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Chicken inasal on plate

Chicken inasal

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  • Preparation and cooking time
    • Prep:
    • Cook:
    • plus 4 hrs marinating
  • A challenge
  • Serves 2

Set yourself a cook's challenge with our Filipino-inspired chicken inasal. It's packed full of zingy flavours, from lime and lemongrass to ginger and garlic

  • Gluten-free
Nutrition: Per serving


  • 2 poussin, spatchcocked
  • 60ml achuete oil (see tip below)
  • 1 banana leaf, to serve
  • 1 spring onion, sliced, to serve

For the marinade

  • 1 garlic bulb, roughly chopped
  • 30g ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 red onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, roughly chopped
  • 8 black peppercorns
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 lemon, juiced (or 100ml calamansi juice to replace both the lemon and lime juice)
  • 1 tbsp soft brown sugar
  • 200ml cane vinegar
  • 2 bay leaves

For the basting butter

  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 100g salted butter, softened
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tsp soft dark brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp achuete oil (see tip, below)

For the sinamak

  • 1 bird's-eye chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped shallot or red onion
  • 40ml cane vinegar
  • 2 peppercorns

For the sawsawan (sauces)

  • soy vinegar, to serve
  • achuete oil, to serve
  • atchara, to serve (see 'goes well with' below)


  • STEP 1

    Score the legs of the poussins and remove the wishbones. Make the marinade by combining all the ingredients in a bowl, add the poussin, cover and chill. Leave to marinate for at least 4 hrs.

  • STEP 2

    To make the basting butter, mix the garlic with the softened butter. Add the lemon juice, soft dark brown sugar and achuete oil for colour. Mix well.

  • STEP 3

    Heat the oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5 and heat a griddle pan over a medium high heat. Remove the chicken from the marinade and pat dry. Season and coat with the achuete oil. Put upside-down on the griddle for 5 mins until the skin is crisp and golden, then flip over and transfer to the oven for 20-30 mins until cooked, checking and basting occasionally with butter. Leave to rest for 5-10 mins before serving.

  • STEP 4

    While the poussins are grilling, make the sinamak by mixing all the ingredients together in a bowl. Set aside.

  • STEP 5

    Cut the banana leaf into two 25 x 12cm rectangles using scissors. Run them under water, then toast in a dry pan, lightly blow torch or grill until toasted (this releases the natural oils and makes the leaf shiny). To serve, put the toasted banana leaf on a plate, top with a poussin, a spoonful of the atchara, a sprinkling of spring onions and serve the sauces and sinamak alongside.


To make achuete oil, mix 1 tbsp annatto seeds with 150ml olive oil in a small pan. Bring the oil to a simmer, turn off the heat and leave to infuse for 3 mins. Strain into a jar through a fine mesh sieve.

Goes well with


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A star rating of 5 out of 5.2 ratings

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