Lechon Manok

If my memory serves me right, Lechon manok became such a craze in the 80s. It started when stalls selling these sprouted along the Coastal Road to Cavite. Then came the advent of franchise names such as Andok’s and Baliwag, which are still popular today.

My sister made this for her family, and I was inspired to make it. I did some tweaking to the recipe she shared with me, and this is what I came up with.

You will need one whole chicken. Wash and pat it dry.


For the marinade, place in a bowl the following: ginger about three inches long cut into slices, 5-6 cloves of garlic crushed, two pieces of bay leaves, two stalks of lemon grass (slightly bruise it to release its flavor), one small red onion sliced, 1 1/2 tsp. Kosher salt, 1/4 tsp. Ground black pepper and 1 1/4 cups sprite or any lemon-flavored soda.


Place your chicken in a big freezer bag and pour in your marinade, and zip to seal. Refrigerate and let this marinate overnight.


Pre-heat your oven to 400F

Remove your chicken from the marinade and stuff the cavity with one stalk of lemongrass and 3-4 pieces of green onion.

Place in a pan with a wire rack and roast in the oven for about 1 1/2 hours. While roasting, baste with a soy sauce and vegetable oil mixture. If the chicken is browning too fast and seems to get a burnt look, tent it with foil. You will know when it’s done when you pierce the meat near the thigh, and the juices run clear.

Serve with some Lechon sauce.




Hainanese Chicken Rice

I first had Hainanese Chicken during a Family trip to Singapore in May 1990. My older sister first tried it at a Hawker Center and it became our favorite dish. I didn’t know why we never did try to make it at home. It was only after all of us got married that we thought of preparing it ourselves. My sisters back home always served it for their families, but I was daunted by it.

Until I recently discovered an easy way to make it. This is adapted from the recipe on the website Marion’s Kitchen , I did make some modifications of my own.

To make I used two pieces Bill Evans Whole Chicken Legs. Traditional recipe calls for using a whole chicken but I find using parts is easier. First Rub your chicken all over with kosher salt and rinse well. Trim excess fat and set it aside to be used for the rice.

Place your chicken legs in a wide enough pot and add 4-5 slices ginger and 4 spring onions and pour enough water to cover. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil then immediately lower heat. Cover and continue cooking at a gentle simmer for about 35 – 40 minutes. Once chicken is done, immediately plunge in an ice bath for around 3 minutes to stop cooking. Pat dry with paper towels and rub chicken with sesame oil.


While the chicken is cooking, prepare your rice. Heat 4 Tbsp. vegetable oil and 1 tsp Sesame oil in a pot or skillet. Then add your chicken skin trimmings, three cloves minced garlic, 1 Tbsp. Minced ginger and 1 tsp salt. Cook until spices are fragrant. Add two cups of Jasmine rice and cook until it’s coated with the aromatics. Transfer the rice mixture to a rice cooker, add two cups of the poaching broth, and cook until done.

Carfefully remove bones before slicing your chicken. To serve place chicken pieces on a plate around a cup of rice and some cucumber slices. Serve with a ginger scallion and soy dipping sauce.

To make ginger sauce, place 1/2 cup finely chopped scallions, 2 Tbsp finely minced ginger in a bowl and add 1 tsp. salt. Heat 1/4 cup vegetable oil and 1 tsp. sesame oil until hot. Then carefully pour over the ginger and scallions. Stir until well combined.

For the soy dipping sauce, combine one tablespoon oyster sauce, three tablespoons dark sweet soy sauce, one tablespoon light soy sauce, and two tablespoons reserved chicken poaching broth in a saucepan, heat until slightly thickened.




Peruvian Roast Chicken

This has become one of the family’s favorite dishes. I first made this at the start of the pandemic, I wanted to serve something other than the usual roast chicken. It’s packed with more flavor since it uses different kinds of spices. Peruvian cuisine is influenced by Spain which may be one of the reasons why we love it. Since Spain has the strongest culinary influence on Filipino food.

This recipe is adapted from Epicurious. This for me gives the perfect balance of flavor and taste I was looking for. To make you will need one whole spatchcock chicken. I got the Bell & Evans brand from Whole Foods.

Pre-heat your oven to 400F

Rinse and pat dry your chicken. Rub the chicken with the juice of one lemon and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon kosher salt and set aside.

In a small bowl mix the following: 3-4 cloves finely minced garlic. 1 Tablespoon paprika, 1 Tablespoon Cumin, 1 Tablespoon Olive oil, 1 teaspoon Oregano, 1 teaspoon Kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, juice and zest of 1 lemon. Mix well. Rub the marinade all over both sides of the chicken. Transfer your chicken on a roasting pan lined with foil.


