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Author Notes: Although this recipe is adapted from a different cookbook: Memories of Philippine Kitchens, this morning I start the day early with my own ‘first shade’ parody of Chicken: RED. Hence, I bring to you a popular dish from the city of Bacolod, Philippines, ‘Chicken Inasal’. This dish uses different ingredients for its marinade and basting sauce that create a unique flavour. Cooking it calls for a constant basting of lemon butter sauce with annatto (a natural plant extract used as dye) which gives it a unique hue of red in colour.
Adapted from a Filipino Cookbook, Memories of the Philippine Kitchens is their exclusive recipe for Chicken Inasal. Although the chicken is better on the grill, it can also be roasted in the oven–which is the way I made it for you today. The following recipe below is my version of Chicken Inasal, alongside a spicy vinegar dip (white vinegar, fresh garlic cloves, ground pepper and pinch of salt). I do hope you enjoy it! —Grace
- 1/4 cup achuete oil (I didn’t have an oil version, so I used the powder one, which can easily be purchased at a Filipino grocery store in your area)
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 stalk lemongrass, trimmed and finely chopped ( I did not have this on hand, so I substituted with a lemon-pepper seasoning)
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed Kalamansi or regular lime juice
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar or coconut vinegar (Can also be purchased at a Filipino grocery store. This is what I used.)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon salt, plus extra for the skin
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- In a large nonreactive bowl, combine all the marinade ingredients. Add the chicken pieces, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. (I let it marinate overnight)
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Transfer the chicken to a foil-lined baking pan (if you choose to cook the chicken whole) /or baking sheet, reserving the marinade.
- Roast the chicken, basting occasionally with the reserved marinade, until the chicken is cooked through, about 45 minutes. (Since the size of the chicken I used was 4.95 pounds, here is my rule: 20 minutes x per pound of chicken = cooking time; then turn over chicken and cook for another 20 minutes. This should give you an all-around crispy skin on the outside, tender and juicy on the inside.)