One of the must-have dishes for Noche Buena, the feast served at Christmas midnight in the Philippines is Chicken Relleno, a whole boneless chicken stuffed with ground pork and seasonings and baked until golden brown. The dish is usually cooked-to-order from stores or the household cooks prepare them. Whether it's homemade or store-bought the Chicken Relleno is always at the center of the Filipino Christmas dinner table celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.
adapted from FLAVORS OF THE PHILIPPINES
by Glenda Rosales-Barretto
2½ pounds whole chicken
2 teaspoons sea salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon soft butter for brushing
4 pieces Vienna sausage, chopped
2 pieces Spanish chorizo, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 pound ground pork
¼ cup roasted red bell pepper, diced
¼ cup sliced stuffed olives
3 tablespoons raisins
3 tablespoons grated Edam cheese
2 teaspoons sea salt, or to taste
1 egg, lightly beaten
4 hard boiled eggs
- Debone the chicken then season inside and out with salt and pepper.
- In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients except hard boiled eggs. Fry a teaspoon of the filling and adjust seasoning if needed. Stuff the chicken with the mixture and arrange the hard boiled eggs by pushing the meat filling along the sides of the cavity. Sew the opening securely with kitchen thread.
- Brush the chicken all over with the soft butter. Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 1½ hours or until the skin is golden brown.