Rellenong Manok is a deboned whole chicken stuffed with a meat mixture and then baked until golden crisp. Impressive as it’s delicious, it’s the perfect dinner entree your guests will be raving about!
After wrestling and barely winning the fight with a roughly 5-pound bird the whole day yesterday, I now understand why something as simple as chicken can be the highlight of something as special as Noche Buena. With the deboning, the stuffing, the sewing and the roasting involved, rellenong manok is definitely not one I’ll willingly tackle for my family’s everyday dinner. I love them, they are precious to me, but no thank you. Rellenong manok is the line my affection stops. Of course, I exaggerate. Making stuffed chicken is not as complicated as it appears. Really, the hardest part is the deboning and once you have that down to pat, everything else is a walk in the park.
Of course, I exaggerate. Making stuffed chicken is not as complicated as it seems. Really, the hardest part is the deboning and once you have that down to pat everything else is a walk in the park.
There are two ways of deboning poultry. One way is cutting across the rib cage to get to the bones and then sewing back the gap after stuffing. I am not really a fan of this method as I find it messier and my relleno always end up scarier than the monster of Frankenstein.
The method I prefer requires a bit more knife skills but the end product comes out prettier and less stitched up. Through the bottom opening of the chicken, I like to use a small sharp knife to gently nudge the meat from the bones and then pull the bones out in more or less one piece. You can check out this YouTube video on how to debone a whole chicken to visually guide you through the process.
For the stuffing, I use my favorite pork embutido mix but I added shredded sharp cheddar for extra flavor and bread crumbs to help the stuffing hold shape. I recommend grating the onion (I used a fine grater) instead of chopping as this simple trick will keep the meat stuffing more moist and juicy.
Guys, this rellenong manok is well worth your time and effort, it is a fabulous dish that’s both impressive and delicious. Enjoy!
- 1 (4 to 5 pounds) whole chicken, deboned
- 1/2 cup calamansi or lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 3 hard boiled eggs, peeled
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
For the Meat Stuffing
- 1-1/2 pounds ground pork
- 1 cup crushed pineapple, drained
- 1 onion, peeled and grated
- 1 large carrot, peeled and shredded
- 1/4 cup bread crumbs
- 1 cup sharp cheddar, shredded
- 1 cup raisins
- ¼ cup banana ketchup
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- In a large bowl, combine calamansi juice, soy sauce and pepper. Marinate chicken in mixture for about 1 hour (under refrigeration), turning chicken occasionally. Drain chicken well and pat dry.
- In a large bowl, combine ground pork, pineapple, onion, carrots, bread crumbs, cheese, raisins, ketchup and beaten eggs until well-distributed. Add salt and pepper and combine well.
- Through the lower opening, spoon half of the stuffing into the chicken. Insert the boiled eggs, positioning at the center line of chicken. Fill the chicken with the remaining half of the stuffing mixture.
- Sew the neck and lower openings of the stuffed chicken. With a paper towel, gently wipe down the surface of chicken to remove stray bits and pieces of the meat stuffing. Tie legs together with kitchen twine.
- Liberally brush the surface of chicken with mayonnaise.
- Carefully transfer onto a lightly-greased roasting pan, tucking wings close to the body of the chicken to prevent them from burning before chicken is cooked through.
- Roast in a 375 F oven for about 1 1/2 hours, occasionally brushing with mayonnaise. At the last 20 minutes of cooking, liberally brush skin with butter and continue to roast until internal temperature reaches 165 F and skin is golden brown.
- Remove from heat and let stand for about 10 to 15 minutes before slicing. This will help re-distribute flavorful juices and to allow stuffing to set. Serve with ketchup or gravy.