Chicken Adobo is a traditional Filipino dish that's popular throughout the Philippines. A lot of different variations of this recipe exist, but the more traditional recipes tend to keep it simple with the basic ingredients of vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, garlic and peppercorns that give the glaze a delectable depth of flavor. The glaze can be strong though, so start with a little and spoon on more to suit your taste buds.
Combine the chicken with half of the minced garlic, soy sauce, vinegar and bay leaves in a bowl. Marinate for at least 20 minutes, or up to overnight.
Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a large skillet over high heat. Remove chicken from marinade (reserve marinade) and place chicken in the skillet. Sear both sides until browned, about 1 minute on each side. Do not cook the chicken all the way through. Remove chicken from the skillet and set aside.
Heat the remaining 2 Tbsp oil, then add the onion and remaining garlic, and sauté until the onion turns golden and translucent, about 2 minutes.
Add the reserved marinade, water, sugar and peppercorns. Bring it to a simmer, then turn heat down to medium high and simmer for 5 minutes.
Return chicken to skillet, top side down (i.e. the smooth side should be face down). Leave to simmer uncovered for 20 to 25 minutes (no need to stir) until the sauce reduces down to a thick jam-like syrup and when you turn the chicken over, it is glazed (note - the glaze will thicken slightly as it rests).
Set aside to rest for 5 minutes, then serve over a bed of steamed white rice, and garnish servings with the sliced scallions.
The glaze can be strong in flavor, so start with a little and add more as preferred.