Chicken Relleno, or stuffed chicken, is exactly that. Relleno comes from the Spanish word "rellenar" which means "to stuff". Chicken Relleno calls for a chicken stuffed with ground pork, Chorizo de Bilbao, cheddar cheese, onions, sweet pickle relish, raisins, celery, garlic, green peas, carrots, eggs, and then baked. Chicken Relleno is often the center of many Filipino Christmas dinners and the recipe below will tell you just how to prepare it as a signature Filipino dish.
Serves 10 - 12
- 2 -3 lbs of whole chicken
- 1/2 tsp of salt
- 14 tsp of ground pepper
- 1 tsp of garlic, finely minced
- 1 tsp of calamansi or lemon juice
- 2 tbsp of soy sauce
- 1 lb lean ground pork
- 2 pcs Chorizo de Bilbao, diced
- 1/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese
- 2 pieces of onions, chopped
- 3 tbsp sweet pickle relish
- 3 tbsp raisins
- 1/2 cup of celery, chopped
- 1/2 tbsp garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup of green peas
- 1 pc carrot, peeled, cut into 4 sticks
- 2 pcs of hard boiled eggs
- 3 pcs of beaten eggs
- 3 slices of bread
- salt & pepper to taste
How to debone a chicken:
Wash and pat-dry chicken. WIth a very sharp knife, slit the skin along the back. Carefully separate the skin with the meat from around the backbone and the breastbone. Break off backbone from the wing joint. You have deboned the breast and back of the chicken.
Debone thigh and drumstick by pushing skin and meat away from the bone. Cut off bone about half an inch before the lower end of the drumstick.
Season deboned chicken with salt, pepper, garlic, calamansi juice, and soy sauce mixture. Set aside. Prepare stuffing.
Mix all stuffing ingredients except the carrot sticks and hard boiled eggs.
Place deboned, breast side down, on a cutting board. Carefully spread one-half of stuffing mixture evenly inside chicken cavity. Lay carrot sticks and hard boiled egg lengthwise on each half of the chicken. Spread remaining stuffing mixture over egg halves and carrots. Carefully close chicken and shape.
Sew up chicken with needle and thread. Place breast-side up in a baking pan. Carefully pat chicken back into shape. Cover pan loosely with aluminum foil and bake in moderate oven (350F) for approximately 45 minutes. Remove foil cover and continue baking another 45 minutes until done, or until juices run clear from breast area when pierced with a wooden skewer or sharp knife. Baste with melted butter occasionally while roasting.
Allow to cool before slicing and serving.
Recipe from Signature Dishes of the Philippines: Sony Robles Florendo