Come Christmas, the Filipino table is laden with special dishes. Taking pride of place is rellenong manok â€“ an indulgent preparation of roast chicken stuffed with ground pork, chorizo, olive and more. You have to give this spectacular recipe a try at least once.
- 1 whole (1.5 kg) chicken, deboned, skin and meat intact
- 2 tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- ½ kg ground pork
- ⅓ cup sweet pickle relish, drained
- 1 cup grated queso de bola (Edam cheese)
- 5 eggs
- 1 tsp white sugar
- 250 g sweet ham, sliced into squares
- 140 g smoky chorizo, chopped
- 1 cup raisins
- 140 g bottle Kalamata olives, chopped
- 2 whole eggs, hard-boiled, peeled
- 1 small carrot, sliced into strips
- 12 cups (3 litres) chicken stock
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Reach inside the chicken cavity and scrape out the chicken meat, taking care not to tear the skin. In a bowl, rub chicken skin with half the salt and half the pepper. Set aside.
Chop the deboned chicken meat. In a large bowl, combine the chicken meat with ground pork, pickle relish, and queso de bola. Stir in the eggs and sugar, and season with the remaining salt and pepper. Mix well.
Add the ham, chorizo and its fat, raisins and olives. Mix untill combined. Taste test by frying a small amount of the meat mixture. Adjust seasoning if desired.
Spoon half of the meat mixture into the cavity. Insert the hard-boiled eggs and carrot strips into the center. Fill chicken with remaining meat mixture.
Sew the opening of the chicken securely. Place the stuffed chicken on a long piece of foil, breast-side up. Tucking under the legs, and the skin of the neck and wings to make an oval shape. You may add one or two more layers of aluminum foil.
Arrange the chicken in a large pot. Pour in the stock and simmer for 1 hour or until cooked through. Remove from heat and set aside to cool completely. At this stage, you may chill it and slice it thinly, and serve it with salad or cold cuts.
Alternatively, preheat oven to 190°C. Place the stuffed chicken in a roasting pan, and brush with oil. Cover chicken loosely with foil and roast for 45 minutes. Remove foil and roast for a further 20–25 minutes or until golden brown.