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Best Chicken Inasal

This is seriously the easiest and tastiest chicken inasal recipe! Chicken Inasal is the Philippines’ famous barbecue or grilled chicken. The marinade made from vinegar, lemon and sprite permeates the entire chicken making it both tender and tasty. The basting sauce not only adds vibrant color to the meat but also a lot of flavors that you'll want to eat all of the chicken skin that gets so crisp and delicious! This can be roasted in the oven or grilled.

Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Asian, Filipino, Southeast Asian
Keyword bacolod chicken inasal, chicken inasal, filipino chicken barbecue, filipino grilled chicken, inasal marinade, roast chicken inasal
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings 6
Author Manila Spoon


  • 4-5 pieces chicken legs (thighs and drumsticks intact) or 1 spatchcock chicken


  • 1 cup rice or white vinegar
  • 1 (20 oz) bottle  lemon lime soda like Sprite
  • 2-inch piece ginger, peeled, sliced and slightly crushed
  • 1 whole garlic, cloves peeled and crushed
  • 1 large lemon, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons salt, (this measurement is correct!) 
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper, freshly ground

Basting Sauce

  • 1/4 cup oil of choice
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons achuete (achiote) or annatto powder
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced

Dipping Sauce

  • 1 dipping sauce, equal amounts of spiced vinegar and soy sauce


  1. Mix all the marinade ingredients in a bowl. Take the chicken pieces and pierce a few times on the meaty side. This will allow the chicken to absorb more flavor from the marinade. Place the chicken meat side down in a non-reactive baking dish (like a 9x13 pyrex). Pour in the marinade all over the chicken. Marinate for up to 3 hours.

  2. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Make the basting sauce or ready it while the chicken is roasting. Remove the meat from the marinade and place in a roasting tin. Roast the chicken for 45 minutes, basting it every 5 minutes for the last 10-15 minutes or so. Chicken is done when a meat thermometer inserted at the thickest part of the chicken registers 165F. Allow the chicken to rest for 10 minutes.

  3. Alternatively, you can also grill the chicken, threading each piece in a wooden skewer, and use the sauce to baste. If grilling the chicken, make about two to three 1-inch slashes on the chicken legs just before grilling so the chicken cooks faster and more evenly.

  4. Traditionally, this chicken is eaten with a dipping or drizzling sauce on the side. Simply combine equal amounts of spiced vinegar (available at Asian stores - get Filipino brand, if possible or simply add 1-2 sliced Thai red chilies) and soy sauce in a small bowl. Drizzle a little of the sauce as you eat the chicken. Enjoy with rice.

Recipe Notes

This chicken is traditionally grilled in the Philippines but since I made this a few times during wintertime, this version is for the oven. But come summer, certainly grill the chicken!