FILIPINO-STYLE BARBECUE CHICKEN

Filipino-style Barbecue Chicken marinated in soy sauce, citrus juice, brown sugar, and fresh garlic for sweet and savory flavors you’ll love. Perfect for Summer grilling parties!

I’ve shared a lot of my mother’s recipes with you and judging from your warm responses, you love them as much as I do. Her special dishes, such as shrimp with oyster sauce, liver and gizzard with sweet peas, and ginataang seafood, are a favorite in our family and are always a hit at our parties or holiday gatherings.

My mother indeed knows her way around the kitchen, but she didn’t often cook when we were growing up. She was a working mom who worked long hours and it was only on weekends that we got to savor her good food.

What she regularly did, though, was to prepare this Filipino chicken barbecue throughout the week. Every couple of days or so, she would marinate a few pounds of chicken legs and thighs to have ready in the fridge for the times my brothers and I came home from school famished.

With the chicken pieces already well-seasoned, we could make ourselves a hearty “snack” while she was at work.

My mom’s special chicken was such a part of my childhood even my friends remember it fondly to this day. They used to hang out at our house after school, and we would always fry the marinated chicken and enjoy a mini feast.

In fact, I was on the phone with my high school best friend the other day, and she asked if the recipe was on my blog as she wanted to make it for her family.

I called my mom for the secret to her famous chicken, and I was surprised to learn what she used as marinade was a simple mixture of soy sauce and brown sugar!

The interesting thing about memories, they’re not always as accurate we think. Maybe my tastes in food have evolved through the years, or maybe her chicken was hyped up in my head as it had a special significance in my heart because now that I made it myself, it wasn’t quite as good as I remember.

I love my mother dearly, and I am forever grateful for the TLC, but her Filipino barbecue chicken recipe needed a little reworking. 😂 To revamp her bbq, To revamp my mom’s recipe, I added calamansi juice and fresh garlic along with the soy sauce and brown sugar.

Helpful Tips

For best flavor, marinate for at least 2 hours but not more than overnight as the acids in the marinade will break down the proteins in the meat affecting its texture.
We pan-fried the barbecue chicken as we didn’t have an oven back then but you can grill or bake them instead.
If grilling or baking, reserve the marinade to use as the basting sauce. Do not skip boiling the marinade over medium heat for about 10 to 15 minutes until heated completely and reduced for food safety.
If pan-frying, cook on medium heat to give the chicken a good sear and when all sides are nicely charred, lower the heat and continue to cook until thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the chicken reads 165 F.

Serving Suggestions

Filipino-style barbecue chicken is a great addition to any grill fest! Serve with steamed or java rice and atchara for a tasty summer meal.

Instructions

Wash chicken and pat dry.
In a bowl, combine soy sauce, calamansi juice, brown sugar, garlic, salt, and pepper. Stir well until sugar and salt are dissolved.
Add chicken and massage with the marinade until fully coated. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or up to overnight. Drain chicken well, discarding marinade.
In a wide, thick-bottomed pan over medium heat, heat oil. Add chicken and cook for about 10 to 15 minutes on each side or until nicely browned on the outside and thermometer inserted in the center reads 165 F.
If Baking in the Oven
Drain chicken from the marinade, reserving marinade.
In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the marinade into a boil for about 10 to 15 minutes or until heated completely and reduced.
Arrange chicken in a single layer on a greased baking sheet and bake in a 400 F oven for about 20 minutes.
Using tongs, turn chicken on other side and baste with the reduced marinade. Continue to cook for about 15 to 20 minutes or until thermometer inserted in the thickest part reads 165 F.
If Grilling
Drain chicken from the marinade, reserving marinade.
In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the marinade into a boil for about 10 to 15 minutes or until heated completely and reduced.
Grill chicken, regularly basting with the reduced marinade, for about 10 to 15 minutes on each side or until thermometer inserted in the thickest part reads 165 F.

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