A cousin of mine asked me 'What makes chicken, Iberian?'
Oo nga, what makes chicken - Iberian? I honestly had no idea!
It was YEARS ago, that I got introduced to this Iberian Chicken dish. I remember it as if it was yesterday, we had dinner in Casa Armas along Jupiter - I honestly forgot the occassion, but I remember having their Iberian Chicken. And since then, whenever we dined in Casa Armas, or any Spanish resto for that matter - I always look for and order, Iberian Chicken.
For the past month, I have been craving for this. I called various restaurants only to find out that there's a minimum order. And a minimum order meant it was good for at least 10! Wahahaha... So there, I google-d it. I found (would you believe) only a handful of recipes?
I followed THIS recipe but modified it a bit:
1 pc. whole chicken (1.5 kilo) deboned
2 tbsp. whole fresh peppercorn, ground
12 heads garlic, peeled and pounded
2 tbsps. rock salt
8 to 10 pcs. Calamansi
15 pcs. lemon grass
1 pc. chicken cube dissolved in 1 cup boiled water
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1.) Rub the chicken all over with the ROCK SALT and PEPPER.
2.) Rub with CALAMANSI JUICE, making sure to rub the inside cavity.
3.) Insert the LEMONGRASS into the cavity, together with some GARLIC.
4.) Pour the CHICKEN CUBE/HOT WATER mixture and OLIVE OIL on the chicken.
Marinate overnight in an oven-proof platter.
5.) Preheat oven to 350F. Before baking, put peeled POTATOES in the platter, as well as the rest of the GARLIC. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 2 hours until tender.
Since I used a deboned chicken, our suki was able to give us one that had the skin intact. I don't know how he did it, but imagine a whole chicken without the bones. I didn't need to sew anything shut anymore! I just placed the garlic (a ton of them) and insterted the lemongrass. I think it exploded while it was baking because this is what happened. I will use chicken with bones on my next try! Hehehe..
The taste was a bit salty - I think the 2Tbsp Rock Salt was a bit too much. I also think I put too much lemongrass - but hey it tasted great! I think to tone down the lemongrass taste a bit, I think I would follow the original recipe's just 6 pcs.
Also, I omitted the potatoes. To be honest, I forgot about them! Hahaha...