Chicken Inasal

The chicken inasal is a popular dish from the City of Bacolod, Philippines.  The smoked flavor added by cooking the meat on a hot charcoal grill brings out the marinade resulting in tastier dish. It is also distinct for its yellowish color brought about by basting with annatto-based oil. This dish is best eaten with garlic rice, pickled papaya and basting sauce.

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Chicken Inasal


  • 4 pcs chicken leg quarters (about 2lbs)
  • 2 tbsps brown sugar
  • 1/4 c pineapple juice or lemon juice or calamansi juice
  • 1 tbsp coarse sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 stalks lemongrass (chopped)
  • 1 ginger (peeled and finely grated), about 1/8 cup
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1/4 c coconut vinegar
  • Basting Oil:
  • 2 tbsps annatto (achuete) seeds
  • 1/3 c vegetable oil
  • 1/2 c margarine
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Wash the chicken and pat dry
  2. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and place chicken into the marinade
  3. Cover and store in the refrigerator for about two hours
  4. Make basting oil: In a small saucepan, combine annatto seeds, margarine, salt, pepper, and vegetable oil. Bring to a simmer over low heat. When bubbles start to appear, turn off the flame and wait until the oil is cool. Strain, and discard the seeds. Separate oil into two containers (for basting and sauce)
  5. Fire up the charcoal grill. Brush the grill with a little oil to prevent the chicken sticking
  6. Grill the chicken while basting with basting oil (approximately 8 minutes per side).
  7. Make sure chicken is well done by piercing the thickest part of the thigh. The juices must run clear and not pink or bloody.
  8. Serve immediately with garlic fried rice, and pickled papaya (atchara). and some of the basting oil.
  9. IMPORTANT: prevent salmonella contamination by not using the same basting oil that was used to baste the chicken while grilling, since it has been in contact with the raw chicken.

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