Rellenong manok (stuffed deboned whole chicken) |

Rellenong manok (stuffed deboned whole chicken)

If you want a delicious and great-looking main dish for noche buena, chicken relleno is a fantastic choice. Tasty, impressive and inexpensive. Yes, inexpensive — if you cook it at home. Just see the ingredients and you’ll understand what I mean. I didn’t think I could pull this off but deboning a whole chicken was surprisingly easier than I thought. I did it in 15 minutes flat and I didn’t nick my hands and fingers with the knife that I used. :razz: I wasn’t about to let the 2-kg chicken go to waste. It took forever to find a bird that big (most weigh just a little over a kilo) so when I chanced upon 2-kg free range chickens at Unimart in Greenhills two days ago, I decided there and then that I would make chicken relleno. Last night, I did.

The more traditional way of cooking stuffed deboned whole chicken is to leave only the bones in the wings. The thighs and drumsticks are deboned and stuffed as well. But that’s too much for me. I deboned the carcass, and as far as the thigh, but stopped there. BUT unlike most cooks who cut through the chicken breast to make deboning easier (they sew up the chicken during the stuffing part), I did no such thing.

I deboned the chicken the same way I saw Geny Sison do it on TV months and months ago — by using a small knife and cutting between the meat and the bones little by little and using the fingers to push the meat off the bones. I was so worried that the chicken skin would tear by the time I was halfway through the deboning but all’s well that ends well. Imagine taking off a buttonless shirt by pulling it up over the shoulders and then out through the hands and head. That was how I did it. No cutting through the skin and no sewing up afterwards. Very little meat remained stuck to the bones by the time I was through but I kept the bones anyway because I can still make a pot of broth with them.

I wish I could present you with a video of the deboning process but no one was free to shoot. I couldn’t mount the video cam on the tripod and leave it there the whole time because we have cats who just love to play tag between the feet of the tripod. So, there.

The stuffing is a variation of the chicken embutido.

Ingredients :

a large whole chicken, at least 2 kg. in weight, deboned
1/2 kilo of ground chicken meat (you can substitute pork)
1 onion, finely chopped
1/2 c. of finely sliced onion leaves
1 chorizo de bilbao, finely chopped
2-3 tbsps. of sweet pickle relish
3 hard-boiled eggs, shelled
1 egg, beaten
3 slices of day-old bread, cut into small pieces and soaked in 2 tbsps. of milk

Cooking procedure :

Season the deboned chicken inside and out with salt and pepper. Let sit in the fridge for a few hours.

To make the stuffing, just mix together the onion, onion leaves, sweet pickle relish, ground chicken or pork, chopped chorizo de bilbao, beaten egg and bread. Season with about a teaspoonful of salt and half a teaspoonful of ground pepper.

Take the chicken from the fridge. Lay it flat on a large plate, breast side up. Fold the neck skin and tuck it underneath. Spoon the stuffing into the cavity. When half the stuffing is in, take the hard-boiled eggs and arrange them in a row along the middle of the cavity. Spoon the remaining stuffing in. Pull the skin on the tail end so that very little of the stuffing is exposed.

Carefully slide the stuffed chicken onto the roasting rack. Roast in a preheated 170oC oven for 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Remove from the oven and cool for at least 15 minutes before slicing.


  1. says

    very nice pic i guess chicken galantina is the same recipe. I made it last october during our wedding anniversary. I did cut the skin and then saw it up. i marinated the deboned chicken in a brine also i added liver pate in the mixture of the stuffing it tasted so good my neighbor who ate with us thought so too.
    just a bit too much work but still a very good dish for special occassions

  2. says

    15 mins?! That’s really fast Connie! Too bad you weren’t able video record yourself. I’m really bad when it comes to deboning chicken, or anything with bones. I feel that if i attempt this, i’ll end up sewing the chicken in so many parts i’ll have to name it chicken frankenstein! :)

  3. misao says

    i wish i could see the deboning process… i don’t know how to debone a chicken… we just ask our chicken guy (from the market) to debone for us.

    i usually add dried cranberries in my rellenong manok

  4. says

    I have several customers lately getting from us the big sized free range chickens (almost 2.5-3kilos liveweight) and saying they will roast, relleno, gallantina etc.

    After reading this, I have to learn to debone.

  5. says

    Peterb, LOL, frankenstein hehehe.

    Misao, I’m thinking of making another for the New Year. Since everyone will be on a break, I’ll nag someone (hubby or daughters) to take a video hehehe

    solraya, I just saw your site. Do you sell the chickens on a retail basis? I loved, loved, loved the texture of the meat and the fact that there was very little fat on the skin.

  6. beng says

    ang ganda ganda naman ng manok mo.
    i agree with you on your preference for chicken over other meat. kaya lang kasi ako pg manok e either fried lang o roast lang ang lutong gusto ko sa kanila, plus adobo pala. ayaw ko kasi ng sinabawan sa manok e even yung ma sauce. pero nakakaengganyo yung relyrnong manok mo. kaya lang d ako marunong mg debone. meron kayang nabibiling deboned na? wish i could do this one. ang ganda ganda talaga nya e…

  7. says

    Connie, we do still have stocks of the big sized ones, as we were using them as demo for growers, and we timed them for the Christmas season too.

    We prefer if people bought it live from us, as we don’t really dress. Nothing beats fresh chickens :)

    Our live, ready to slaughter free range chickens can be bought at AANI FTI Weekend Market, AANI Quezon Circle on Sats and Suns, and Mon-Sat at our Fairview outlet.

