This is my second post on the much-loved grilled dish. I’ve written that Chicken Inasal is best cooked over an open flame. Cooking it over a stove is challenging but I recently realized an alternative, which is to use boneless chicken! We recently had a surplus of chicken thighs in the house. My aunt deboned half of them so we had about a kilo of chicken thigh fillet, with skin on. Normally I’d get skinless chicken thigh fillet from the supermarket for pan-frying. The skin gave me an idea to make Inasal out of them.
Good thing we had Sukang Iluko (Cane Vinegar) in the house. In a bowl I mixed a cup of the vinegar, a tablespoon of minced garlic, and a teaspoon each of salt and crushed black pepper. I also picked a couple of lemongrass stalks from our backyard and sliced them thinly. I put them in a covered container and let it marinate in the refrigerator over night.
Before grilling it I made 1/3 cup of atchuete (annato) oil, which is just heated Canola oil and a tablespoon of the seeds.
When the griddle pan is hot, I put the chicken skin-side down and turned it after 10 minutes. When I turned it, there was an appropriate amount of charring on the skin. The other side cooked in about 5 minutes. Don’t forget to baste the chicken with the annato oil.
For the dipping sauce, I mixed 1 part of cane vinegar to 2 parts of soy sauce, half a teaspoon of minced garlic and 1 sliced siling labuyo (finger chili). Just one chili? It’s because my family’s threshold for spiciness is quite low.
The whole family loved it. Making Inasal out of chicken thigh fillet was a great idea. It cooked well on the stove top griddle pan. Plus the addition of lemongrass gave another dimension to the flavor of the dish. From here on, I will always include it when making Inasal. For a healthier version, remove the chicken skin.