Lechon Manok: How I poke the Chicken


LechonManok1549 Last Friday I was craving home made rotisserie Chicken. To be specific a rotisserie chicken stuffed with Lemongrass and basted in young coconut juice (buko) infused with lemongrass; like that found in the Philippines called Lechon Manok. You will find Lechon Manok being sold in the Philippines by street vendor who have made the custom mobile rotisserie carts. Each cart can cook a number of Chickens at a time in spits driven by chains and sprockets that look to be from bicycles.

On Friday night; because I’m much too lazy to chase a chicken around a yard like a crazed clown at a circus and because I like my chickens to be loaded with steroids, antibiotics, hormones and my favorite arsenic; I did like most normal people and went to the store and bought a nice 5 pounder. That’s not to say I didn’t spend allot of time massaging the chickens in the meat department; turning, tossing, massaging and squeezing (can you hear the sound track from the movie Ghost in the back ground) to find the most tender and fresh bird of the batch.

Well Saturday came and because Janet and I got busy I totally forgot about making the Lechon Manok and by the time Janet reminded me it was too late to git-er-done.

LechonManok1535

Lemongrass growing in our yard.

Sunday morning, as I sat in the sun sipping that first cup of hot coffee. I noticed in the far corner of our backyard the large bunch of lemongrass we are growing and immediately remembered the chicken I wanted to cook. So while sipping my coffee I retrieved our pruning shears and proceeded to collect a bunch of the lemongrass.

After putting the shears away and finishing my coffee, I tossed the lemongrass in the sink and went about locating my Farberware Open Hearth Rotisserie Broiler Grill.

LechonManok1541I separated the lemongrass, crunched and rolled a bunch of it in to an oval shape that would fit into the body cavity. I crunched and rolled a second bunch that I put in a bowl and poured the young coconut juice over and sloshed back and forth so the flavors would mix together.

Retrieving the chicken from the refrigerator in the garage I washed and cleaned it, I forced the somewhat large bunch of lemongrass in the body cavity and then proceeded to Truss the bird.

LechonManok1539Once neatly trussed I mounted the completed bird on to the spit and placed onto the pre-heated rotisserie. There I let the chicken turn and turn, basting it ever 15 minutes or so with the lemongrass infused coconut juice. 2.5 hours later our Lechon Manok was done.

LechonManok1545After letting the chicken rest for 30 minutes, I removed the spit and when I pulled the large bunch of lemongrass in the body cavity it emitted a burst of steam that plummeted me with that wonderful lemongrass scent.

The chicken was so tender it just about fell off the bones, even the breast meat was juicy and had that hint of lemongrass taste.

LechonManok1546

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9 Responses to Lechon Manok: How I poke the Chicken

  1. That looks fantastic! Yummmmmy!

  2. manavmalik says:

    Delicious! Will try it with lemongrass soon. Thanks for sharing!

    • usabaker says:

      Its much better with free range chicken cooked over charcoal. The simplicity of just the lemongrass and young coconut give the chicken a light fresh flavor. The other Lechon Manok I make uses lemongrass, dark brown sugar, soy sauce, garlic, green onion, calamansi, buko juice, sili labuyo (Filipino Chilli Pepper) and bay leaf; it has a much richer taste.

      • manavmalik says:

        Thanks for the update. I will try the simple one first and then will go for the improvised one. I will be doing the second one over the charcoal. Will share the pics with you!

  3. Micah says:

    beautiful! how cool you grow your own lemongrass.

  4. Oh, man! I’m drooling!

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