I had no intention of making this sisig dish with chopped up inasal na manok at atay (grilled chicken and livers). We had just marinated and cooked up a batch of chicken inasal (using this old recipe I posted) then we skewered a kilo of chicken livers and marinated them in some soy sauce, garlic and kalamansi briefly. Just before we grilled the livers, we soaked them in the leftover chicken inasal marinade, on a lark. The resulting skewers of chicken livers (above) were a totally pleasant surprise. Just cooked and well-flavored, they looked particularly appealing because of the color they got from the achuete oil. They were tasty and incredibly appetizing. That was our lunch that day.
We had lots of chicken and at least 1/3 of a kilo of livers leftover. So we deboned the chicken, stored the livers and later that afternoon decided to try making a chicken nasal with liver sisig. The concept is not original at all. I had heard, but not tasted, Chef JP Anglo of the restaurant Sarsa had a sisig of chicken inasal, so I figured I’d fool around with the concept. Sarsa, by the way, is one of our current favorites for casual, well-executed Filipino food with ramped up flavor, so kudos to Chef JP!
I had no recipe and just winged it, and made some errors I wouldn’t repeat the next time around. But the resulting sisig was still devoured by all and sundry and with some adjustments, it would work wonders for you too!
Chopped up de-boned chicken inasal, chopped up grilled livers, minced garlic/onions/ginger/chilies, egg (don’t scramble in your version and don’t use too many), tomatoes (I was thinking moisture, but I wouldn’t add them in the next batch I make) and kalamansi juice…
Into a cast iron pan over what I thought was sufficient heat (it wasn’t), I added some vegetable oil (would have used lard if we had it)sautéed the ginger, onions and garlic, then chilies and tomatoes and after a couple of minutes, the chopped chicken. Seasoned with a touch of Kikkoman and a few drops of vinegar. This kind of steamed instead of sizzled as I would have wanted, but the stuff was in the pan, so I motored on.
So if you do this at home, remember to have a blistering hot pan and don’t cook too big of a batch at one time. Or if you have cast iron serving plates, heat those up nicely and transfer your cooked and seasoned sisig to those plates and crack an egg over the sizzling chicken.
About a minute before taking this off the heat, I added the chopped livers, which have a tendency to disintegrate, then stirred a bit more over insufficient heat (cast iron pan too big and thick, charcoal fire waning).
And in a final boo-boo, I added two scrambled eggs to the mixture that was a serious no-no. It sort of coated the meat and deadened the flavors. Much better if you kept the egg separate or didn’t add it at all. And nix the tomatoes I think.
It tasted really good, it just didn’t have that characteristic slightly singed and crispy edges that a classic sisig might possess. Also, it might be texturally more interesting if you actually added in some of the cartilage of the chicken, chopped up. I still love the idea, just need to work on my execution a bit more. I suppose many pinoy dishes are convertible into sisig, the method, by chopping them all up roughly and re-frying or sautéing over high heat. If you can’t be bothered making it yourself, then head to Sarsa and have their version which is getting raves from near and far. :)