The dishes served for Noche Buena differ from family to family, but there are a few that are almost always on the table, and these beloved classics are indeed classics for a good reason. These include lechon, embotido, pancit, morcon, kaldereta, buko and fruit salad, and--if you’re lucky enough to have a relative who knows how to debone a whole chicken--rellenong manok like this one from La Cocina De Tita Moning. Serve it up with a simple, yet utterly unctuous side of creamed spinach or kangkong. Happy Holidays!

Chicken Relleno

Takes 30 to 45 minutes
Cooks about 2 hours
Makes eight to 10 servings

1 whole chicken (about 1.5 kilos), de-boned
3/4 kg. ground pork
1 210-g. can of chorizo Bilbao, chopped finely
250 g. ham, chopped finely
1/2 c. raisins, boiled in water to soften
2 eggs
Rock salt, pepper, and vetsin
1/2 c. butter, cubed

1 In a bowl, combine the ground pork, chorizo, ham, raisins, and eggs. Season with salt, pepper, and vetsin.
2 Stuff the meat mixture and the butter into the de-boned chicken. Sew it up.
3 Wrap in foil then put on a roasting pan. Roast at 350oF until it begins to bubble, after about 1 hour and 45 minutes. Open the foil and baste the surface with butter. Roast until golden brown.
4 Drain the sauce from the roasting pan and transfer to a pan. Add some butter and soy sauce and cook over medium heat until thickened.

(Recipe by La Cocina De Tita Moning. Photography by Ocs Alvarez. Styling by Cay R. Araneta)

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