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Chicken Inasal

A delicious variation from the typical chicken barbeque, Chicken Inasal comes with a distinctive basting sauce that makes it so so succulent and satisfying you will never go back to your old way of grilling chicken.

Chicken Inasal freshly grilled with rice and chicken annatto oil sauce

What is Inasal?

Inasal is a dish that originated for the city of Bacolod which is on the Northwest coast of Negros Island. It’s an Ilonggo term that literally translates to “char-grilled” or “roasted” meat. This dish is so popular and well-loved in this province that they have a market strip in Bacolod City named “Manokan Country” (Chicken Country) where all menus have Inasal on it as their star dish!

It is basically grilled chicken but this version is marinated in vinegar, kalamansi juice (Philippine lime), and other spices like lemongrass and ginger. It also has it’s trademark orange color because of the special basting sauce made from annatto/achuete oil.

ingredients for chicken inasal

Chicken Inasal Annatto Oil

If you are an Inasal aficionado, you know that eating this will not be fully satisfying unless you add authentic chicken oil to the hot steaming rice. Yum!

I know the health freak in you cannot help but worry about this, but it has been proven that chicken fat has Linoleic acid and Omega 6 which are essential dietary fatty acids. So it is okay to indulge once in a while and of course, in moderation.

There are bottled, ready-made ones for sale in supermarkets, but you will find the recipe to make one at home below. It’s surprisingly easy to make.

Bacolod-style chicken barbeque

Foxy Tips in Grilling Chicken Meat

Grilling time– making sure that you have the right grilling time is pertinent in getting that juicy and well-cooked meat. Over-cook it and you will have dry and rubbery meat and if undercooked it becomes unsavory and unsafe to eat. Three things to always consider are the size of the chicken meat, the temperature of the grill, and the bone content.

Remember that the bigger the piece and the more bone it has, the slower it cooks. For Example, drumsticks and thighs need more time in the grill compared to the breasts part.

The recommended grilling temperature for chicken is on the medium range. Using too high of a temperature will result in burned skin with raw meat inside.

Use a meat thermometer- though there are a lot of techniques to check for doneness, the best and most guaranteed way to make sure that you get it right is to use a cooking thermometer. Insert it on the thickest part of the meat but not touching the bone. The internal temperature should be at 165ºF for you to get that sought after juicy and well-balanced chicken meat.

Cover it up! – one of the most common mistakes when grilling is keeping it out in the open. It is recommended that once the meat pieces are in place, to pull the grill lid down while it’s cooking. This will create an oven-like environment and regulate the heat. It also affords more air control so it’ll lessen the possibility of flare-ups.

Resting time– after grilling your chicken, it is always important to let it rest for at least 3-5 minutes. This will give the meat time to redistribute the juices that were pulled in the center while it’s cooking to the surface. So be patient and don’t dig in too soon!

juicy and delicious Filipino chicken barbeque

Hey, chicken lover! Here are more recipes that you will love.

recipe for teriyaki chicken
Crispy skin yet tender-juicy meat drizzled with sweet-savory sauce,- this Chicken Teriyaki Recipe is indeed a delicious mix of contradictions that you will love.
Apritadang Manok
One of my Mama’s specialty dishes and her secret is now out. There is this slogan in Tagalog, “Sarsa pa lang ulam na!”.  And this Chicken Afritada perfectly fits this phrase.
Tinola Recipe
A simple everyday Filipino soup that is very healthy and flavorful.  This Tinola recipe is made with chicken, ginger, garlic, onion, fish sauce, chayote, red chili leaves, and with lemongrass.

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Authentic Chicken Inasal
5 from 9 votes

Chicken Inasal

Chicken Inasal comes with a distinctive basting sauce that makes it so so succulent and satisfying you will never go back to your old way of grilling chicken.
Print Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Filipino
Keyword: chicken barbecue,chicken bbq,chicken inasal,filipino chicken barbecue
Servings: 4
Calories: 773kcal
Author: Bebs
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

INGREDIENTS

MARINADE

  • 2 pound chicken– cut into serving size
  • 1 cup vinegar(coconut, cane or cider)
  • 1 1/2 pieces lemon(or 15 kalamansi) juiced (approx. half cup)
  • 1 thumb fresh ginger– peeled
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 stalks lemon grass
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar

CHICKEN ANNATTO OIL (SEE NOTES)

  • 500 grams chicken skin with fat
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup oil
  • 4 tablespoons Annatto Seeds

BASTING SAUCE

  • 3 tablespoons chicken Annato/Achuete oil
  • 5 tablespoons margarineor butter – melted
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juiceor kalamansi juice

INSTRUCTIONS

CHICKEN INASAL

  • Dissolve sugar and salt in vinegar. Combine vinegar and all other ingredients for the marinade in a blender and pulse for 2-3 minutes until all are cut into tiny pieces.
  • Place chicken pieces in a ziplock or any food-grade plastic. Pour in the marinade into the plastic with the chicken and seal. Refrigerate for at least an hour but overnight will be better.
  • Take out from the fridge when ready to cook.
  • Prepare the basting sauce by simply combining all the ingredients in a bowl.
  • Grill the chicken pieces until cooked through while basting both sides with the annatto oil from time to time.
  • Transfer grilled chicken on a serving dish and let rest for 3-5 minutes. Serve with rice and chicken Annato oil sauce.

CHICKEN ANNATTO OIL

  • Boil chicken skin in water for 15 minutes until almost dry and oil is rendered.
  • Pour in oil and cook for 10 minutes until crispy.
  • Remove chicken skin and add the Annatto seeds. Cook for 1-2 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and run the oil through a strainer to remove leftover bits and pieces. Transfer the chicken annato oil in a jar.

