Filipinos love barbecue and are lucky enough that the weather allows them to barbecue all year round. The two most popular have very generic names: barbecue chicken and barbecue pork. Everywhere, they are seasoned similarly unless otherwise stated.
The Aristocrat Restaurant's barbecue chicken is legendary. They are simply served on skewers with a mound of Java rice and a side of green papaya pickles. I always looked forward to eating at this restaurant and remember fondly how pleasant the atmosphere was, how attentive the waiters were and how consistently good the food was.
We never bothered to read the menu because the barbecue chicken was never to be missed. It was as good as barbecue chicken can get; it was simple, well seasoned and very tasty. Filipino food is that way; we don't use a lot of herbs and spices. The seasonings are there to enhance the natural taste of the food.
This is my take on Aristocrat's barbecue chicken. It is a simple marinade but it just makes the chicken very tasty and moist. The 7-up in the marinade tenderizes the chicken and makes it juicy when cooked; leaving the seasoned chicken in the fridge overnight is best. The seasoning is a bit shy of salt because I do not want the meat to dry out. I also skip sugar in the marinade as this will cause the chicken to burn. The sweetness comes from the glaze, applied after it is done. Slow cooking is ideal to make sure that the chicken is fully done, moist and tender. I used metal skewers to help conduct the heat to the center of the chicken. A simple salad goes with the chicken and of course the famous Java rice.
1.5 kg. chicken portions
1-330 ml. tin 7-up
1/4 c. light soy sauce
2 tbsps. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. Tabasco
1 tbsp. crushed garlic
1 tbsp. paprika
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
Put the ingredients, except for the chicken, in a bowl and mix together. Add in the chicken, mix well and refrigerate for a couple of hours or overnight.
Bring the chicken back to room temperature. Spear on metal or bamboo skewers, leaving gaps between each piece for the heat to circulate in.
Grill on the barbecue, on low heat for about 15 minutes on each side. When one side is done, brush with the glaze. Cook the other side, then baste with the glaze again. Turn over briefly to set the glaze with the heat.
Ingredients for the glaze:
2 tbsps. light soy sauce
2 tbsps. honey
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
Mix together and use to glaze the chicken.
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