Inasal is a Filipino dish wherein chicken pieces are marinated in a special blend of ingredients and grilled or roasted until perfectly cooked. This dish is best eaten with rice topped with chicken oil, and a serving of pickled papaya known locally as atcharang papaya.
How to Make Chicken Inasal
Making Inasal is easy. All you have to do is prepare the marinade ingredients by combining all together. The chicken is marinated overnight for best results. It is then grilled over charcoal grill, or an indoor grill in my case, and basted with a yellowish-red sauce while grilling.
Let’s start with the components of the marinade. Ginger and garlic are essential ingredients for this recipe. You can do without the lemongrass, but will be great if you have this on hand. There are no salt or pepper required in the marinade for this recipe. Knorr liquid seasoning is enough to provide the flavors. Make sure to source the rest of the marinade ingredients listed below.
Prepare the marinade by combining all marinade ingredients together in a bowl. The lemongrass needs to be cut in shorter pieces and crushed using a mortar and pestle tool or almires. This helps extract the flavors out of it. Stir to blend the ingredients together.
When marinating, place the chicken in resealable plastic bags. Make sure that there is enough room in the bag. Otherwise, you can use a second bag. Distribute the marinade equally between bags of chicken. Push the air out of the bag and seal. This ensures that all sides of the chicken gets coated with the marinade. Let this sit inside the fridge for at least 8 hours. You can also use a meat injector to inject the liquid marinade when pressed for time.
Grilling the chicken is the next thing to do. It might sound easy, but it is tricky for chicken because the skin tends to burn quickly. There are two ways to deal with it. First is to remove the skin before grilling. This option leaves the outer part of the chicken dry. Make sure to continuously baste while grilling. The second option is to grill the chicken with skin on. This requires you to flip the chicken every few minutes to prevent the skin from burning. The intensity of heat from the grill should also be adjusted. This is another way on how to cook chicken inasal.
The basting sauce provides color to the chicken. It is composed of annatto oil, margarine, lime, turmeric powder, and margarine. Additional seasonings can be added to the basting sauce based on your preference. Use this recipe as a base.
How do you determine if the chicken is cooked? The easiest way is to use a meat thermometer. 165F spells done. Otherwise, try slicing through the chicken to see the color of the meat. The center should not be pinkish.
How to Make Red Chicken Oil
Chicken oil has been a favorite topping over inasal and rice. This is composed of chicken drippings and annatto oil. Here is a recipe on how to make annatto oil. I would substitute olive oil for regular oil when making the annatto oil if this is intended to be consumed directly.
If chicken drippings are not available, you can use Knorr chicken cube. Simply grate ¼ of the cube over ½ cup of annatto oil. Stir thoroughly. It is best to put the cube in the freezer for at least 15 minutes before grating so that it will get a harder texture. It is easier to grate in that form.