Place chicken in the oven and roast for about 1 hour. While chicken is roasting baste every 20 minutes or so with it’s pan juices or with your marinade. I usually reserve a bit for basting.


I serve it with rice and garlic aioli. For the aioli, mix 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 1/4 yogurt, 1 clove of minced garlic, 1 Tablespoon lemon juice, salt to taste and a sprinkling of parsley flakes.

You may use chicken drumsticks, wings or thighs if you don’t have spatchcock chicken.





Whole Roast Chicken

I made this the other night upon husband’s request. Now I’m wondering why I never make this often enough. I frequently make baked chicken using drumstick and leg quarters since that doesn’t really take much time and preparation. I guess we just got used to the fact that it’s so convenient to buy a store bought one from Sam’s club or Costco and the other chicken places around town.

To make get a whole broiler chicken, I got mine from Whole Foods since that is where I buy my poultry. Clean and pat this dry with paper towels. Preheat your oven to 425F.

Get a couple of potatoes about 4 medium sized ones, scrub clean and dry and cut into chunks. Peel and cut 2-3 carrots and 1 big onion. Arrange all your vegetables in a roasting pan and season with salt and pepper and add a couple of sprigs of thyme on top or whatever herbs you like. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil.


Take your chicken and stuff the cavity with half a lemon that is quartered and a couple of cloves of peeled garlic. Brush the outside of the chicken with melted butter about 1/4 stick. Then generously season with salt and pepper. Lay your chicken on top of the vegetables. Remember to tuck in the wings under. Bake for 1 1/2 hours or until the juices run clear when you pierce the leg and thigh. Remove from oven and tent with foil. Let it rest for about 20 minutes before cutting and serving.





Korean Fried Chicken

We got an unexpected Instacart delivery yesterday so I was able to make something my family really loves – Korean Fried Chicken. We miss eating out from favorite restaurants in our area. We are lucky enough to have several Korean chicken places where we live like: Boom Boom Chicken, BBQ Olive Chicken, Kono Chicken and of course BonChon in NYC. We have not gone out nor gotten any food deliveries since the start of the stay at home order in our state. So I tried to recreate one of the food that may family misses the most – soy garlic chicken !

I searched for several recipes online and found one that appears to be closest in taste to the the fried chicken we love. I didn’t follow the exact recipe and tweaked it to suit my taste.

This recipe is for a pound of chicken wings. First season the chicken with salt and pepper. Then dredge in equal amount of all purpose flour and cornstarch. Make sure to shake off excess flour. Lay it on a wire rack.

Deep fry the wings for about 5 -8 minutes (depending on the size). Do not overcrowd your pan. Take it out and drain in paper towels.

While frying your wings you can prepare the sauce. Place in a saucepan the following: 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce (just my preference), 1/4 cup water, 1/4 cup Mirin, 2 cloves finely minced garlic (I used a garlic press), 1/4 of a medium sized onion grated, about an inch of grated ginger and 2 T. brown sugar. Let this cook over low heat until sugar is dissolved then add a slurry of 1/2 tsp cornstarch diluted is about 1 T water. Cook until thickened and set aside.

After you have cooked all the chicken. Fry it again a second time for a couple of minutes until it’s golden brown and crisp.

Place your sauce in wide enough bowl then add your wings and toss making sure that it’s coated with the glaze.

I served this with some baked crinkle cut fries. It’s also good with rice.

P.S. After making I suggest you double the recipe for the sauce, I find that it’s not enough to really coat all the wings, if you really wanted the sticky/saucy end product.




Chicken with Quail Eggs

I have been trying to get creative with cooking our meals lately because of the limited amount of meat I have in the freezer. As with everyone else in the world, we are staying home for now and literally avoiding going out. I have a lone pack of chicken thighs from Costco which I got way back in January. It has only three pieces in it. So I deboned it and diced it into bite size pieces thinking to make some kind of a stir fry and and this is what I came up with.

To make. Get a pan and heat 1-2 tbsp. vegetable oil. Saute 1 smal onion diced and 2-3 cloves of garlic minced. Cook until fragrant, then add your cut up chicken thighs. Continue cooking until the meat has changed color. Add about 1/2 tsp. ground pepper, cover and let it cook over low heat until juices come out. Add one can baby corn and about 1/-2 to 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables. Stir and add 3/4 cup water or chicken broth. Let it simmer for a couple of minutes. Season with salt or fish sauce to taste. Add one can quail eggs and let it simmer again over low heat for 2 minutes. Make a slurry by mixing 1 tablespoon cornstarch with a couple of tablespoons water. Add to your stir fry and cook until sauce is thickened. Remove from heat and serve hot.




