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I’m sharing today one of my favorite chicken recipes when I’m missing home. An authentic Chicken Inasal recipe uses lemongrass (tanglad in Tagalog) and a specific kind of coconut vinegar called sinamak. We are fortunate to have access to a few Asian stores where we live. It is to be expected, however, that not every single ingredient that I’m used to cooking with is available. And so there’s always a need to improvise. That’s how I came up with my own version of Chicken Inasal using ingredients that I know will always be available at my local grocery.
Lemon Chicken Inasal
For the Marinade:
- 6-8 pcs Chicken breast or thigh part
- 1/3 c Soy Sauce dark
- 1/3 c White Vinegar *coconut
- 1/4 c Granulated Sugar
- 1 knob Ginger crushed
- 2 cloves Garlic crushed
- 1/4 tsp Black Pepper ground
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Lemon Zest
- 3 slices Lemon
For the Basting Sauce:
- 2 tsp Annato Powder
- 8 tbsp Vegetable Oil
Preparing the Marinade:
- In a bowl, combine all the ingredients for the marinade. Mix until the sugar is dissolved.
- Combine the annatto powder and vegetable oil in a small saucepan. On low fire, mix them until the annatto powder is dissolved. Turn off the heat and allow to cool. Add the annatto oil to the marinade.
- Arrange the chicken pieces in a bowl or baking dish. Pour the marinade over the chicken. Turn the chicken pieces to coat it with the marinade. Cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate. Allow to marinate for at least an hour. If you plan on preparing it in advance, place the chicken and marinade in a freezer zip lock bag and store it in the freezer.
Cooking the Chicken:
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. If grilling, prepare your charcoal grill.
- For roasting/baking: Arrange the chicken pieces (skin side up) in a broiler rack and place it on an oven pan (to catch the drippings). Bake for 15 minutes. Turn the chicken pieces (skin side down) and continue baking for another 15-20 minutes. Baste the chicken with the leftover marinade every 10 minutes. Continue cooking until juices run clear or a meat thermometer registers an internal temperature of at least 165ºF.
- For grilling: Just like using an oven, your grill needs to be hot enough before placing any food. If you put the chicken (or any meat) too soon, it will stick to the grill. Cook the chicken for 7-10 minutes on each side. Baste the chicken with the leftover marinade every few minutes to keep it from drying out. Continue cooking until juices run clear or a meat thermometer registers an internal temperature of at least 165ºF.
- Remove from the oven/grill. Cover with aluminum foil until ready to serve.
This recipe first appeared in my travel blog at KGB in Wanderland. I’ve made a few adjustments since then to make the recipe simpler and easy to follow.