Chicken Waray

Chicken Waray is a Filipino grilled chicken dish marinated in citrus, coconut milk, soy sauce, fish sauce alongside aromatics like lemongrass and shallots

As I was researching for heirloom and less popular Filipino recipes, I came across this dish posted by one of favourite and fellow food bloggers Betty Ann Besa-Quirino Asian in America magfrom Asian in America mag the Chicken Waray. It’s the first time I came across this dish and after reading her post I was convinced that I will make this as soon as possible, it sounded so delicious. To her words she described this dish as

I sliced my chicken and the lusciousness of it just took my breath away. The layers of flavours complimented each other. Beneath each tender piece, I sensed the strong presence of calamansi and limes blending with hints of coconut. The chicken pieces were char-roasted to a shiny dark sheen with a crisp, tantalizing skin. …

then followed by

…It was one of the best chicken dishes to ever come out of my oven.

I was sold to that idea so a couple of days ago I bought the ingredients which led me to our post today. Chicken Waray looks like Chicken Inasal due to the process in cooking but ingredients are quite different. What I am not sure if this dish is a traditional regional dish but what Betty noted is that she came across this dish in a fundraiser for the typhoon relief and recovery efforts in Leyte and Samar after typhoon Yolanda. It might be that it’s just created for the event but regardless when and where it was created, now that I made it at home it is one amazing chicken dish.

Original dish is chargrilled, but I was lazy to fire up the charcoal barbecue, so I prepared mine in the oven anyways. I followed the recipe from Asian in America mag with some adjustments to the ingredients available to me at that time. Now that I made them in the oven, I will try this one-time using charcoal.

Thanks, Betty, for the recipe! It was lip-smacking good.

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Chicken Waray 1

Chicken Waray

  • Author: Raymund
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 mins
  • Category: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Filipino


Chicken Waray is a Filipino grilled chicken dish marinated in citrus, coconut milk, soy sauce, fish sauce alongside aromatics like lemongrass and shallots




  • 4 pcs whole chicken leg and thigh portions


  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • juice from 2 lemons
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 stalk lemongrass
  • 2 pcs medium shallots
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsp oil


  1. In a food processor combine all marinade ingredients apart from the oil then process until it resembles a rough paste.
  2. Place chicken and marinating paste in a heavy-duty zip lock, mix well to evenly distribute sauce and let it marinate in the refrigerator overnight.
  3. Remove chicken from the refrigerator and let it sit in room temperature for an hour prior to cooking. Remove chicken from the bag, set aside leftover marinade in a bowl. Place chicken in a wire rack over a baking tray.
  4. Put your oven in grill setting, pre-heat to 180C then cook for 50-60 minutes or until chicken pieces are thoroughly cooked. During the cooking process turn the chicken to the other side and baste it with the marinade every 10 minutes.
  5. Remove from oven then serve.



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