Saturday, February 11, 2012

Chicken Inasal (Roast Chicken) - Bacolod Style

Copyright 2012 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
This one is easy to talk or should I say brag about. I live in the city known for their barbecued chicken being the best tasting in the country. The stalls or restaurants that serve this very popular food item can be found in any part of the city but the majority are situated in an area by the reclaimed site along the city shoreline aptly named, Manokan Country (Chicken Country). Every stall offers the same menu of barbecued chicken with slight variations to the marinade. Each stall have their own loyal and fierce regulars and for somebody like me who goes only every six to seven years, I always make sure to ask my local friends so that I go to the right place with the best chicken inasal.   

The last time I went, it was back in 2004 and I have to say, their chicken just keeps on tasting better. The makeshift stalls, made usually of bamboo slats, appear to be so flimsy that a strong gust of tropical wind on a stormy day might just blow the whole place down. A bit deceptive but the stalls house both the eating area as well as the kitchen with the charcoal grill where all the magic happens. The recipe of course is a highly guarded secret but the basic ingredients are somehow known. I've managed to locate a few recipes for this dish via two blogs that I frequently browse: Panlasang Pinoy and MarketManila. Combining the recipes from both blogs, I managed to synthesize my own version of the dish with the knowledge I have from having seen how it is cooked and how it should taste. 

Chicken Inasal - Bacolod Style

4 chicken breasts, skin on
2 chicken thighs, skin on

1 cup vinegar
3 large limes, juiced
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp ginger, peeled and crushed
2 tbsp garlic, crushed
2 stalks lemon grass, sliced

Basting Sauce:
4 tbsp canola oil
1 tbsp annatto powder
1/2 tsp salt 
1/2 cup margarine

1. Combine all the ingredients for the marinade except for the salt and pour 
    into a baking dish. Arrange the chicken in one layer and season with the 
    salt. Let chicken pieces sit in the marinade for 30 minutes. 

2. After 30 minutes, flip the chicken over and season with more salt. 
    Marinate for another 30 minutes. 

3. While the chicken is marinating, prepare the basting sauce. In a small pot 
    over medium low heat, combine the canola oil with the annatto powder. 
    Stir. Add the margarine and heat until the margarine has melted. Season 
    with salt and pepper. Divide into two and set aside. 

4. When ready to grill, cut a few slits into the chicken meat. On a hot  grill, 
    lay the chicken pieces skin side up and cook for about 5 minutes. Flip and 
    baste the grilled side using half of the the basting sauce. Keep turning 
    and basting the chicken pieces until thoroughly cooked. Serve right away. 

Ginger and carrot relish, lemon wedges,
soy sauce/lemon/sesame oil and annatto oil dip
Copyright 2012 LtDan’sKitchen blogs

The chicken can be served with several condiments. The most common and popular condiment back home is a derivative of the basting sauce with a spritz of our local version of lime. Most folks prefer a combination of seasoned vinegar with hot chilis but I prefer a combination of soy sauce, lemon juice and sesame oil. An additional choice for me is a relish made with carrots and ginger which my cousin Estela introduced into our family a few years ago. Whatever your choice of condiments may be, the way to eat this dish is to dip the chicken into your condiment of choice and pair it with steamed white rice. Eating using your hands are also encouraged. 

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