    Yes the meat is firm but not tough…I appreciate the taste and the health benefits.

  8. says

    I made mention of this Rellenong Manok recipe in my blog, mentioned your name and linked it to this page.

    I just read that I need to specify a trackback. Not sure how it is done…but I will try to do one :)

  9. says

    Connie, I cut and paste that trackback, doubt if I got it working. Nevertheless, I made sure proper credits and links to you blog worked :)

    Free range chickens: If you won’t get taas kilay because our dressing is not perfect as everything is done manually…sure we can dress for you :)

    If you need a few, then I can serve you.

    I would have referred you to our growers but there is only one now who has the huge chickens in Luzon at this date. If you need a lot and want great perfectly dressed ones, you may try calling Jocelyn at (0929) 244-7746 she also has organic vegetables and rice.

  10. Janete says

    It looks so good. I want to try this but I am not so brave to debone a chicken with being busy with my baby and all. Hopefully I can find a chicken or even turkey that was already deboned.

  11. francis says

    Sure look delicious!!!!!!!!!!!! nakakatakam. . . . I will try it for Noche Buena, I just hope that the local Safeway or BelAir Supermarket have whole chicken that I will use for my “experiment” hahaha!!!

  12. liz says

    it’s been a long time curiosity of mine how one debones a chicken w/o tearing it apart and your blog motivated me to just do it–armed only w/ a small knife and a scissor, i was able to pull it off! I even got a photo of it for proof that your cooking instructions is doable and tasty. thanks a lot!!! more power to you :D

  13. says

    Hi Connie, if you care to get our dressed naturally grown chickens, we are now at Market at the Hills, Corinthian Hills, along Temple Drive every Saturday and Sunday.

    You dont have to worry about getting it live anymore :)

    Last week a customer was making it sound so easy to debone chicken, much like the way liz described it.

    I am dreaming of good adobo and will search for your mentioned “special chicken adobo dish”.

    Thank you for sharing your ideas.

  14. carlo says

    nice recipe.. i really want to know how to debone a whole chicken without cutting it.. can you make a video pls..

  15. kaye says

    hi connie! we dont have oven,can we use roaster insted?how much time does it need & whats the temp?i really wanna try this on xmas.tnx alot

  16. says

    Roaster as in a turbo broiler? Same temp. That rellenong manok was cooked in a convection oven which works the same way as a turbo broiler.

  17. Jun Castro says

    Very nice picture of your chicken relleno. Right now I am cooking a few in my oven in time for new year’s eve dinner for friends’ families. Anyways, I just want to share my variation on this recipe:
    1. I cook my relleno/ gallantina “bain-marie” style, or with water in a pan in the oven. It removes needless worrying about the chicken drying up. (It also makes my relleno, a hybrid I guess – like gallantina, it is partly steamed).
    2. I bought several packs of those 3 inch metal chicken skewers at Gourdo’s. Instead of using needle and thread to seal the chiken, i just use the skewers to close it in a sort of over and under motion. One for the neck and one for the tail end would usually be enough. Removing the skewers when the chicken is cooked is very easy.
    3. I have since given up on deboning chicken as my dressed chicken “suki” at Shaw Crossing does it for PhP10.00. I could do it in 15 minutes too, and i debone the wings and the thighs as well. However, if i have to debone several, the fun flies out the window after the first one. Also, the suki leaves out the soft bones and the wishing bone – the latter one a surprise, which make her technique worth the PhP10.00.
    4. And last, I give my stuffed chicken a bath of the lard in the bilbao. Makes it smell good :)
    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

  18. lorna aranilla says

    thank you so much guys for all the information. i wish we could see the video soon, hopefully before valentines day.

    can someone email me please once its on video, i dont know how to follow this up, im new to this computer tingy.

    happy new year to all!



  19. says

    hi ate connie, i made this on my husband birthday nung aug.9 lang..he really loved it ang sarap sarap daw, kahit na mukhang palaka na nakadapa lang yung manok ko haha. well kasi yung butcher na pinagbilihan namin ng chicken, hinati yung gitna ng chicken breast, ayun nag struggle tuloy ako na ilagay ang palaman and ofcourse no choice ako but to sew it but it turned out really really nice naman.
    thanks you very much po talaga and next time ako na mismo magtatry na magdebone ng chicken.

  20. Geri says

    I’m making one tonight and it’s in the oven. I hope it turns out well. Would you know what internal temperature should the stuffing be at? This is my first time making relleno ever. I’m nervous! By the way, I’ve tried some of your recipes and none ever failed me! Thanks for running this blog!

  21. Geri says

    The recipe turned out awesome. I used ground turkey and I added 2 cups of sauteed chopped mushrooms that I simmered with a couple table spoons of white wine. It was divine! A million thanks!

  22. says

    The above recipe may be very delicious; Rellenong manok (stuffed deboned whole chicken); but I don’t know how to de-bone the whole chicken and still not see the cut line on the chicken body!

  23. says

    I just find this dish pretty amazing – not just the taste, but the preparation and cooking process, and the textures, sights and I bet the smells too! This is definitely a Christmas noche buena dish on the table!

    • Connie says

      I was planning on doing a duck version but my recent bout with allergy (poultry, of all things!) has been preventing me from doing it. BUT the allergy’s over (as of yesterday) and, hopefully, there will be a duck relleno soon. :)