VIDEO

RECIPE NOTES

The ingredients for Chicken Annato Oil in this recipe will give you about 1 1/2  to 2 cups of oil. More than enough for 2 pounds of chicken. You can store the leftover for future use or for other dishes.
Nutrition Facts
Chicken Inasal
Amount Per Serving
Calories 773 Calories from Fat 306
% Daily Value*
Fat 34g52%
Saturated Fat 10g50%
Cholesterol 170mg57%
Sodium 1343mg56%
Potassium 593mg17%
Carbohydrates 71g24%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 67g74%
Protein 43g86%
Vitamin A 318IU6%
Vitamin C 4mg5%
Calcium 98mg10%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe? Tell us how it went. Tag us at @foxyfolksy or leave a comment and rating below.

This recipe was originally published in July 2015. Updated in July 2020 to include new photos, more tips, and a recipe video.

Avatar

Bebs

Bebs here! I love to cook and try new things and DIY projects! And although I think of myself as a homebody, I like seeing other places from time to time.
If you are looking for a recipe and it ain't here, make a request and I will try my best to make it for you!

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  1. Nice..ill follow ur recipe im planning to make my own business if i go home to philippines for good..thank you for sharing ur recipe…god bless…

  2. Hi, Bebs and Armin! I have made this dish using an apple cider vinegar instead. It was delish!!!! A keeper definitely! Thank you for sharing your recipe!

  3. Hi! Will it taste different if I use one type of vinegar over the other? Which one would you prefer to use? Thanks!

  4. Hi! I would love to try this recipe but we don’t have a grill. Can I use an oven to cook this? If so, at what temperature should I cook it and how long?

        1. Hi Tsokonat, take the whole grill rack with the chicken out and brush (nor pour) them with the basting sauce then put it back to the oven

  5. 5 stars
    This is so goooooood!! BBQ propane grills cook differently than charcoal, masusunog na ang chicken and still raw in the middle, or low and slow but it would take forever. So what I did was bake these in the oven after marinating for 1 hour at 300°c. After cooling, diretso sa grill. My oh my! Napakasarap! I’m glad I found your recipe! More power to you!!

  6. Hi Bebs, thank you for sharing this recipe. Trying this today. For the basting sauce, i only have the paprika and turmeric, please kindly advise the measurement of these and the oil. And do i need to heat this mixture? If no heating is required do i just mix this directly with the rest of the basting sauce? Thank you in advance.

  7. I’m planning to make this for the weekend, I can’t find annato/achuete oil. Can I use annato/achuete powder as a substitute?

      1. It was perfect! So tasty! I was not able to grill outside coz it was raining all day long but I used the gorge foreman grill and the flavors were there. I know it’s not the same charcoal grilled taste but it worked! Thank you!

  8. Hi Bebs! So I just made this today- I’m hoping I did it correctly. Quick question though- so I blended the lemongrass, garlic and ginger. Now there seem to be quite a handful of pulp. Am I supposed to sift it before marinating the chicken or will the pulp give it more flavour? If so, am I suppose to dust it off the chicken before grilling them? I’m worried I might have ruined the chicken by marinating it with the pulp! Yikes!

  9. 5 stars
    Hello Bebs,
    What a great recipe. My family is craving for Mang Inasal chicken bbque today so I am going to make this. Is there any substitute for lemongrass if it is not available in my shopping market? Thank you so much for sharing!

    1. Hi Bobby, I’ve read that lemon zest could be used as substu=itute for lemongrass…but personally, I think it is not the same. But you can try it.

  10. Thank you for posting this yummy yet simple chicken dish. I never had Chicken Inasal before. It was a hit last night! My hubby (who is British) loved it very much. Thank you for posting!

    1. Hi Roger, I usually mix it without exact measurements but it would be somewhat like this: 1-2 teaspoon soy sauce, 1/3 cup vinegar, 1/2 medium onions, chopped finely and some chili flakes or fresh chili.

      1. 5 stars
        Thank you my wife is Filipina and i am going to surprise her with this dish for our Valentine’s day dinner. Keep the recipes coming.

  11. Kabalen, salamat keng blog mu, susubukan kune itang tocino mu, atiu ne king ref to marinate atlung aldo. Ginamit kune mu rin itang empanada dough recipe mu, manyaman ya kanu ana ning misis ku atsaka kapatad. Salamat talaga keng pag share mu keng lutung kapampangan!

  12. 5 stars
    I’ll start kitchen testing this recipe with all chicken wings. What do you think, if I use Fish Sauce (Patis) in stead of salt? This recipe looks like to be a winner. This will definitely have a more natural taste than the usual spice laden barbecue mixes. I think this will give Bob Araj Persian Chicken barbecue a run for the money on our next PTA summer cook out. lol

    1. Hi Vermil, first of all..thanks for all your comments and I am really thrilled to try some of your suggestions. Now about using patis, I would say go for it!!! I actually use it as well for marinating chicken for frying and taste a lot better than just salt. So I am pretty sure that it will be also great alternative for this Chicken Inasal recipe. I also made this for our company barbecue last year and it was surely a great hit with the Germans (among others..we are a bit multicultural). 😉

  13. What a great and simple recipe. I am pretty sure that this will be a much talked about and finger licking good for this coming summer barbecue picnics in my kids school. These events are “pot luck” events wherein the fathers talk about sports and the mothers talk about food. I am the only parent who can talk about Steph Curry and Chicken Curry at the same time. hahahahaha. Again, danke schoen.

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