Note: Good day everyone. We are on an Inasal roll! Two days ago, I reposted Ilonggo style chicken Inasal. This time, here’s about the Bacolod-style , complete with recipe.
Having spent my childhood in Bacolod, my food memories include meals of homemade chicken inasal or dinner dates with my father at Bacolod Chicken House,
The clear difference between the dominant inasal flavor in Iloilo (as epitomized by the phenomenal Mang Inasal) is that of being really sweet unlike the Bacolod-style which has a merry mix of sweet and sour. There had to be the calamansi (Philippine lemon) or maybe coconut vinegar and the sprite or 7-up.
For a little history, let me quote Avril Gamboa who wrote about her Bacolod inasal memories way back in 2003.
The history. The concept of Bacolod chicken inasal first started with small food kiosks at the old Post Office building where the Po’s Marketing stands at present. It is situated at Araneta Street, right at the heart of Bacolod’s downtown. The inasal was made of native chicken or what we call as bisaya. The traditional way of having the chicken inasal is eating it as a sumsuman or appetizer, to go along with a couple of beers. (I don’t know exactly if inasal is a Spanish term or simply a Negrense term for barbeque.)Later, support from politicians came in to further the growth of the Bacolod chicken inasal as a profitable business venture in town. In 1972, the inasal kiosks were transferred to Cuadra St., beside the Bacolod State Cinema. At around this time, the inasal vendors shifted to “45 days” chicken or the white leghorn variety. Because of Mayor Dizon and Mr. John Orola ‘s help, the chicken inasal as a food industry flourished. It was during this time that the Manokan Country was established. One of the pioneering inasal kiosks was Sabel Chicken BBQ. The grandchildren who took over the business changed the name to NENA’s.
During the 1990’s, because of the bogging down of the sugar industry, Bacolod was in crisis. Such collapse caused a fluctuation in both big and small businesses in the province. The Manokan industry was not spared. Aside from the collapse of the sugar industry, the coming in of fastfood chains like McDonald’s, Jollibee, Snackee and others posed a threat to the Manokan country. Still, the Manokan country was able to sustain itself, having established itself as a Bacolodnon food tradition.
I always look forward to going home to Bacolod, not only because that is where my heart is but also because of Bacolod’s chicken inasal, a symbol of my Negrense culture.
Here’s the complete recipe as relayed to me by my brother (a great home cook who doesn’t have time for it anymore). He learned the right ingredients from his manug-inasal friend working in one of the chicken inasal restos around. We had it for a couple of dinners and yes, it was the Bacolod version alright.You will need:
1 kilo “45 days” chicken (that’s the white leghorn or bantress variety) cut up into barbeque slices (the best of course is still the native chicken or what we call as bisaya)
dalisay nga langgaw (pure coconut vinegar)
kalamay (sugar. white)
sprite or 7-up (small bottle will do)
istiwitis oil (atchuete oil) * in a frying pan, put in cooking oil and fry in about a tablespoon of atchuete seeds till the color comes out
**Actually, the technique varies. Others rub the chicken with salt and pepper, place them in a bowl and add in the rest of the ingredients except the atchuete oil which will be used as basting sauce. My brother said (as told to him by his manug-barbeque friend) that a better way would be to thoroughly mix all the spices first in a bowl, tasting it to get the combination right before placing in the chicken slices to marinate.
As I’ve said in my other food entries, we Ilonggos normally don’t measure ingredients, say 1 tsp. or 1 tbsp. It is all by estimate. Try it that way; don’t be afraid to make tantya (to estimate) and your Ilonggo cooking will be authentic.
Long live inasal!