Lechon Manok

Lechon Manok marinated in choice seasonings and cooked in a turbo broiler to golden perfection! This Filipino-style roasted chicken is tender, juicy, and delicious to the bone!

I’ve been cooking up a frenzy this past couple of weeks, testing and trying out new recipes for our Christmas series, but if truth be told, we might not even cook at home for Noche Buena. Other than making buko salad, we’re planning just to buy ready to serve food and enjoy a laid back holiday.

My mom thinks I should take a break from kitchen work and suggested we order a small tray of baked macaroni and a dozen pork BBQ from a family friend who caters as well as pick up a couple of rotisserie chicken from Chooks. Which is a shame, in my opinion, because I happen to make a pretty badass baked mac and lechon manok are so easy to prepare, two wouldn’t take too much work at all.

I guess I have time before Christmas Eve to rethink the plan. I just might surprise mother dearest with a homecooked feast instead.

Marinade ingredients
Calamansi juice
Fish sauce-adds umami flavor
Soy sauce
Brown Sugar
Minced garlic-fresh is best but garlic powder will work in a pinch
Sliced shallots
Brown sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
Lemongrass-stuffed into the cavity to infuse flavor and aroma
The longer the soak is NOT better! Do not marinate the chicken for too long as the acids in the marinade might break down the meat and affect the texture.


Litsong Manok is a classic Filipino chicken dish traditionally spit-roasted over hot charcoal. While this method does impart unbeatable fragrance and taste, it’s not always feasible for the home cook.

A turbo broiler does a fine job mimicking the tender, juicy, and golden lechon you can find at popular chain restaurants. You can also use the rotisserie function of your convection oven or roast in a conventional oven. Set the chicken on a roasting rack and NOT in a baking dish to allow heat circulation and to keep the rendered fat from pooling around the meat.

Cooking tips
This Filipino-style rotisserie chicken can be served as an appetizer or as part of a meal. It’s commonly enjoyed with steamed rice or puso, which is a type of boiled rice wrapped in woven coconut leaf casings.

The flavorful morsels are accompanied by dipping sauces such as toyomansi (calamansi and soy sauce), spiced vinegar, or lechon sauce. Check out the homemade recipe below!

Homemade sauce
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 small onion, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/3 cup vinegar
1 1/2 cups water
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
4 to 5 roasted chicken livers, mashed (about 1 cup)
1/3 cup breadcrumbs
In a saucepan over medium heat, heat oil. Add onions and garlic and cook until softened.

Add vinegar and water and bring to a boil, uncovered, for about 2 to 3 minutes to cook off the strong vinegar taste. Add sugar, salt, and pepper and continue to cook, stirring until sugar is dissolved.

Add mashed liver and cook, stirring regularly until well-combined. Add breadcrumbs and cook, stirring well, until sauce is thickened as desired. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Give this lechon na manok recipe a try! It’s so easy to make at home and more budget-friendly, you might never buy from the restaurant again. More recipes using whole chicken? Below are my favorites!

Pinaupong Manok– steam-cooked in a bed of rock salad. So moist and flavorful!
Tiniim na Manok-slow-cooked in pineapple juice and other seasonings. With a sweet and savory gravy you’ll love with steamed rice
Fried Chicken a la Max’s Restaurant-brined, steamed and double-fried to golden and crispy perfection

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