons fried garlic (such as Maesri)

  • Hot cooked white rice, for serving


Make the chicken wings:

  1. Sprinkle chicken all over with salt and pepper. Transfer chicken to a large ziplock plastic bag; add onion, garlic, soy sauce, vinegar, oil, and bay leaves. Seal bag, and toss mixture to evenly combine. Marinate chicken mixture in refrigerator at least 8 hours or up to 1 day.

  2. Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Lightly coat an oven-safe wire rack with cooking spray, and set in baking sheet. Remove chicken wings from marinade, scraping off excess, and transfer to a paper towel–lined plate; pat dry. Reserve marinade in bag. Arrange wings at least 1/4 inch apart on prepared wire rack. Roast in preheated oven until browned and crisp and a thermometer inserted in thickest portion of meat registers at least 165°F, 45 to 50 minutes, flipping wings after 25 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, bring reserved marinade to a boil in a small saucepan over medium. Boil, stirring occasionally, until liquid is slightly thickened and reduced to about 3 tablespoons, 14 to 16 minutes. Pour mixture through a fine wire-mesh strainer set over a large bowl; discard solids. Set reduced marinade aside.

While chicken wings bake, make the Filipino pico:

  1. Reserve 1 tablespoon scallions, 1 tablespoon cilantro, and a few slices of serrano for garnish; set aside. Stir together tomatoes and remaining scallions, cilantro, and serrano in a medium bowl. Stir in fish sauce, and season to taste with salt. Set aside.

  2. Add chicken wings to bowl with reduced marinade, and toss to coat. Transfer to a platter, and garnish with reserved scallions, cilantro, and serrano. Sprinkle evenly with fried garlic. Serve immediately alongside Filipino pico and white rice.

Make Ahead

Chicken wings can be marinated up to 1 day in advance.

Related Articles