coconut adobo chicken on plate

Coconut Adobo Chicken

Sauce is what makes a dish. Imagine a juicy chicken thigh cooked to perfection…not bad, right? But now imagine it smothered with a savory, sweet and salty coconut sauce simmered down to a thick gravy…much better.

coconut chicken adobo in pan

Sometimes you have to switch things up. A wise woman in Canada once told me this. I started putting my wallet in my left rear pocket instead of my right and it worked. My brain had to think about things differently when it felt that bump in the wrong side of my pants.

You can do the same thing with food. But don’t put it in your pants. That’s just messy, folks. Seriously, if you’ve been eating bland foods, try a little sweet and savory. It’s good to trick your brain now and then.

While I was simmering this delightful coconut adobo chicken in my Pioneer Woman pan, Spidey the cat was outside committing murder. He killed his first mouse today. I guess I should be glad that we won’t have as many mouse pellets in our closets, but I felt sorry for the little rodent. Spidey was very proud of himself. His actual name is Simon Ciderman Taylor, but we call him Spidey for short.

Back to the foods. This is an easy dish that will leave you licking the pan. The combination of coconut milk, (use full fat, life is short and taste is important) soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and honey give you all the things you need in a mouth-watering sauce. Throw in some fresh garlic and you’ve got a real delight.

coconut adobo chicken with basil leaves

I had to adjust the amount of soy sauce and throw in some brown sugar to add just a little color and sweetness to the dish. I used about 3/4 cup of soy sauce and 2 tbsp. of brown sugar. You can adjust this to your liking. Also, squeeze some limes in there because it tastes good and nobody wants scurvy.

You can serve this dish over white rice or all by itself. I’m trying to keep it fairly Paleo so I skipped the rice tonight and served it with a side of carrots roasted in balsamic vinegar. Oh, and please do leave the skin on your chicken thighs when you cook them. The fat is an essential part of the sauce flavor and nobody wants a naked bird in their pan.

coconut adobo chicken from top



  • 3 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 2 lbs. chicken thighs, skin on
  • sea salt
  • black pepper
  • 7 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 dried hot chilis
  • lime and chopped green onions to garnish

for the sauce:

  • 1 cup soy sauce (I used low sodium)
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • juice of 1/2 lime


  1. Heat the coconut oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Sprinkle salt and pepper on the chicken thighs. Cook thighs about 5 minutes per side until they are brown on both sides.
  2. Meanwhile, mix all sauce ingredients in a bowl or large measuring cup.
  3. Add garlic, bay leaves and chilis to chicken and cook for about 2 minutes.
  4. Turn the heat down on the chicken to medium low and add sauce. Simmer for about 25 minutes or so until the sauce reduces to a nice thick gravy. Garnish with lime juice and green onion and watch people fall in love your skills.


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