Lechon Manok

Roasted Whole Chicken

There was a time in Manila when almost every street corner had a Lechon Manok stand.

It was a fad back then, though now, the real good ones prevailed and are still around...

Lechon Manok is roasted whole chicken, perfectly seasoned, fork-tender and wrapped and served on banana leaves.

It is roasted on an open indoor charcoal pit, and continuously basted - you could smell it a block away!

My take on this roasted chicken is different, because I don't have a pit to roast the chicken on -- but the taste is just as good.

I brine the chicken overnight in water-salt-sugar solution - and oven-roast for an hour to an hour and a half (depending on the weight of the chicken), basting from time to time with lemon-soy sauce-garlic mixture...

Brine solutions make the meat moist, tender and juicy.

It is also inexpensive -- no wonder it is a popular method of preparing turkey, pork chops and other cuts of meat that are to be roasted or oven-baked for quite a long period of time.

Tying a roaster chicken is not that hard, just remember that the wings and legs cannot be sticking out because they will burn before everything else gets cooked.

If you are not a fan of tying or trussing a chicken, tuck the wings backwards so they are not sticking out.

Make small holes on the skin across the drumstick and tuck each leg - and you're good to go.


  • Roaster Chicken
  • Food-safe twine for tying


  • Rock or Kosher Salt
  • Sugar
  • Garlic powder
  • Soy Sauce
  • Lemon Juice



  • 1 5-6 pound Roaster Chicken
  • 1/2 cup Rock or Kosher Salt
  • 1 gallon Water
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder (optional)
  • 1/3 cup Soy Sauce
  • 1/4 cup Lemon Juice

1   Heat up 3 cups of water (from the gallon measure) and dissolve the salt and sugar, then mix to the rest of the water. Set aside to cool down.

 Wash the chicken thoroughly and set on a deep container. Add the brine solution, making sure the chicken is fully submerged. Keep in the refrigerator for 8 hours or overnight.

 Rinse the chicken well and discard the brine. Truss the chicken with a twine, making sure the wings and legs are tied close to the body.

 Mix the soy sauce, lemon and garlic powder and baste the chicken.

5  Set the chicken on a roasting pan, and roast for one hour at 350 degrees Fahrenheit while covered with aluminum foil.

 After an hour and a half, baste the chicken with the lemon/soy sauce. Increase oven temperature to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and roast for another 30 minutes, uncovered, to make the skin crisp.

 Check for doneness by using a meat thermometer inserted on the chicken breast. It should read 165 degrees Fahrenheit or above.

 Serve hot with the chicken au jus(liquid left on the roasting pan) on the side.


  • Roasting time for chicken is 20 minutes per pound, so set your timer accordingly depending on the weight of your roaster chicken.
  • Though the total roasting time is dependent on the weight of your chicken, make sure the temperature is increased the last 20-30 minutes of the allotted time to crisp up the skin.
  • I never use iodized salt for brining, it is more concentrated than kosher or table salt. The chicken will be very salty if you follow the same measure.
  • Always practice food safety procedure when handling raw chicken. Wash with warm soapy water all surfaces that came in contact with chicken.

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