Trail Cooking

Pinoy Adobo Chicken For The Trail

Long ago a reader shared their Chicken Adobo recipe with us, a Pinoy (Filipino) recipe. Not the Mexican dish, that shares a name only. Pinoy is made with soy sauce and vinegar, with a hint of sweet, where as the Mexican version is spicy with chiles and warming spices. Important to know so you are not disappointed taste wise. Having said that, I much prefer Pinoy adobo. It’s a favorite of mine when I get a chance to eat it when we are near a Filipino restaurant. Making it for the trail means you can’t use chicken thighs – which is the hallmark of the recipe. Fatty thighs with bone in and slow cooked.
But…you can get there almost if you use pouch or canned chicken breast, which is ultra soft. I don’t recommend using freeze-dried chicken breast in this recipe. It just won’t have the same “falling apart” texture. I’ve included a number of notes at the end on tips for this recipe.
Dry ingredients.
I decided to visit the recipe. Update it, and offer two different ways to prepare it. The first is all-in-one, where the rice and chicken are prepped together. The second version has the sauce and chicken prepped separately, then served over warm rice. The first version is FBC friendly, the second is One Pot Method.
Pinoy Adobo Chicken Version 1 (All In One – FBC Friendly)

At home pack the dry ingredients in a quart freezer or sandwich bag, depending on the method used. Mark bag “Add 1 cup water”. Tuck the chicken and packets with the bag.

FBC method:

Add soy sauce, vinegar, oil, chicken and 1 cup boiled water to the bag. Stir well, seal tightly and put in a cozy for 15 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and eat.

Insulated mug method:

Add soy sauce, vinegar, oil, chicken and 1 cup boiled water to the dry ingredients in your mug. Stir well, cover tightly and let sit for 15 minutes. Remove bay leaf and eat.

One Pot Method:

Bring 1 cup water, the chicken (with any broth), soy sauce, vinegar and oil to a boil. Add the dry ingredients, stir well, cover tightly and let sit for 15 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and eat. In cool temperatures or at high altitude, use a pot cozy to retain heat.

Serves 1.

Pinoy Adobo Chicken Version 2 (Sauce over Rice)

At home pack rice in a quart freezer, the bouillon, garlic, onion, bay leaf, pepper and sugar in a zip top snack bag. Mark freezer bag “Add 1 cup water”. Tuck the chicken and packets with the bag.

One Pot Method:

Add 1 cup water to a small pot (preferably non-stick or HAA for ease in cleanup). Bring to a boil.

Place the rice freezer bag in an FBC Cozy, add the water. Stir and seal tightly, let sit for 15 minutes,

Return the pot to the stove, add the oil and heat over a medium low flame. Add in the chicken and snack bag of ingredients, then the soy sauce and vinegar. Let simmer gently, lowering flame as needed, for a minute or two. Turn off the flame, cover and let sit for 5 minutes or so, keeping warm in a pot cozy if needed.

Roll (cuff) the freezer bag of rice, fluff up. Serve the sauce over the rice, discarding the bay leaf.

Serves 1.


One issue I face with many Asian recipes can be the salt. This recipe relies on the punch of the flavors, but there are ways to lower sodium in it very easily.

Use lower sodium soy sace, or better, use coconut aminos. They have very little sodium compared to soy sauce but still has the depth of flavor.

Use sodium free or low sodium broth powder (bouillon).

If avoiding gluten, use coconut aminos or tamari sauce, as they are gluten free. Soy sauce can contain wheat.

For the vinegar, use white or rice (unseasoned).

To carry the liquids, store together in a leakproof bottle. All are shelf stable, even when mixed.

Substitute the granulated sugar with a favorite sugar-free sweetener, but be mindful to only use the tiniest pinch so it isn’t sweet. The sugar is there to work with the savory.

For the chicken, use at least 7 ounces. The pouches are 7 ounce. If buying canned, look for a pop top for ease in opening. Smashed flat with a boot, cans take up and weigh about the same as pouches when empty.


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