A stuffed chicken is popularly known as "rellenong or relyenong manok" in the Philippines. This famous chicken recipe is usually one of the Filipino dishes prepared during Christmas dinner called Noche Buena by the locals. Noche Buena is celebrated after the entire family has attended a late evening mass called Misa de Gallo in Spanish which means "midnight mass".

Rellenong manok is also served during the fiesta celebration in the Philippines. Fiesta is one of the cultural traditions that Filipinos have inherited from the Spaniards during the Spanish colonization. It's a celebration for a Patron Saint that every townspeople has a devotion to by offering variety of foods to friends and relatives.

Rellenong or relyenong manok is a chicken recipe stuffed or filled with different ingredients that is tasty, colorful and festive. Even if you live abroad, you can still taste this delicious and aromatic whole chicken dish that you love to eat by following the cooking instructions.It's really not that easy to remove the bones of the entire chicken but once you have done it, everything becomes easier since all you have to do is place the stuffing inside the whole chicken then sew it.

Relyenong manok takes some time to prepare but it's well worth your time and effort because of its unique taste. The estimated cooking time of this chicken recipe is about two up to two and a half (2 - 2 1/2) hours.



things you'll need:

  • New needle and thick thread
  • Aluminum foil
  • 1 large fryer
  • 1 small sauce pan
  • 1 small bowl
  • 1 large bowl
  • 1 whole chicken Ingredients for the Marinade
  • 3 tablespoons calamansi juice or lemon (preferably from fresh fruit)
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoon finely minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoon sugar Ingredients for the Stuffing
  • 1/2 kilo ground pork
  • 1/2 cup bacon, diced
  • 1 cup ham, diced
  • 1 piece sausage, sliced (preferably hot and spicy)
  • 1/4 cup sweet green peas
  • 1/4 cup red bell peppers, chopped
  • 1/4 cup carrots, minced
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup pickle relish
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated
  • 2 whole eggs, beaten
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and cut in half
  • 1/3 cup olive oil or butter
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste Ingredients for the Gravy
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced garlic
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Drained dripping from the pan separated from the grease
  • Salt and pepper to taste
    • 1

      Clean the whole chicken, leaving enough skin to sew it together later. Pat it dry with a clean towel. Remove the bones of the chicken by using a small sharp knife. Cut the chicken carefully close to the bone in order to separate the meat. You can start at the back part of the chicken and work your way up to the thigh and breast. 

      If small pieces of meat comes off, you can stuff it back in. Check it again to see if all the giblets were removed from the chicken cavity. Make sure that the chicken cavity is completely clean and empty.

    • 2

      Mix calamansi or lemon juice, soy sauce, finely minced garlic and sugar in a small bowl. Marinate the whole chicken by brushing it with these 4 mixed ingredients inside and outside. Marinate the chicken for three (3) hours. You need to do this in advance.

    • 3

      Mix the stuffing ingredients in a large bowl excluding the hard boiled eggs. Start putting the stuffing inside the legs and wings. Next, place a layer of stuffing inside the chicken and arrange the hard-boiled eggs down the center then add more stuffing on top of the eggs. Make sure to stuff the whole chicken in all parts with the combined stuffing ingredients.

    • 4

      Sew the chicken including the skin after placing the stuffing ingredients by using a big and new needle with a thick thread. Be careful of the needle and discard it as soon as you finish sewing the whole chicken.

    • 5

      Wrap the whole stuffed chicken using an aluminum foil in a shallow baking pan. Heat the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit and bake the stuffed chicken breast-up for an hour. Open the foil and rub the outer portion of the whole chicken with olive oil or butter. 

      The baking time of this rellenong manok recipe is about two (2) hours or up to two and a half (2 1/2) hours if the whole chicken is big. After an hour in the oven, turn the whole chicken over and wait until the chicken turns golden brown.

    • 6

      Prepare the gravy. Heat 1 tablespoon olive of olive oil then sauté one (1) tablespoon of finely minced garlic in a small sauce pan. Add the drained dripping from the pan separated from the grease, two (2) cups of chicken broth and two (2) tablespoons of flour. 

      Continue stirring until the flour dissolves. Season it with salt and pepper to taste. Cook until the sauce become a little bit thicker.

    • 7

      Remove the thick thread then slice it into half so that you can see the stuffing. Transfer the whole chicken filled with stuffing into a large serving platter. Serve the gravy on the side with hot rice.

Tips & Warnings

  • Many Filipinos choose to purchase a free-roaming chicken if they decide to cook the Rellenong manok because it's generally been fed naturally therefore the meat tastes more sweeter and juicier.

  • Relyenong manok is traditionally served during the holidays and special occasion. It's one of the popular chicken dishes in Filipino cuisine.

  • Since Filipinos have different local languages, locals from other cities or town use the word "relleno" while others "relyeno" but it means the same thing. "Relleno" or "relyeno" is a Spanish word which means filled or stuffed.

  • Some Filipinos cook the whole stuffed chicken by using a turbo cookware because it saves them from using too much oil when cooking.