Are you ready for some honest-to-goodness Bacolod flavor, New York?
A few Saturdays ago, we spent an evening playing the role of *extremely lucky* guinea pigs for our friends Brandon and Nina Vargas' chicken inasal taste test. Inasal is a style of grilling chicken that stems from the city of Bacolod. It lends chicken a very particular and delicious flavor: smoky, slightly sweet, and with a bit of a tang. I ate copious amounts of chicken inasal back in college, trekking regularly to a spot just across Ateneo in Katipunan for a constant fix. It's a dish I've missed sorely since then as there's a conspicuous lack of inasal spots here in New York.
Well, I'm happy to report that this will soon change. Bacolod native Brandon has perfected his inasal recipe and will be bringing Inasal NYC to New Yorkers at the Philippine Independence Day parade fair on June 2. We got a sneak peek of delicious things to come at their home, where we feasted on paa (chicken leg and thigh) paired with steaming garlic rice copiously drizzled with chicken oil. Yes, I said chicken oil—all the drippings from the grill ladled right back onto the garlic rice to dizzyingly yummy effect! They also gave us a taste of their a special Bacolod atchara, which blew our minds before we even got to the chicken. It's a simple yet highly addictive pickled mixture of string beans, chickpeas and onion. Paired with juicy chicken inasal, it had us breaking diets and eating well into midnight. There was also grilled liempo (pork belly), but what really got me excited were the grilled offal: baticolon (chicken gizzard) and isol (chicken butt), which I gobbled up in no time. Rumors are these offal goodies will be available on June 2, and I can't wait to chow down on more!
If you would like to get your inasal fix, come to the Philippine Independence Day parade on June 2. Inasal NYC's booth will be on Madison Avenue between 25th and 26th Streets. To keep tabs on Inasal NYC, like their Facebook page here.