Filipino-Style Adobo Chicken Wings Recipe

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Try out this surprisingly delicious Air Fryer Adobo Chicken Wings! It’s sweet, savory, sour, juicy, and tender. In short, it’s bursting with flavor inside out.

Air fryer adobo chicken wing served on a plate with banana leaf.

Every Filipino household has their own versions of the adobo recipe, but the base ingredients remain the same: soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, bay leaves, and pepper.

You can make it a little sweet by adding brown sugar, coke or pineapple chunks.

Personally, I would substitute vinegar with balsamic glaze. 

However, in this air fryer adobo chicken wings recipe, we’ll stick to the classic recipe with a simple twist.

Air fryer adobo chicken wings recipe bite shot, served on a plate with banana leaf.

Marinating is the key to good chicken adobo, and that holds true for this chicken wings recipe.

We tried marinating it for just 30 minutes, and it was missing all the adobo goodness. It’s not like the lemongrass chicken wings that tasted really good with just a short marinating time.

However, we found a hack to enhance the flavor without marinating it for too long. I’ll tell you the secret in a bit. 😉

Adobo Chicken Wings Ingredients

Ingredients for air fryer adobo wings recipe

Here are all the things you need to make this awesome air fried adobo wings.

  • Chicken wings
  • Bay leaves
  • Ground pepper
  • Garlic
  • Brown sugar
  • Soy sauce
  • White vinegar
  • Water
  • Regular coke (optional)

You can find the exact measurements of the recipe ingredients and customize the serving size in the recipe card after the detailed step-by-step instructions section.

Coke is completely optional, if you don’t have one, just double the amount of brown sugar and water.

Alternatively, you can also substitute coke with pineapple juice. It’s a potent meat tenderizer that will break down any protein in no time.

However, if you’re using pineapple juice, limit your marinating time to just 1-2 hours. Over-marinating your wings with pineapple juice can make them mushy and unappetizing.

Before we dive into the step-by-step instructions, I want to mention that we made this recipe twice to ensure that we’re giving you the best possible flavor.

During our first attempt, we encountered a few issues.

Firstly, using whole peppercorns is more of a hassle, so we switched to ground black pepper.

Additionally, we found that not basting the chicken wings resulted in a muted adobo flavor. To enhance the taste, we reduced the marinade and used it as a basting sauce.

As you can see from the pictures and video, there’s a slight difference between the step-by-step photos and the final result.

Recipe Video

How to Make Adobo Chicken Wings in an Air Fryer?

Making air fryer adobo chicken wings takes time and patience, but the end result is absolutely worth it. They taste so good that they surpass even the honey garlic wings or Mongolian chicken wings.

I don’t want to sound bias, but it really is that good!

Step 1: Prepare your wingettes and drumettes.

Fresh chicken wings

Before proceeding with the recipe, make sure to defrost the wings if they’re frozen.

The most effective way to do this is to place them in the refrigerator overnight.

Alternatively, you can immerse the package of wings in a bowl of cold water and change the water every 30 minutes until the wings are fully defrosted. Once defrosted, add the wings to a medium bowl and pat them dry thoroughly with a paper towel.

You can also air fry from frozen, however it will take longer to cook and result in a dryer texture.

💡 Pro Tip: To enhance flavor absorption, poke the chicken wings with a fork or paring knife.

Step 2: Make the adobo marinade.

Seasoning wings with adobo marinade.

Take a large bowl and mix together the soy sauce, white vinegar, water, coke, brown sugar, ground black pepper, bay leaves, and crushed garlic.

Add the wingettes and drumettes, toss them until fully covered.

Step 3: Marinate the chicken wings for at least 30 minutes.

Marinating adobo wings in the fridge

Cover the bowl with cling wrap or transfer both the chicken wings and the marinade in a zip top bag. Place it in the fridge and marinate for at least 30 minutes.

😋 Flavor Booster: For maximum flavor, marinate your wings overnight!

🚨 Important: If you choose to substitute coke with pineapple juice, please limit your marinating time to an hour or two.

Step 4: Reduce the marinade until it thickens.

Reducing adobo marinade in a saucepan

After marinating your adobo wings, set the wingettes and drumettes aside and pour all the juices into a saucepan.

Bring it to high heat and let it boil for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then, turn the heat to medium and continue stirring until the sauce thickens.

The basting sauce is the secret to making the best adobo chicken wings!

All the adobo flavors are in the marinade. It’s such a waste if we’re just going to throw it away.

Now, set aside the sauce and get a basting brush.

Step 5: Preheat the air fryer to 380°F (193°C).

Preating Instant Pot Vortex Plus Air Fryer to 380°F (193°C).

Once you’re basting sauce is almost ready, it’s time to preheat your air fryer.

If your air fryer doesn’t have a preheating button, you can set the temperature to 380°F (193°C) and then let it cook for 4-5 minutes without food.

Don’t skip preheating your air fryer for juicier and more tender chicken wings. The longer you cook your wings, the drier they will become.

Step 6: Air fry the chicken wings for 10 minutes, then baste.

Basting adobo wings

Air fry your chicken wings for 10 minutes, then baste it with the adobo sauce.

Step 7: Flip the adobo wings, baste the other side and cook for another 10-15 minutes.

Cooking adobo chicken wings in air fryer

Flip the chicken wings and baste the other side with the adobo sauce.

Continue cooking for 10-15 minutes until deep golden brown or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C) or higher.

I used a 6-quart air fryer to test this recipe. Cooking time and temperature may vary depending on your air fryer and the number of servings you are making. For optimal results, begin with the lower end of the suggested cooking time.

Step 8: Serve and enjoy your air fried adobo chicken wings!

Air fryer adobo chicken wing served on a plate with banana leaf.

Look at those adobo-inspired wings!

