Vinegar-and-Garlic-Braised Chicken

Vinegar-and-Garlic-Braised Chicken
Photo: Marcus Nilsson
Prep Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs

A Filipino-inspired braise similar to adobo with the potent combination of vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, and garlic that acts as both marinade and simmer sauce. Once the chicken is tender and the sauce reduces to a glossy consistency, it takes on a sweet and sour flavor that is delightful drizzled over a bowl of Coconut Rice and steamed baby bok choy.


  • 1 ½ cups rice vinegar (unseasoned)

  • ½ cup reduced-sodium soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon turbinado or light brown sugar

  • 3 bay leaves

  • 1 head garlic, cloves peeled and smashed

  • Freshly ground pepper

  • 8 pieces bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs and drumsticks (about 3 pounds total)

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil


  1. Combine vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, bay leaves, garlic, and 1 teaspoon pepper in a bowl; add chicken and toss until coated with marinade. Cover bowl and refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to overnight.

  2. Remove chicken (reserving marinade) and pat dry with paper towels. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium. Add half of chicken and cook until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Turn and brown other sides about 2 minutes more; transfer to a plate and repeat with remaining chicken.

  3. Return all chicken and any accumulated juices to Dutch oven; add reserved marinade, making sure liquid comes halfway up sides of chicken (you may need to nestle it). Bring to a simmer over high, then reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until chicken is cooked through and tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer chicken to a clean plate. Skim fat from liquid with a spoon and discard bay leaves. Increase heat to medium‐high and reduce liquid until syrupy (you should have about 1 cup). Spoon sauce over chicken and serve.

Cook's Notes

The marinade will cause the chicken to brown more quickly than usual in step 2, so keep an eye on it and reduce the heat and timing as needed.

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