Pinaupong Manok, which literally means “sitting chicken”, is a Filipino-style chicken dish steam-cooked on a bed of rock. It’s moist, tender and delicious to the bone!
G returned from his Jujitsu class just before noon today and found me bending and contorting every which way, trying to take a decent shot of this pinaupong manok.
He took one look at my roasted chicken with its legs up in the air like it don’t care and said, “that is one weird looking bird”. Well! Smartypants, if you’ve spent the last two hours sitting and sweating on rock salt, you won’t be looking too swell either.
And then, of course, we had the chicken for lunch and he couldn’t stop raving about how moist and flavorful it was, how the meat was so tender and delicious. Ha! Justice for my little winged friend.
Pinaupong manok is so easy to make it is more wait than prep time. Just make sure to use a thick-bottomed pot with a tight-fitting lid as there is no liquid added and the chicken will cook only from the steam. There should be a wide enough space around the chicken so it doesn’t touch or stick to the sides of the pot.
The amount of rock salt will vary depending on the size of the pot, have the bed of salt at about 1-1/2 to 2 inches deep. As the chicken should be sitting upright to “steam” evenly, I peeled and leveled off one side of a whole onion and inserted it in the cavity after the lemongrass. The onion not only boosts flavor but also balances the chicken so it stands nice and firm.
I used salt, pepper, garlic, and lemongrass to season the chicken but I am sure it be will amazing with other blend herbs and spices as well. Mmm! I can just imagine this stuffed with fresh sprigs of rosemary.
Give this pinaupong manok recipe a try and let me know what you think in the comments below. I ♥ hearing from you.
- 1 head garlic, peeled
- 1 teaspoon pepper, freshly ground
- 2 stalks lemongrass
- 1 large onion
- 1 ( 3 to 4 pounds) whole chicken
- rock salt
- banana leaves
- fish sauce or soy sauce to taste
- calamansi juice
- In a food processor, pulse garlic until smooth. In a small bowl, combine pureed garlic and pepper.
- Remove and discard the dark green layers of the lemongrass until you get to the lighter green part. With a knife, cut into lengths that will fit inside the chicken's cavity. Using the back of the knife, pound ends of lemongrass to release flavor.
- Peel the onion and cut one end to level.
- Remove the gizzards and any internal organs inside the chicken's cavity. Under cold running water, rinse chicken well. Thoroughly dry the chicken inside and out.
- Generously rub chicken inside and out with rock salt. Massage the chicken inside and out with the garlic and pepper mixture. Let stand for about 20 to 30 minutes.
- Stuff lemongrass into the cavity. Insert onion with level side facing outwards.
- In a large, thick-bottomed pot, add rock salt to about 1-1/2 to 2 inches thick. Line banana leaves on top of the salt. Position chicken on an upright, "sitting" position on banana leaves.
- Cover pot with a tight-fitting lid. Over medium heat, cook chicken for about 2 to 2 1/2 hours or until cooked through. Gently lift chicken from pot and arrange on a serving platter. Serve hot with dipping sauce.
- In a bowl, combine lemon juice and fish sauce or soy sauce to taste.
First Published January 10, 2015.