Low Nickel Chicken Adobo

Chicken adobo with steamed rice, cucumbers & red peppers.

Typical chicken adobo is made with soy sauce. Since soy is one of the worst nickel food allergy offenders, my recipe includes a soy sauce substitute using organic Better than Bouillon Beef Base. You could also use beef broth instead and reduce the amount of water.
The simplicity of this recipe is wonderful for a weekday dinner meal. Everything is placed in a ceramic dutch oven and while it’s boiling I make a low nickel vegetable side and steamed white rice.

When some make chicken adobo, they additionally grill the chicken using a grill or in a skillet to sear in the sauce flavors for about 5 minutes. It’s up to you and I encourage trying both methods. I enjoy eating it right out of the dutch oven and also grilled.

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Low Nickel Chicken Adobo

Christy Cushing at https://nickelfoodallergy.com/
This simple to make, savory low nickel chicken adobo recipe will cause the chicken to come off the bone!
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people


  • 2 Tablespoons organic beef bouillon make sure it doesn't contain soy
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons dark molasses
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 3/4 cup white vinegar
  • 3 Tablespoons honey
  • 2-3 minced garlic cloves can substitute 1 Tablespoons of dicedshallots
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2-3 lbs bone-in chicken thighs or chicken drumsticks


  • First wash and pat dry the chicken with a paper towel and set it aside.
  • Next in a large ceramic dutch oven combine the beef bouillon, balsamic vinegar, dark molasses, garlic powder, ground ginger, white and black pepper, water, white vinegar honey, garlic and bay leaves. Stir together all the ingredients, cover using the dutch oven lid and boil the mixture on medium-high heat.
  • Once the sauce begins to boil, reduce the heat to medium and add the chicken thighs or drumsticks. Return the lid on top and cook everything for 45-60 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced and the chicken is thoroughly cooked.
  • While the chicken is cooking, rinse and cook white rice. I'll usually steam a vegi side at the same time.
  • Once the meat is completely cooked, serve it over the white rice pouring extra adobo sauce over it.
  • Again, prior to serving, you can additionally grill the chicken for 5 minutes to sear in the sauce more and then serve it up.
  • Serve yourself up the rice with couple thighs or drumsticks on top, pouring some of the excess sauce over it all and enjoy!

  1. Be careful using “Better than Bouillon” products; some of them contain soy. The organic Beef Base apparently does not.

    1. Hi Ula,
      I have noticed that some of the Better than Bouillon products do contain soy. It is wise to always check the ingredients, as companies are constantly changing them. As of now, you’re correct, the Organic Beef Based Better than Bouillon doesn’t contain soy.

  2. This is so stinkin’ good and we actually have been eating this once a week for the past month!
    Instead of water, we use Chicken Stock (all the beef stock in our area has “flavoring” and my hubby is allergic to most ingredients included in “flavoring”). Also, since the bouillon has flavoring and MSG (even the Better than Bouillon does, disguised as yeast extract and hydrolyzed soy protein), we actually use 2 tbsp of the gluten-free Kikkoman Soy Sauce in its place. He has EXTREME nickel allergies– he can’t even touch a fork, but this amount of soy sauce doesn’t bother him.
    Obviously everyone is different, but man, this is so good! And it doesn’t make my hubby’s eczema worse! Thanks so much for posting this recipe!

    1. Michelle,
      Thank you so much for your kind words and comment on my site. I am so glad you and your family are enjoying my recipe. It’s wonderful you’ve adapted it for your husband’s nickel allergy! My body reacts to the slightest bit of soy, but I’m okay with natural flavoring. It’s so bizarre what works for each of us and not others.
      I hope you keep in touch and warm regards,

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