It’s one of the best air fryer chicken wings we’ve tried to date.

It has a unique flavor profile with the perfect balance of savoriness, sourness, sweetness, and a little bit of smokiness!

And it’s not an asian recipe if we’re not going to pair it with a bowl of rice or perhaps sweet potato fries.

Freezing & Storage

Freezing: Once the air fried adobo wings have cooled completely, add to a freezer-style zip-top bag or airtight container and freeze for up to 2 months. To reheat, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and then follow the instructions below.

Fridge: Once the wings have cooled completely, add to a zip-top bag or airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Reheating: Preheat your air fryer to 350°F, then cook your wings for 5-6 minutes. If frozen, cook your wings for 20-30 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C).

Frequently Asked Questions

To air fry adobo chicken wings, first marinate your wingettes and drumettes with adobo marinade. After marinating them, transfer the juice into a saucepan and reduce it until it thickens. Then preheat your air fryer to 380°F (193°C). Cook the marinated chicken wings for 20-25 minutes, flipping and basting them halfway through. Cook until they are deep golden brown or the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C) or higher.

prep time10 minutes
cooking time20 minutes
resting time30 minutes
total cooking time1 hour

Filipino-Style Adobo Chicken Wings

courseMain Course
cuisineAmerican, Asian
Try out this surprisingly delicious Air Fryer Adobo Chicken Wings! It's sweet, savory, sour, juicy, and tender. In short, it’s bursting with flavor inside out. 🤩 Fry it, to believe it!
Air fryer adobo chicken wing served on a plate with banana leaf.
5 from 3 votes
number of servings1

This ingredients checklist is interactive; you can use it as your grocery list.

Ingredients
 

  • 1 pound chicken wings 10-12 pieces

Adobo Marinade

  • 3 bay leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • ¼ cup coke regular

Instructions
 

  • Get your chicken wings ready. If you don’t have fresh ones, thaw them overnight. Pat the wings dry with paper towels and poke them with a fork or paring knife.
    Fresh chicken wings
  • Prepare the adobo marinade. In a large bowl, combine the soy sauce, white vinegar, water, coke (optional), brown sugar, ground black pepper, bay leaves, and crushed garlic.Then, add the chicken wingettes and drumettes into the marinade and toss them until all the pieces are well coated.
    Seasoning wings with adobo marinade.
  • Now, transfer both the wings and marinade into a zip top bag. Or better yet, cover the container with plastic wrapper and leave it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. For a more intense flavor, marinate overnight and turn the zip top bag once or twice.
    Marinating adobo wings in the fridge
  • After marinating the chicken wings prepare the adobo basting sauce. Get a saucepan and pour the juice from the marinade. Boil for at least five minutes and simmer at medium heat for 10-15 minutes until the sauce becomes thick. Set the sauce aside and get a basting brush ready.
    Reducing adobo marinade in a saucepan
  • Preheat the air fryer to 380°F (193°C).
    Preating Instant Pot Vortex Plus Air Fryer to 380°F (193°C).
  • Next, air fry chicken wings for 10 minutes. After the 10 minute mark, baste them with the adobo sauce.
    Basting adobo wings
  • Flip and baste the other side and continue cooking for 10-15 minutes until the wings become deep golden brown or the internal temperature of the thickest wing reaches 165°F (74°C) or higher. Take out the cooked wings and flip the ones that are still raw.
    Cooking adobo chicken wings in air fryer
  • Serve your air fryer adobo wings with a side of rice or sweet potato fries! Enjoy!
    Air fried adobo wings served on a plate with banana leaves.

Recipe Video

Notes

  • For optimal results, it is recommended to use fresh chicken wings or properly thawed ones.
  • If you air fry wings directly from frozen, it will have a dry texture and require a longer cooking time (additional 3-5 minutes).
  • The best way to thaw your chicken wings is to leave them in the refrigerator overnight. Another effective method for thawing wings is to place them in cold water, changing the water every 30 minutes. It typically takes 2-4 hours for the wings to fully defrost.
  • We do not recommend defrosting them in the microwave as it may dry out the meat and potentially make it unsafe to eat.
  • If your air fryer doesn’t have a preheating option, you can set the temperature to 380°F (193°C) and then let it cook for 4-5 minutes without food.
  • Preheating your air fryer and thawing your chicken wings properly will yield juicier results. Based on our tests, the longer you cook your chicken wings, the drier they will become.
  • It’s not ideal to wash your chicken wings as it may contaminate your kitchen.
  • Chicken wings are considered as white meat and should be cooked to a temperature of 165°F or 74°C or higher.
  • If you’re using pineapple juice as part of your marinade, limit the marinating time to 1-2 hours. Pineapple juice contains a strong enzyme that can break down meat quickly. Otherwise, if you’re using the ingredients in this recipe to marinate your chicken wings, it would be ideal to leave them in the fridge overnight, turning them once or twice.
  • For a more intense flavor, pierce the chicken wings with a fork or paring knife.
  • Adding coke is completely optional. If you don’t have any, you can double the amount of water and brown sugar instead.
  • If you want your wings to be stickier and a little saucier, start by making the sauce in a medium saucepan rather than a small one. Then, once the wings reach 160°F, transfer them to the medium saucepan and continue cooking there.
  • I used a 6-quart Instant Pot Vortex Plus to test the air fryer adobo chicken wings recipe. Cooking time and temperature may vary depending on your air fryer and the number of servings being prepared. For best results, start with the lower end of the suggested cooking time.

Nutrition

Calories: 678kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 52g | Fat: 39g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 16g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 189mg | Sodium: 3429mg | Potassium: 580mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 382IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 83mg | Iron: 4mg
Keywords: adobo chicken wings in air fryer, air fryer recipes, chicken recipes

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