Chicken inasal

  • 4
  • 30 minutes plus 4 hours marinating time

Chicken inasal is a Filipino dish of marinated, grilled and glazed chicken and is often served with boiled rice and fresh calamansi – a tart citrus fruit from Southeast Asia. The dish is best cooked on the barbecue for a smoky, authentic flavour and can be threaded onto skewers and cooked this way if preferred.

The sauce for this dish requires annatto oil, which adds a subtle earthiness and vivid colour. It can be found in specialist retailers, but you can also easily make your own by heating 150ml vegetable oil with a tablespoon of annatto seeds or powder for a few minutes, then straining.

First published in 2022




Chicken Inasal

Sisig sauce

Chilli powder mix

To serve



Begin by marinating the chicken. Place the lemongrass, garlic, shallots, ginger, soy sauce, palm sugar, annatto oil and the juice and zest of the limes in a food processor and blitz to a paste. Rub this mixture all over the chicken thighs, then cover and leave to marinate in the fridge for 4 hours


To make the Sisig sauce, mix the ingredients together, then taste and season with lime juice, salt and pepper. Set aside in a bowl


To make the red chilli powder, place all the ingredients in a coffee or spice grinder and blitz to a powder. Store in an airtight container


After the chicken has finished marinating, lift the thighs out of the marinade, reserving as much of it as you can. Pour the marinade into a pan with the water and sugar and bring to the boil. Cook until it has reduced into a syrupy glaze. Reserve most of this glaze for brushing the chicken as it cooks, but add a few tablespoons to the Sisig sauce to give it a vibrant colour. Transfer the sauce to a squeezy bottle if you have one and reserve in the fridge

  • 100g of sugar
  • 100g of water

The chicken is best cooked on a barbecue or grill, but a griddle pan will work. Once smoking hot, add the chicken to the grill or pan and brush with the glaze. Turn the chicken regularly, brushing with the glaze until it is completely cooked through and lightly charred. Leave to rest for a couple of minutes


To plate, slice the chicken thighs into pieces and drizzle with the Sisig sauce. Sprinkle with the red chilli powder and chopped spring onion to finish

First published in 2022

Before taking a contract on a cruise ship where he worked alongside a number of Filipino chefs, Jeremy Villanueva had only ever cooked classical French cuisine professionally. Now, having taken time to relearn the cuisine he grew up eating, he’s the executive chef at Filipino restaurants Romulo Café and Kasa & Kin in London.

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