Filipino Roasted Chicken (Lechon Manok)

February  3, 2014
3 Ratings
Photo by Bobbi Lin
  • Serves 6
Author Notes

This roasted chicken recipe is unlike most in the sense that it has a wonderful, distinct flavor. Maybe it's the fish sauce, or maybe the ginger, garlic, and lemongrass. Whatever it is, I can't get enough of it. —Dax Phillips

What You'll Need
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 stalks of lemongrass, roughly chopped
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon tumeric powder
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, minced
  • 3 whole bay leaves
  • one 5-pound chicken
  • 1/2 cup Soy sauce, as desired
  • Garlic chile oil, to taste
  1. Add everything but the chicken into a large food processor and blend until you have a smooth paste. Rub this paste all over the chicken, inside and out. Place the entire chicken in a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and place it in the refrigerators
  2. Roughly 30 minutes before you plan to cook the chicken, remove it from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature. Preheat your oven to 450° F while the chicken comes to temperature.
  3. Next, use a raised roasting pan or get a large, oven-proof skillet (or rimmed baking sheet) out and line it with a wire rack if you have one. If you do not have the rack, no big deal. Traditionally lechon manok might be wrapped in some banana leaves, but I did not have any. If you have some, wrap them in the leaves, and wrap the entire thing in aluminum foil. Place the chicken into the pan (or whatever your using), and place in the preheated oven for 40 minutes. Do not open the oven. After 40 minutes, turn off the oven, and keep the chicken in there for 20 minutes. After the full hour, remove it from the oven, and insert your meat thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken. The chicken is done when it registers 165° F at its thickest point.
  4. Lechon manok is commonly served with a liver sauce, but instead, blend together soy sauce with garlic chile oil to use as a dipping sauce.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Texdan
  • Anne Dungo
    Anne Dungo
  • clayshapes
  • Joe Dragos
    Joe Dragos
  • Cheryl Simone Miller
    Cheryl Simone Miller

19 Reviews

Alix January 4, 2017
Is the soy sauce included in the paste/marinade or is that for the dipping at the end. Great if you can clarify.
Dax P. January 4, 2017
Hi Alix, the soy sauce is for the dipping sauce, but that's up to you if you even want that. The chicken itself is pretty rad by itself.
Alix January 4, 2017
Thanks Dax - it sounds delicious. Cheers from Australia.
Dax P. January 4, 2017
Awesome, Alix. Enjoy your Summer! Its super cold here in the US, Wisconsin. Hope you enjoy a different take on roasted chicken.
Cynthia L. March 6, 2016
I did not cover the chicken with foil. Placed chicken on a roasting pan with grill and roasted at 450F. Caked the paste on the chicken making sure to not spill any. Next time I'll reserve some sauce to baste the chicken twice. A very delicious recipe.
Katie February 2, 2016
Thanks for the tip about not putting the chicken in the food processor, but there was no mention of not putting the soy sauce in the fridge. Realized that after it was too late. I'm sure it won't taste bad, but it certainly isn't a paste.
Katie February 2, 2016
fridge? I meant processor
Texdan January 25, 2016
Sitting here waiting for the bird to crisp up under the broiler. We followed directions -- but we are seriously re-thinking the foil part. The chicken smelled great, but was pale and certainly not crispy as shown in the photo. picture.
Anne D. January 19, 2016
I made this recipe last night and while my roast chicken turned out pretty good, I did have to add an additional 40 minutes or so without the foil on. After the initial hour, the chicken was still pale and uncooked. I think next time I'll forego the foil to save time.
Marilyn January 17, 2016
I can see where this recipe causes confusion, but I made it according to my normal roast chicken method and it turned out beautifully. I marinated the chicken in the fridge for about 2-3 hours, and roasted it at 400 F for about 1.5 hours. I did not at any point wrap it in leaves or foil. The next time I will try roasting it at 450 for 40 minutes; the reason I didn't this time around is because my oven tends to run really hot and I'm still trying to get used to it.
clayshapes January 16, 2016
How long do you leave this in the fridge before taking out to cook? A couple hours? overnight?
Joe D. January 16, 2016
Seems some key things were left out of his recipe.
Cheryl S. January 16, 2016
Can this be made on a rotisserie?
saltybutter January 14, 2016
How long does the paste need to sit on the chicken in the fridge?
Two T. January 16, 2016 this a marination?
Dax P. January 14, 2016
You do not have to wrap it, only if you have the banana leaves. The great part of the roast is that it builds a nice, crispy skin. Keep an eye on it however as all ovens are different. I've been roasting whole chickens this way for some time, and they always turn out great. Good luck, and I hope you enjoy!
amysarah January 14, 2016
This sounds delicious. But I'm also wondering if you still wrap it in foil, in the absence of banana leaves? And if so, do you remove/open the foil at some point - the skin in the photo looks more browned/crispy than I'd think it would be if roasted in foil the entire time.
Doug R. January 14, 2016
...and if no banana leaves, do you wrap it in foil anyway?
mariviblanco April 12, 2015
Do you wrap the chicken in the banana leaves at the beginning of the roasting or after the 40 minutes, when you've turned off the oven and need to let it sit inside for another 20. Just wanted to make sure before trying the recipe, which sounds fabulous!