As Filipinos, whenever we think of eating Inasal Chicken (char-grilled chicken meat) that was originated in Bacolod, Philippines, the first thing that comes to our mind is the orange-red condiment oil that is associated with it. This is the anatto oil or “atsuete” oil. You just can’t get away with it because of its scent which is often described as “slightly peppery with a hint of nutmeg” and flavour as slightly nutty, sweet and peppery.
The condiment is typically prepared by grinding the seeds to a powder or paste. Similar effects can be obtained by extracting some of the colour and flavour principles from the seeds with hot water, oil, or lard, which are then added to the food.
Chicken Inasal is another variant of grilled chicken, marinated in a mixture of calamansi, pepper, coconut vinegar and annatto, grilled over hot coals while basting with the marinade. The oil extract that comes out of grilling the chicken is heavenly flavourful.
In this recipe, I used a different method of extracting the oil from the chicken which I think added additional flavour and aroma to it.
A word of caution: This condiment is fattening and highly addictive. Please consume in moderation. Suggested serving size is 1 – 2 tsp of the oil extract over your favourite rice, steamed or fried.
- Over medium heat, put chicken skin in skillet and wait until it renders its oil.
- Cover and wait until it becomes golden brown. Flip it over occasionally and cook evenly.
- When it’s ready, remove the fried chicken skin from the oil and set it aside.
- Pour in atsuete (annotto seeds) into the hot pan. Add more to intensify the colour.
- Stir continously and cook for about a minute or two.
- Remove from the heat and separate the seeds from the oil by using a strainer.
- And there’s your homemade Inasal Chicken Oil with bonus crispy chicken skin. Enjoy!