Filipino Fried Chicken

Fish sauce or patis in Tagalog is the number one dipping sauce as well as seasoning in the Philippines. Almost everyone uses it in place of salt.

I have featured pork chops seasoned with patis previously and this is just the poultry version. As I have mentioned I grew up eating fried chicken or pork just seasoned with fish sauce and calamansi. The procedure for this dish is the same as the ones for the chops.


Take a pound of any bone in chicken, I used drumsticks. Then marinate it in 2-3 tbsp good quality fish sauce (you can add more or less to suit your taste), and one packet of calamansi concentrate ( fresh would be better). Let this sit for while before dredging it in all purpose flour seasoned with pepper. Shake of excess flour.




Heat about 1/4 – 1/2 cup vegetables oil and when it’s at the right temperature carefully drop the chicken pieces. Fry 5-6 minutes per side until brown and crisp. Drain in paper towels. Serve with rice and some banana ketchup.




Crispy Adobo Turkey Flakes

It’s the day after Thanksgiving and as expected we have leftovers. I did something totally new with it this time, I made adobo flakes.

I had my first taste of adobo flakes at Via Mare Cafe, where it was originally created by the owner Glenda Barretto. They serve this with garlic rice and egg. It’s like toasted chicken adobo that is extra crispy, crunchy and flaky. One usually makes this from leftover adobo. Since I didn’t have adobo just leftover turkey meat, I had to cook it into adobo first by adding 1/2 cup soy sauce, 1/2 cup of combination of rice vinegar and cane vinegar, 1 tsp of ground black pepper, 2-3 bay leaf and 4-5 cloves minced garlic and about 1/4 cup water if needed. I let this simmer for about 20 minutes. Then let it cool and sit so that all the flavors and seasonings get absorbed.



Then I strained the meat and flaked it with two forks. Then in a non-stick pan I fried or browned the turkey flakes in hot oil until crispy. Do this in batches, it takes around 10 minutes for the meat to become brown and crisped so make sure to continuously stir and cook over low heat.

I served this over my leftover wild rice with mushrooms and a sunny side egg. This will go very well with garlic rice too.

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Chicken Salad with Avocado and Cranberries

I love how Paris Baguette make chicken salad sandwiches. It’s light and not overly dressed with mayonnaise. I took inspiration from them and added avocado to take it up a notch. I had leftover poached chicken from the soup I made last time so I used it to make this recipe.

First, dice your poached chicken breast and place in a bowl. To it add a stalk of celery finely diced, 1/2 of finely minced white onion, 1/4 cup dried cranberries, 1/4 cup Japanese mayonnaise (kewpie brand), 1 small avocado diced, salt and pepper to taste. Mix everything together. Toast some crusty bread in my case I used farmer’s bread from our local market. Serve between slices of your bread with some greens. Some thinly sliced cucumbers would be a nice addition to the greens for some crunch. You can also serve this on a bed of lettuce or arugula.




Chicken Longanisa Rice Bowl

Preparing meals at home than eating out is not only healthier in my opinion but also cheaper. You don’t need to spend a lot to eat well. This longanisa rice bowl that I made for my family of four costs roughly fifteen dollars, excluding the rice. If we were to order this rice bowl in a restaurant in NYC or downtown LA it would have set us back 12 dollars per person. A pack of chicken longanisa from our local Asian grocer was $3.79, the cherry tomatoes from our local farm market was $4.00 a pint, a dozen eggs at Whole Foods was $3.49 and the mixed herb pesto which I already have in the fridge was around 4 dollars.

To make, cook your longanisa by placing the links in a pan and adding about 1/2 cup water. Don’t forget to prick the sausages all over with a fork or tip of a small knife. Let this simmer in medium to low heat until done and liquid has evaporated. Add some vegetable oil and pan fry until brown all over. Set aside.


Rinse and dry your cherry tomatoes and cut in half. Place it in non-stick pan and add about 2 teaspoon of mixed herb pesto. Cook over medium heat until tomatoes are softened but not mushy.

Then fry a couple of eggs sunny side up.

To assemble, place some cooked rice in a wide bowl then carefully arrange your fried egg, longanisa, and cherry tomatoes. I added some thinly sliced cucumbers for color.



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