Filipino Roasted Chicken – Lechon Manok

You probably know by now that my in-laws are Filipino, and I often live through them when it comes to understanding the cuisine of the Philippines. I realize that there are so many great Filipino recipes out there, however I have only skimmed the surface when it comes to trying some of the food. By default, most, if not all parties consist of pancit bihon, and lumpia. I’ve had lechon kawali, pancit canton, and tinola to name a few more. But there is so much more I want to try, and so I keep an ear out for what family members are talking about, or missing from their homeland.

Filipino Roasted Chicken Recipe

One of the family members had posted a great picture on Facebook of something they made called lechon manok. I immediately got excited, not just because of the food porn picture, but because it was a recipe from a man that I did not have the honor to meet in life. Rumor has it he was a awesome chef, and knowing the children of this man, and their connection to the Tayag name, I knew it had to be good. So I prompted them with a couple of questions regarding this lechon manok, and decided to give my take on this classic recipe.

Lechon manok is basically a roasted style chicken done Filipino style. Here’s my take on this recipe.

Ingredients: [Print this Recipe]

  • 1 whole roasting chicken
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 stalks of lemongrass, roughly chopped
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Tumeric powder
  • 1 tbsp ginger
  • 3 whole bay leaves

Start by adding everything but the chicken to a food processor and process until you have a smooth paste. Rub this paste all over the chicken, inside and out. Place in a large bowl, and cover with plastic wrap, placing this in the refrigerator overnight.

Lechon Manok Ingredients

The following day, and before you are ready to roast the chicken, remove it from the refrigerator, and let the chicken come to room temperature. You basically want to take the chill off of the chicken.

Next, get a large, oven proof skillet out and line it with a wire rack if you have one. If you do not have the rack, no big deal. Even better, if you have a rotisserie for your barbecue, use this and go the grilling route. I have a pretty great roasted chicken technique, so I went this route.

Filipino Chicken Recipe

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Place the chicken into the skillet, and place in the preheated oven for 40 minutes. Do not open the oven. After 40 minutes, turn off the oven, and keep the chicken in there for 20 minutes. Traditionally lechon manok might be wrapped in some banana leaves, but I did not have any. If you have some, wrap them in the leaves, and wrap the entire thing in aluminum foil.

After the full hour, remove it from the oven, and insert your meat thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken. Let it set in there for 30 seconds or more. The goal is to have your chicken reach 165F.

To serve, either present your chicken whole, or carve and present it that way.

The result is nothing but amazing. This is unlike most roasted chicken recipes only in the sense that it has this wonderful flavor. Maybe it’s the fish sauce, or maybe the ginger, garlic, and lemongrass. Whatever it is, this lechon manok is a great recipe.

Lechon manok is commonly served with a liver sauce, but instead, I simply used a blend of soy sauce and garlic chili oil as part of my dipping sauce.

So I have to thank the Tayag’s for mentioning this and capturing that picture for their family gathering on Facebook!

Sticky Rice Recipe

If you have ever walked into an Asian grocery store, the first thing you probably notice is the mounds and mounds of bags of rice, typically located near the entrance. They offer a variety of rice, and one of my favorites is the jasmine rice. We eat rice about once or twice a week at our house as the kids love it and I like using any leftover rice for making Filipino garlic rice in the morning, or a nice fried rice for dinner.

Thai Sticky Rice Recipe

But there is one rice that I really enjoy making, and I love watching my kids eat, and that is sticky rice. Sticky rice is typically made, or ordered as a speciality from any Thai kitchen. Something that is not listed in many menus, at least that I have seen. In the mounds of rice, you can find smaller bags of these thicker granules of rice known simply as sticky rice.

This is not your ordinary jasmine rice, and if you have doubts about what you are buying simply ask. In order to make this you will also need a bamboo funnel steamer, and a large pot, which you can buy at the same store for less than ten dollars. It’s all worth it, trust me.

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 cups Thai Sticky Rice
  • Steamer

How to make sticky rice recipe

Soak the rice overnight in a bowl of water. This softens the rice and shortens the time to steam. When the rice is ready, rinse the rice and place in a bamboo steamer. Cover and let steam for nearly 10-15 minutes per side. I say side because you will want to remove the bamboo steamer and knock it against the counter to loosen the rice after 15 minutes. Then you can toss it so it flips over. Sounds difficult, but it is not. Continue steaming the other side for ten minutes while covered.

How to make sticky rice

When the rice is ready. Take the ball out and place it on a cutting board as you will want to flatten it out a bit and begin to fan it, as to cool the rice. I purchased a bamboo container at the same market so that I can cover the rice. It was about four dollars.

Keep in mind that the rice should be served warm and cannot be saved for leftovers.

To serve, simply place the rice into a serving bowl, covered. Take a handful out, roll into little balls, and press down into whatever you are serving. I suggest making something like beef or chicken larb, or dip in a side of spicy Thai sauce. Our kids love rolling the rice into little balls, (we do not let them eat the sauce), making shapes, and then eating them as is. How do you eat your sticky rice?