AFF Philippines : Chicken Inasal

Hello! Pardon my absent but have been busy busy!

chicken inasal AFF

A couple of months ago when I was in Boracay, we dined in this place called Andok’s, which is similar to our KFC + Nandos. Well it is fast food but mainly grilled chicken and fish. The grilled chicken and fish was soooo good that we bought and ate at a nearby restaurant to Kalibo Airport before we flew.

andok's chicken manok
Andok’s Chicken Manok

So anyway, I wanted to make it again because it was so yummy! And when I came back, I thought it was Chicken Inasal, so I went all the way (no la actually my friend from SG) to buy coconut vinegar and annatto powder back for me. Turns out, as I’m writting this post, Andok’s chicken has a easier marinade and it’s called Lechon Manok where it is roasted over charcoal fire, stuffed with lemongrass. Another grilled item that we liked was the Bangus, chargrilled boneless stuffed milkfish.

Oh well. Anyway I still got to try something new especially in roasting chicken. Most of the time, I just use herbs and lemon. This one calls for calamansi juice, coconut vinegar and soda water. Chicken Inasal is grilled over charcoal fire and uses a basting liquid that contains Annatto oil (Aswete oil) for that golden colour.

Annatto, sometimes called roucou or achiote, is derived from the seeds of the achiote trees of tropical and subtropical regions around the world. The seeds are sourced to produce a carotenoid-based yellow to orange food coloring and flavor. Its scent is described as “slightly peppery with a hint of nutmeg” and flavor as “slightly nutty, sweet and peppery”. (from wiki)

chicken inasal ingredients

Ingredients for the marinade and basting liquid, calamansi juice, coconut vinegar and soda water makes up the majority of the marinade. Just marinade for 1-3 hours and the grill it. I air-fried it actually and every 5 minutes, I baste the chicken with the annatto mixture. I didn’t have annatto oil, so I used the powder and mixed it up with some corn oil. Recipe is adapted here

chicken inasal philippines


AFF Philippines : Chicken Inasal
I used the air fryer to grill the chicken, you can also grill it in the oven
Cuisine: Philippines
Serves: 2
  • Ingredients
  • 2 whole chicken legs
  • 2 tablespoons ginger, minced
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
  • ¾ cup lemongrass, chopped
  • 1 cup coconut vinegar
  • ½ cup calamansi juice (about 300g of calamansi with before juicing)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • ¼ cup brown sugar (or palm sugar)
  • 1 cup lemon soda (soda water)
  • ½ tablespoon ground black pepper
Basting Sauce:
  • 3 tablespoons annatto oil (atsuete oil) (or 1 tsp Annatto powder mixed with 2 tbsp oil)
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon calamansi juice
  1. In a freezer bag or large bowl, combine chicken, lemongrass, salt, ground black pepper, ginger, garlic, brown sugar, vinegar, soda, and calamansi juice.
  2. Stir or shake the mixture until every ingredient is well incorporated. Marinade for 1 to 3 hours.
  3. In a bowl, combine margarine, annatto oil (aswete oil), salt, and lemon juice then stir. Set aside.
  4. Grill the chicken while basting generous amount of the margarine mixture.
  5. If using a air fryer, preheat air fryer at 180 for 2 minutes. Put the chicken leg in skin side down, brush some of the basting sauce over it and 'fry' for 5 minutes.
  6. Once done, turn the chicken to skin side up and apply the basting sauce again and fry for 5 minutes. Repeat until chicken is cooked (about 20 minutes)
  7. Transfer the grilled chicken to a serving plate.
  8. Serve calamansi and rice.


Overall it’s a nice marinade flavour with a little bit of spice and coconutty taste. The annatto powder don’t really have much flavour,, except a little smokey. Otherwise it is just used for colouring purpose, like tandoori chicken.

I am submitting this post to Asian Food Fest – Philippines hosted by The Sweet Spot.

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