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inasal na manok on a banana-lined plate with steamed rice and chili peppers
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3.88 from 25 votes

Chicken Inasal

Chicken Inasal is a Filipino-style BBQ chicken flavored with vinegar, citrus juice, lemongrass, and achiote, and grilled to perfection. It's juicy, flavorful, and delicious served with steamed rice.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Main Entree
Cuisine: Filipino
Servings: 8 Servings
Calories: 450kcal


  • 2 stalks lemongrass
  • 1 head garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 thumb-size ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1/2 cup palm vinegar
  • 1/4 cup calamansi juice
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 (about 3 to 4 pounds each) whole chicken, quartered

For the Annatto Oil

  • 1 pound chicken skins, bottoms, and/or fat
  • 1/4 cup annatto seeds
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and pounded
  • 1 bay leaf


  • Peel and/or cut away the dark, fibrous parts of the lemongrass until you get to the white and light green portions. Using a knife, finely chop lemongrass.
  • In a large bowl, combine vinegar, calamansi juice, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, sugar, salt, and pepper. Whisk until well-blended.
  • Add chicken and cover bowl. Marinate in the refrigerator for at 2 to 4 hours.
  • In a wide pan over medium heat, place chicken fat and cook, turning as needed, until crisp and renders oil. Using a slotted spoon, remove skin and bottoms.
  • Lower heat and add annatto seeds, crushed garlic, and bay leaf. Cook for about 1 to 2 minutes, turning as needed to prevent seeds from burning.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and allow the oil to steep for about 1 hour or until oil is infused with deep orange color. Using a fine-mesh sieve, strain oil. Discard aromatics and set aside oil.
  • Lightly grease grill grates and heat over hot coals.
  • Drain chicken from marinade and scrape off any stray aromatics. Arrange chicken in a single layer over hot grates with skin side up.
  • Grill chicken, turning once or twice and basting regularly with the half of the chicken oil, for about 30 to 40 minutes or until a thermometer inserted in the thickest part of chicken registers 160 F.
  • Remove from heat, cover, and allow to rest for about 3 to 5 minutes. Serve hot with the remaining chicken oil and steamed rice.



  • Use a non-reactive bowl or resealable bags to marinate the chicken.
  • Marinate for at least two hours up or overnight for the best results. Do not keep the chicken in the marinade for more than 8 hours lest the acids in the vinegar and citrus juice denature the proteins and turn the meat mushy.
  • For food safety, divide the atsuete oil and use half for basting and the other half for serving.
  • To check for doneness, insert a thermometer in the thickest part of the chicken without touching the bone. 165 F is the safe internal temperature for both dark and white meat.


Calories: 450kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 122mg | Sodium: 554mg | Potassium: 367mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 229IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 2mg