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.