Chicken Inasal is a grilled chicken dish and one of the well known Ilonggo dishes. This is done by marinating chicken pieces in a unique blend of spices and grilling them until done. Sounds like a simple grilled chicken recipe, isn’t it? Well, it might sound like one; however, the special marinade and basting sauce makes this Ilonggo version of the grilled chicken extra special.
Who among you in the Philippines haven’t heard of this dish? I will be surprised if a huge number of people will say that they haven’t. Chicken Inasal is all over the place. In fact, several restaurant chains that specialize in this dish are in full swing branching-out to dominate its presence in Metro Manila and the nearby provinces. Chicken Inasal and all you can eat rice, doesn’t this sound familiar? I’ve been to several restaurants and grills serving this special grilled chicken dish and they were all good. The main question is: Who serves the best Chicken Inasal in the Philippines?
In Metro Manila, there is a good place somewhere in New Manila, Quezon City that is owned by a famous actor. The Chicken Inasal served by the newly emerging brand is not bad too. There should also be many good restaurants and grills in Iloilo and Bacolod where this dish originated.
If you want your chicken less burnt, try removing the skin before grilling. This will also make this dish a bit lower in cholesterol.
In your opinion, which restaurants or grills serve the best Chicken Inasal in the Philippines?
Chicken Inasal Recipe
- 2 lbs chicken cut into serving pieces
- 2 tablespoons ginger minced
- 2 tablespoons garlic minced
- 3/4 cup lemongrass chopped
- 1 cup coconut vinegar
- 1/2 cup lemon or calamansi juice
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup lemon soda softdrink
- 1/2 tablespoon ground black pepper
- Basting Sauce:
- 3 tablespoons annatto oil atsuete oil
- 1/2 cup margarine softened
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon lemon or calamansi juice
- In a freezer bag or large bowl, combine chicken, lemongrass, salt, ground black pepper, ginger, garlic, brown sugar, vinegar, lemon-lime soda, and lemon juice.
- Stir or shake the mixture until every ingredient is well incorporated. Marinade for 1 to 3 hours.
- In a bowl, combine margarine, annatto oil, salt, and lemon juice then stir. Set aside.
- Grill the chicken while basting generous amount of the margarine mixture.
- Transfer the grilled chicken to a serving plate.
- Serve with sinamak. Share and enjoy!
Do you eat lemongrass. Shall I chop it finely?
Vanjo Merano says
Jen, lemongrass is edible. However, we don’t need to eat it with the chicken. You can chop it finely or simply crush it to let the flavors out.
Swak sa lasa!! One of the many chicken recipes from the Philippines that I miss… Thank you for this recipe!
Although I didnt have coconut vinegar, so I used 2/3 apple cider vinegar + 1/3 white wine vinegar.
Vanjo Merano says
Pheebz, Thanks for your feedback. Sounds like the combo of vinegars complement each other. I will try this combination soon.
Bong Ramon says
Can i boil the marinade before i grill the chicken?
Florita Penanueva says
Ive been following you for years na..I just want to ask since I live in an apartment and we don’t have a griller yet..Can I just cook this in the oven? Will that not be the same tho?
I did not use coconut venigar i use white wine vinegar
Maureen t. Lopez says
Entire family enjoyed chicken insala at amorito resort couple weeks ago in Bohol.
Juicy, flavorful, masarap!
Will use this recipe to bring back island memories!
Any substitute for coconut vinegar? The Asian stores we have here don’t sell it. They usually have the usual white vinegar (Datu Puti or Silver Swan). Can I use that in place of the coconut vinegar?
Vanjo Merano says
Jo, try to use cane or apple cider vinegar.
i just read from somebody’s post not to marinate this overnight because the vinegar will cook through the chicken. can you help me find a way that i can refrigerate it good for a week or keep it frozen so that all i have to do is cook it when i need it. i was thinking ulam for the week kaya i plan to make batches and store it in the refirgerator. will wait for your reply.
Vanjo Merano says
Hi Doyeen. I think that your first statement is true — that is part of the purpose. You won’t be able to easily infuse the flavor of vinegar unless you marinate the chicken in it for hours. If you want to store the uncooked chicken for a week, I suggest that you freeze it instead of refrigerating to avoid contamination. If you are hesitant to marinade the chicken in vinegar for a long period of time, you can try to inject the marinade a few hours before you grill the chicken. The result will be quite different though, but it is still tolerable.
Madelyn Kotb says
me and my husband is craving too much with chicken inasal and during our vacation in the philippines,u can find us eating chicken inasal in everyday,once in a meal..and i wanna to try this recipe at all using the oven but my problem is i cant find any lemon grass in any market here..
we are living in saudi arabia now and its soo hard to find filipino vegestables like that…so is there’s any alternatives for the lemon grass,and what should i use as a substitute for the margarine??
thank u soo much!!!
I tried this recipe and it was good naman. Though i wasnt able to put lemongrass cause i can’t find it anywhere..does it really make a lot of difference? And one more thing.. Hindi masyado nagpenetrate yun marinade inside the chicken.. Bland na yun sa loob.. I placed it in a ziploc container naman and mainated it for like 3hours..any suggestions para pumasok a loob yung lasa? Thanks
I’m craving for inasal and looked for some recipes online that’s how i came across your site.. tnx for sharing the recipe!
by the way, my family is not into margarine. what can i replace it with? butter?