Filipino food during the holidays is always made more special by glistening marinades, often sweetened by tropical fruits. One of our family favorites is Hamonado, a dish of chicken or pork that’s made special with pineapple juices and familiar Filipino seasonings.
Hamonado comes from the word ‘ham’ which describes how a dish is ‘cured’ with sweet sauces then cooked till it looks and almost tastes like the flavors of a ham. It is deliriously delish. Just like this whole roast chicken I made and will serve on the Christmas table.
If you need a really good holiday dish that’s easy and gorgeous, yet has all the fantastic flavors to make a grand entrance on the table, then this is the one to try. After the roast chicken came out of the oven, the skin was shiny and crisp. Once carved, the chicken was tender, sweet and succulent. The pineapple chunks were a treat to enjoy along with the dish. This is an extraordinary yet effortless entrée for the holidays or any family meal.
I made this delightful Chicken Hamonado when I was inspired by the original recipe from the spectacular cookbook “Celebrating 100 Years of Cooking with Nestle”, a treasured gift from a friend I used to work with when I lived in Manila, Sandra Puno, Communications and Marketing Services Director, Nestle (Philippines). The original recipe in the Nestle cookbook called for chicken cutlets and pan fried, then garnished with grated cheese. In the recipe I did, I made it more festive by using a whole chicken, roasted it in the oven and poured the pineapple juice at the end of cooking. What a fantastic and beautiful centerpiece it made at our family holiday dinner. This recipe I did serves 4 to 6. Serve it with fragrant jasmine white rice and you’re all set for Christmas!
- whole roasting chicken - 4 pounds
- pineapple chunks - 1 can ( 20 oz. net wt. or 1 lb. 4 oz. or 567 g.), liquid reserved
- pineapple juice - 1 cup
- Maggi seasoning - 1 teaspoon
- patis or Filipino fish sauce - 2 Tablespoons
- calamansi or lemon juice - 1 Tablespoon
- brown sugar - 3/4 cup
- garlic - 1 teaspoon, minced
- salt - 1 teaspoon
- white pepper powder - 1 teaspoon
- boiled jasmine white rice - for serving
- Pre-marinate the whole roasting chicken with Maggi seasoning, fish sauce or patis, 1 cup pineapple juice, calamansi or lemon juice, garlic, salt, white pepper. Rub the chicken all over with these ingredients. Cover in plastic wrap in a non reactive container. Refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight.
- When ready to cook, preheat oven to 375 F degrees. Grease and prepare a roasting pan measuring approximately 9 X 13 inches. Place the pre-marinated whole chicken. Cover the entire chicken and roasting pan with aluminum foil and roast in the oven. Cook for 35 minutes per pound of chicken (with bone).
- At the last thirty minutes of cooking, remove the foil cover from the chicken. Combine the reserved pineapple juice from the canned pineapple and brown sugar, then pour it over the chicken. Add the pineapple chunks over the rest of the chicken. Let this cook for 25 minutes till top of chicken has a nice glaze.
- When chicken is done, arrange on a serving platter. Garnish with more pineapple chunks or slices. Pour a little of the drippings on the roast to make it shiny. Serve hot with boiled jasmine white rice.