Rellenong Manok is impressive as it is delicious! This stuffed chicken with ground pork filling is baked to golden perfection for the perfect dinner entree your guests will be raving about!
After wrestling and barely winning the fight with a roughly 5-pound bird the whole day, I now understand why something as simple as chicken can be the highlight of something as special as Noche Buena.
With the deboning, the stuffing, the sewing, and the roasting involved, rellenong manok is definitely not one I’ll willingly tackle for my family’s everyday dinner. I love them, they are precious to me, but no thank you. It’s the line my affection stops.
Of course, I exaggerate. Making this Filipino-style stuffed chicken is labor-intensive but not as complicated as it appears. Really, the hardest part is the deboning and once you have that down to pat, everything else is a walk in the park.
How to debone a whole chicken?
There are two ways of deboning poultry. Choose which method works best for you!
After deboning, the chicken gets marinated in a mixture of soy sauce and calamansi juice to infuse flavor. Time to work on the stuffing!
I use my favorite pork embutido mix and added shredded cheese cheddar for extra flavor and bread crumbs to help the stuffing hold shape. Feel free to use your favorite ground meat filling or use this recipe as a base for other mix-ins such as chorizo, Chinese sausage, ham, pine nuts, olives, sweet pickle relish, and bell peppers.
How to prep ahead?
As this is tedious and time-consuming dish, you might want to prep ahead of the event.
You can debone the chicken and make the filling a day in advance, but for food safety, stuff the chicken just before cooking to decrease the risk of bacteria growth. Do not marinate the chicken in the calamansi-soy sauce mixture for too long as the acids might denature the meat and result in a mushy texture.