The number of inasal restaurants mushrooming all over the place is testament to the growing popularity of this famous Bacolod specialty. My father is Ilonggo and I have been familiar with the smell and flavor of tanglad (lemongrass) my whole life so liking the inasal way of cooking chicken is what I would consider a predisposition.
My first taste of chicken inasal however, would take place only during my graduate school days. It was during one of those eat-outs where my blockmates and I would have lunch together as a class at a restaurant of choice. One of those choices was Chicken Bacolod along Katipunan Avenue.
I immediately took a fancy to Chicken Bacolod's pa-a chicken inasal. I had always been a chicken thigh-part kind of girl. You couldn't make me eat chicken breast unless it is absolutely necessary to put me on a diet (again). Speaking of the "D" word, have you ever tried mixing chicken fat with your rice? A friend of mine introduced me to this wicked wicked practice during that lunch out at Chicken Bacolod. She asked the waiter for chicken fat, which they gave out for free if you asked for it. It comes in a little bowl, bright amber in color and looks potentially hazardous to health. Turns any innocent cup of white rice into an extraordinary gastronomical treat. But who are we kidding? It's pure fat! Just think of all of it going straight to your waist and your heart. It was fun for a while. But now, I feel dizzy just thinking about it. If you're one for trying everything at least once in your life though, then make sure to chalk this one up.
Now let's talk about making your own chicken inasal at home. You can mix up a marinade out of tanglad, vinegar, atsuete. But if you are not confident about the proportions or just plain don't care for the hassle, you can always get the inasal marinade from a bottle. Try Claude 9 Chicken Inasal BBQ Marinade. Works pretty darn good. Credit goes to my brother who found this at Makati Supermarket in Alabang Town Center.
Want healthy? Pair your chicken inasal with organically-grown Romaine lettuce from Gourmet's of Tagaytay and a "controlled" portion of their honey-mustard dressing, and voila! Your very own Southbeach diet meal.