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Grilled Chicken Inasal
Thomas J. Story
AuthorNico de Leon
"Just the right amount of salt and sweet and bright and savory flavors," says chef Nico de Leon . "Plan ahead to let the chicken marinate fully overnight to absorb the flavors. Brushing the chicken with the aromatic butter baste gives the chicken even more flavor and the most beautiful color."

How to Make It

1

Spatchcock your chicken by cutting down the length of the spine on each side with kitchen shears and removing the back. Open the bird, flatten it, and apply pressure to the breast like you’re doing CPR. You’ll hear a couple of pops which will help your bird lie flatter. Trim excess fat from the opening of the neck and the bottom of the thighs and reserve.

2

Combine the marinade ingredients in a 1-gallon Ziploc bag, then add the chicken, squeezing out all the air before sealing it. Then give your chicken a nice massage. Let it marinate in the refrigerator overnight, or for at least 4 hours.

3

At least an hour before cook time, remove the chicken from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature. Start your grill, implementing the two-zone method (warm spot, and hot spot), and let it get to roughly 350° F.

4

Make the basting liquid by steeping all aromatics in the melted butter, then blend and strain. Add the calamansi or lemon juice after it is blended. Set aside.

5

Remove chicken from marinade, pat dry, and remove any and all loose aromatics from the skin. Apply one coat of the baste with a brush to both sides of the chicken. Then place the chicken, flesh side down, on the warm spot of the grill and close the lid. After 15 minutes come back and baste the skin side. Repeat until the internal temperature of the thighs hits 165° F, roughly 40–45 minutes.

6

For the last 5–10 minutes, flip the chicken over and place it skin-side down on the hot side of the grill. Baste the flesh side a couple of times before removing. Apply one last sprinkle of salt. Serve alongside chicken fat rice, and enjoy!

Ingredients

 1 whole 3 1⁄2 pound chicken
 4 garlic cloves, smashed
 2 stalks lemongrass, chopped and smashed
 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and smashed
 4 Red Thai chilies, sliced
 1 cup coconut vinegar (distilled white vinegar and rice vinegar work, too)
 ¼ cup calamansi or lemon juice
 ¼ cup sugar
 1 tsp black pepper, toasted and cracked
 3 tbsp kosher salt
Baste
 2 garlic cloves, smashed
 2 stalks lemongrass, chopped and smashed
 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and smashed
 2 tbsp annatto oil *
 ½ tsp turmeric powder
 1 bay leaf
 ½ lb unsalted butter, melted
 2 tbsp calamansi or lemon juice
*ANNATTO OIL
 ¼ cup annatto seed, whole or ground
 1 cup neutral oil, such as canola

Directions

1

Spatchcock your chicken by cutting down the length of the spine on each side with kitchen shears and removing the back. Open the bird, flatten it, and apply pressure to the breast like you’re doing CPR. You’ll hear a couple of pops which will help your bird lie flatter. Trim excess fat from the opening of the neck and the bottom of the thighs and reserve.

2

Combine the marinade ingredients in a 1-gallon Ziploc bag, then add the chicken, squeezing out all the air before sealing it. Then give your chicken a nice massage. Let it marinate in the refrigerator overnight, or for at least 4 hours.

3

At least an hour before cook time, remove the chicken from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature. Start your grill, implementing the two-zone method (warm spot, and hot spot), and let it get to roughly 350° F.

4

Make the basting liquid by steeping all aromatics in the melted butter, then blend and strain. Add the calamansi or lemon juice after it is blended. Set aside.

5

Remove chicken from marinade, pat dry, and remove any and all loose aromatics from the skin. Apply one coat of the baste with a brush to both sides of the chicken. Then place the chicken, flesh side down, on the warm spot of the grill and close the lid. After 15 minutes come back and baste the skin side. Repeat until the internal temperature of the thighs hits 165° F, roughly 40–45 minutes.

6

For the last 5–10 minutes, flip the chicken over and place it skin-side down on the hot side of the grill. Baste the flesh side a couple of times before removing. Apply one last sprinkle of salt. Serve alongside chicken fat rice, and enjoy!

Grilled Chicken Inasal