Chicken Inasal or simply Inasal, which is the dialect for grilled or barbecue is a popular dish in the Philippines that originated from the City of Bacolod. It is different from the usual chicken barbecue from the country because it is marinated in vinegar, kalamansi juice and other spices like lemongrass and ginger. The color is also quite unique: orange because it uses a special basting sauce that is with annatto/achuete oil. It is usually served on bamboo skewers direct from the grill with rice and a dip of spiced vinegar.
So if you are tired of the old and usual chicken barbecue, this is the one to try. You will find that the taste is uniquely refreshing and very flavorful.
Chicken Inasal became so popular among Filipinos that a lot of restaurants or grills specializing in this particular dish emerge all over Metro Manila and surrounding provinces. How bad that its popularity hasn’t reached Germany (yet?!) which means I had to do it on my own. Oh well, I think that is the life of an immigrant (craving for home food). I have to admit, I learned so much more about Filipino cooking and recipes when I came here in Germany. I know a lot of dishes but usually, I just ordered them from the menu and not think so much how they are prepared. Don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining…at all!
The first time I made this, it was an instant hit and Armin is now a fan and just last week I was asked to help organize food prep for our company grill party next month and I am thinking of giving them some sample of Filipino cuisine and this is will be my frontrunner along with some Filipino desserts, Leche Flan and Maja Blanca. So wish me luck!
Chicken Inasal (Filipino Chicken Barbecue)
- 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
- 3 tablespoons Annato/Achuete oil
- 5 tablespoons margarine - or butter - melted
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice - or kalamansi juice
- 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 simple combining all the ingredients in a bowl. Grill the chicken pieces for about 20 minutes or until well done while basting both sides with the annatto oil.
If you cannot find ready annatto/achuete oil, you can make your own
1 ½ Tablespoon of annatto seeds for every 4 Tbsp of vegetable oil
Heat oil and annatto seeds in a saucepan over medium heat. When it starts to bubble around the seeds, remove from heat. DO NOT overcook or they will get bitter. Let cool down to room temperature. Separate the seeds from oil using a strainer.
If annato seeds are also not available, mix some Paprika and turmeric powder in oil as a substitute to achieve that orange-yellow hue.