Faux Chicken Oil, Try this Hack at Home

fake chicken oil bottle

Aside from mouthwatering chicken inasal and talaba, there’s one other thing that excites me whenever I’m at Manokan Country. Can you guess what that is?

It’s yellow but sometimes it’s orange. It sits on every table, right next to the sinamak and soy sauce. It makes your rice glow and brings a touch of extra flavor. Without it, your chicken inasal meal is incomplete.

Now, do you know what it is?

Of course, it’s none other than CHICKEN OIL, the glorious yet sinful golden liquid you can drizzle on your rice to your heart’s content. No one will stop you unless you have a cardiologist at the table. And with a pinch of salt or a few drops of soy sauce, your rice becomes extraordinary. Yummy!

rice chicken oil spoon fork banana leaf

Authentic Chicken Oil

However, I’ve always wondered how it’s made? Is it really chicken oil — as in rendered chicken fat — or just plain cooking oil? I asked a friend whose family used to sell chicken inasal, and he willingly told me the process.

He said it’s pretty simple. It’s chicken skin (lot’s of chicken skin) heated over very low heat to slowly extract the fat out. Garlic is added to infuse flavor. Once the chicken is almost turned into “chicharon” and most of the fat has been converted into oil, atsuete seeds are added to give the oil color. He also gave me tips:

  • Don’t let the atsuete seeds burn (turn black)
  • Sprinkle oil with salt for flavor (optional)

Authentic chicken oil sounds easy enough. But it lead me to a different question: What if regular oil is used, would we know the difference?

How does chicken oil taste like?

So, I asked a handful of my friends, all Bacolodnons who, like me, enjoy pouring chicken oil on their rice when eating inasal: “May sabor gid man ang mantika?” (Does the oil really have a distinct taste?)

I got answers like:

“Daw mantika eh nga daw may sabor manok.” (Like oil with a hint of chicken flavor.)

“Wala man gid. Pro basta daw ka namit.” (Not really but it’s delicious.)

“Daw sabor sang istiwitis.” (The flavor of atsuete).

I didn’t get definite answers from my friends but my separate conversations with them ended on a humorous note. Apparently, asking fellow Bacolodnons how chicken oil tastes like is a bit absurd. It’s tradition. Why question that?

From there, I had an idea. If chicken oil doesn’t really have a distinct taste, maybe — just maybe — I can recreate it without the skin. So, I gave my faux chicken oil idea a go our kitchen.

Here’s my faux chicken oil recipe:

  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 5 big garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp atsuete seeds
  • 1/2 chicken cube
  • salt to taste
  1. Over a very low flame, heat vegetable oil and garlic together
  2. Add chicken cube and mix it with the oil and garlic
  3. Let the oil simmer until the garlic turns brown and crispy (This will take a long time, so be patient)
  4. Once the garlic is crisp, add the atsuete seeds
  5. Swirl the oil gently to release the atsuete’s color
  6. Once the oil is as orange as you like it to be, remove the seeds
  7. Add salt and mix well
  8. Let cool and transfer to a bottle

Honestly, my faux chicken oil turned out great. It looks like the typical chicken oil from “legit” inasalans and it gives “oomph” to cooked rice just as well. So now, I can rest assured. Just in case the world runs out of chicken skin, I have this recipe to go to.

Article Name
Faux Chicken Oil, Try this Hack at Home
Do you love drizzling chicken oil on your rice whenever you're eating chicken inasal? Here's a recipe that mimics Manokan Country's chicken oil.
10 replies
  1. mariemar
    mariemar says:

    i would definitely gonna try this. if i cant find annato seeds, ill probably choose the powder. thanks for sharing your little secret!


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