My Chicken Inasal Recipe (Filipino Grilled Chicken)

Chicken Inasal Recipe

Chicken Inasal

A juicy and flavorful grilled chicken flavored with vinegar, citrus juice, lemongrass, and achiote, and pairs best with rice.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Filipino
Servings 8 servings


Ingredients for the Marinated Chicken

  • 2 stalks lemongrass
  • 1 head garlic peeled and minced
  • 1 thumb-size ginger peeled and grated
  • ½ cup palm vinegar
  • ¼ cup calamansi juice
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 3 to 4 pounds whole chicken quartered

Ingredients for the Annatto Oil:

  • 1 pound chicken skins bottoms, and/or fat
  • ¼ cup annatto seeds
  • 2 garlic cloves peeled and pounded
  • 1 bay leaf


  • Peel and finely chop the lemongrass after removing the dark, fibrous parts, keeping the white and light green portions.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together vinegar, calamansi juice, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, sugar, salt, and pepper until well-blended.
  • Add chicken to the marinade, cover the bowl, and let it marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 to 4 hours.
  • In a wide pan over medium heat, cook chicken fat until crisp and oil is rendered. Remove skin and bottoms using a slotted spoon.
  • Lower heat and add annatto seeds, crushed garlic, and bay leaf. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, turning to prevent seeds from burning.
  • Remove the pan from heat and let the oil steep for about 1 hour until it has a deep orange color. Strain the oil using a fine-mesh sieve, discarding aromatics, and set it aside.
  • Lightly grease grill grates and heat over hot coals.
  • Drain chicken from the marinade and scrape off any stray aromatics. Arrange chicken on hot grates with the skin side up.
  • Grill chicken, turning and basting regularly with half of the chicken oil, for 30 to 40 minutes or until a thermometer registers 160°F in the thickest part of the chicken.
  • Remove from heat, cover, and let it rest for 3 to 5 minutes. Serve hot with the remaining chicken oil and steamed rice.

Details Behind My Chicken Inasal Recipe

Chicken Inasal Recipe – Chicken inasal is one of the many classic chicken dishes in Filipino cuisine. For those unfamiliar, chicken inasal is a beloved chicken dish that puts a tasty spin on traditional grilled chicken. It stands out with a marinade of calamansi, pepper, coconut vinegar, and annatto, giving it a succulent and flavorful appeal when expertly grilled over hot coals. Served with rice, calamansi, soy sauce, chicken oil, and a unique vinegar like sinamak, Chicken Inasal has two famous versions: Bacolod’s slightly sour twist and Iloilo’s celebrated sweet flavor.

Like many chicken dishes, there are different ways to enjoy and make chicken inasal. Additionally, there are many dishes like chicken inasal to try.

Additional Notes for my Chicken Inasal Recipe

If you want better results with the chicken dish, there are different tips to help you out. When preparing the chicken, you’ll want to cut the chicken into quarters for easy handling, including two breasts and two leg quarters. Skewer the chicken with bamboo sticks for convenience. Use a non-reactive bowl or resealable bags for marinating, letting it marinate for at least two hours or overnight for the best flavor. Avoid marinating for more than 8 hours to prevent the acids in vinegar and citrus juice from affecting the texture.

For safety, split atsuete oil, using half for basting and half for serving. To check doneness, insert a thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken without touching the bone, aiming for a safe internal temperature of 165°F for both dark and white meat.

In terms of serving, Chicken Inasal is commonly enjoyed as a main dish for lunch or dinner, paired with steamed rice and condiments like chicken/atsuete oil or a calamansi-soy sauce mixture. Another popular choice is sinamak, a spiced palm vinegar.

Other Dishes Similar to Chicken Inasal

There are different Filipino dishes that are marinated and grilled. One example of this is inihaw. Inihaw is a Filipino barbecue dish often enjoyed as street food with rice. It usually features grilled pork or chicken, but any meat or seafood cooked this way is considered inihaw. It’s often served on skewers or in small cubes, paired with a soy sauce and vinegar dip. Also known as sinugba or inasal, this tasty dish is a versatile and popular option in Filipino cuisine. An example of this is beef inihaw.

Another option is isaw. Isaw is a Filipino street food barbecue featuring chicken innards, usually pig or chicken intestines. The process involves cleaning, turning them inside out, and boiling or grilling. Isaw can be enjoyed boiled and grilled in the classic way, or it can be fried for a crispy texture and added flavor. To make it crispy, isaw is dipped in an egg mix and deep-fried, providing a distinct taste and texture compared to the grilled version.

Other Filipino Chicken Dishes

Generally, there are plenty of things you can do with chicken. In Filipino cuisine, there are plenty of ways to enjoy chicken in a dish. One example of this is with a Filipino chicken macaroni salad. Filipino macaroni salad typically incorporates chicken along with onions, carrots, and bell peppers. What sets this salad apart is the addition of raisins and pineapple tidbits, giving it a unique and distinctive flavor.

You can also try chicken menudo. Menudo is a traditional Filipino stew made with pork, liver, tomatoes, carrots, and potatoes in a tasty tomato sauce. It’s different from the Mexican soup with the same name because it doesn’t contain tripe or red chili sauce. While the classic version uses pork, there are variations to suit different tastes. A healthier option uses chicken instead of pork and skips the liver, and some versions even add hotdogs and raisins for extra variety.

For something that fully stars chicken, there is chicken sisig. Sisig is a sizzling plate dish primarily made with fatty pork pieces, chilis, and egg. The level of spiciness can be adjusted based on personal preference, and it can also be served without egg. For those seeking a healthier option, chicken sisig is a popular alternative. In variations of chicken sisig, you can choose between using chicken liver or chicken breast, offering a lighter and protein-rich twist to the traditional pork sisig.

Other Grilled Dishes

Overall, there is a variety of dishes similar to chicken inasal and other chicken dishes for you to try. If you want to explore other grilled dishes, though, there is dinakdakan. Dinakdakan, or warek-warek, is a tasty Ilocano dish made with grilled pork parts like face, ears, liver, and tongue. Initially served as a bar snack, it has become a substantial main dish commonly enjoyed with rice.

Despite the unconventional elements of pig ears and tongue, dinakdakan provides a creamy and flavorful experience. The dish includes red onions, siling haba or siling labuyo chilis, ginger, black peppercorns, calamansi juice, and bay leaves, resulting in a delicious combination of flavors.

Overall there are a variety of chicken and grilled dishes for you to try in Filipino cuisine. Whatever part of the chicken or other type of meat, there’s no shortage of dishes highlighting different protein.

Chicken Inasal Recipe

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