Chicken Inasal

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Chicken Inasal is easy to make yet delivers tons of flavor. Marinated in vinegar, calamansi juice, lemongrass, and achiote oil, and grilled to juicy perfection, this Filipino chicken barbecue is a guaranteed crowd pleaser!

Chicken Inasal
I spent the early part of this year in the Philippines, and a good number of my meals in those months was Mang Inasal pecho with unli rice. One of my aunts introduced me to this popular Bacolod specialty and I’m forever hooked to the nuot sarap inihaw na manok!

I am now back in Texas with no restaurant branch for thousands of miles to feed my inasal cravings. Sob.

Chicken Inasal
Chicken Inasal is a popular grilled dish from the Western Visayas region. It derives its distinctive flavor and color from a marinade made of vinegar, calamansi, lemongrass, garlic, ginger, brown sugar, and atsuete oil. Other versions of the recipe also include Sprite or 7-up to add flavor and act as a tenderizer.

The chicken parts are usually skewered in bamboo and then grilled over hot coals to juicy perfection while basting with the oil.

How to make chicken oil
The orange-colored oil is a major component in the flavor profile of this Visayan dish. I use chicken skin and fat, but feel free to swap with vegetable oil to cut down on the cholesterol.

In a wide pan over medium heat, place chicken skin, bottoms, and fat. Cook, stirring as needed until they begin to crisp and render fat.
Using a slotted spoon, remove the skins from the oil.
Add atsuete seeds, crushed garlic, and bay leaf. Cook for a few minutes until the oil is evenly colored.
Remove from heat and steep for about one hour to draw out more flavor and color. Strain using a fine-mesh sieve and discard aromatics.
If using atsuete powder, stir about one tablespoon until well-dispersed. Strain using a fine-mesh sieve.

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