Friday, 28 February 2014

Lechong Manok - Filipino Style Chicken Rotisserie





Lechong Manok is what Filipinos call rotisserie chicken.  The whole chicken is traditionally roasted over live charcoal.  It is one of those famous "street food" in the Philippines and to prove that, just roam around Metro Manila and nearby towns and cities and you can find restaurants and food stands selling lechong manok.  Each brand of brags about the tastiness of their lechong manok and each one boasts about their own secret special recipe/s-   is it about the marinade or the stuffing or both?.  My favorite of all those brands of lechong manok is Andok's  and  I also love their lechong liempo.

As a matter of fact, andok's lechong manok was on my mind as I designed this recipe. The truth is, I was actually trying to imitate the taste of their lechong manok with this recipe but I wasn't successful.  Mine lacked that certain rustic flavor that is present, which I like about, in Andok's lechong manok.  AND (this is embarrassing :( ) I under-cooked my lechong manok at first (it was a bit bloody!  sowi guys) so we had to re-cook it (thanks to my husband for his quick wits). Nonetheless, despite that dinner blunder of mine, my lechong manok was still a delicious delight  and it has that distinct Filipino taste that differentiate it from the rest of our roasted chicken recipes.  

Before I forget, thank you to Jason for taking the pictures and Jon for lending his Nikon DSLR camera.  I cooked this lechong manok during one of our dinners.





By the way, do you know that you can cook roasted chicken and other meat inside the comforts of your kitchen even without an oven or a turbo broiler or any broiler at that.  Or you can cook them the traditional way, placing the chicken on bamboo skewers and roast them using charcoal.  Well, you can roast them inside your kitchen if you have an indoor charcoal pit otherwise you do it outside.  Or you can check this one out, see the pictures?  It is an ingenious indoor roasting idea by our friend Marco Sarmiento (he and his kids and wife are currently living in Singapore).  I don't know how to describe them so just stare at the pictures and figure them out :-)










     LECHONG MANOK - FILIPINO STYLE 
          CHICKEN ROTISSERIE

Ingredients :

Chicken - 1 whole

Stuffing: 
Onion, diced - 1 medium
Green Onion Leaves - 2 stalks
Lemon Grass, dried and diced - a handful

Marinade sauce:

Soy Sauce - 150 ml
Lime Juice - 60ml
Black Pepper Powder - 1/2 tsp
Ginger, sliced - 5 sliced
Garlic - 5 cloves
Sugar - 2 tsp
Salt - 1/4 tsp

Cooking Procedure :

1.  Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and using a hand held immersion blender or any blender available, blend all the ingredients until a smooth consistency is achieved.
2.  Using an infuser, inject the chicken with the sauce.  
3.  Stuff the chicken's cavity with the diced onion, green onion leaves, and lemon grass.  Seal the cavity using toothpicks
4.  Place the chicken in a resealable bag, pour the the remaining sauce then seal the bag.  Marinate the chicken for at least 6 hours, overnight, or longer.
5.  Drain the chicken and reserve the sauce.  Heat the oven to 200 degrees celsius.
6.  Place the sauce in a pot and bring to a boil, simmer for about 10 minutes.  Use this for basting.
7.  Roast the chicken for about more than an hour (1 hour and 20 minutes depending on the size of the chicken).  Baste the chicken with the sauce every 15 minutes.

The chicken is cooked when the meat are tender and the skin turned golden brown like in the picture above.  To check if the chicken is done,  using a cake tester, prick the thigh part (about more than an inch deep) when clear juices comes out of the chicken then the lechon is cooked 





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