Savory Chicken, Roast Chicken

Savory Chicken, Roast Chicken
Savory Chicken of Classic Savory restaurant is a new (?) addition of chicken dishes to the fried and lechon chicken loving Pinoys. For several months now there is a chicken buzz going around about how great and not so great the Classic Savory chicken is. In the tradition of the famous savory chicken of the then original Savory Restaurant located at the old Escolta, Manila, Classic Savory Restaurant is opening branches all over Metro Manila Malls. They suppose to offer the same savory chicken with the famous dipping sauce in fastfood restaurant atmosphere. Intrigue by the mixed reactions from chicken loving Pinoys and the volume of people dining at their restaurants. I ordered a whole savory chicken take-out with the intention to taste-test myself and try to recreate or make my own version. Upon opening the box at home I get disappointed straight away. The chicken is just re-heated (by deep frying), probably originally roasted in open flames or electric roasters. The skins are lump and dilapidated see photo below. My taste-test reveals the chicken is not properly marinated (bland inner flesh) there is also a bad after taste of the oil used in re-frying the chicken. The dipping sauce was supposed to be great but way short with my expectations.

Savory Chicken, Roast Chicken - Half

I am offering my own version of savory chicken just in time for the holiday season. I could not accurately identify the ingredients used on the Classic Savory Chicken so I have created my own savory marinade for the chicken and a dipping sauce recipe. This is not close enough but it is far better here is the recipe, enjoy.

Savory Chicken, Roast Chicken - Chopped


1 1/2 kilo whole chicken
1 bundle tanglad, lemon grass, crushed
sesame oil

1 bundle tanglad, lemon grass, crushed, chopped
1 head garlic, crushed
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp. ground pepper
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1 tsp ngohiong powder, Chinese five-spice powder

Dipping sauce:
2-3 tbsp. cooking oil
1/2 cup flour
2 cups rich chicken broth
2 tbsp. unsweetened peanut butter
1/8 tsp ngohiong powder, Chinese five-spice powder
chili oil (optional)
salt and pepper

Cooking procedure:

Marinating and roasting the chicken: Mix all marinade ingredients and put in a blender. Blitz marinade mixture until lemongrass and garlic are finely chopped. Set aside for 20 to 30 minutes to let flavours and aroma to infuse. Using a sieve filter and discard solid particles of the marinade mixture. Place chicken with the marinade mixture in a plastic zip bag and marinate for overnight. Stuff chicken cavity with lemongrass, tuck in neck inside the cavity and roast in turbo broiler at 350 to 400°F for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, Prepare basting sauce by mixing 2 tbsp. sesame oil to the marinade, occasionally baste. Roast until golden brown. Serve with the prepared dipping sauce.

Dipping sauce: Make the roux by mix cooking oil and 1/4 cup flour. Stir cook mixture in a small sauce pan over low heat for 3 to 5 minutes or until the color changes to brown. Dillute the remaining flour with the chicken broth and pour in to the roux. Add in ngohiong powder, peanut butter and few drops on chilli oil if using, bring the mixture to a boil and stir cook for 3-5 minutes or until the mixture thickens, add more broth as necessary. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Classic Savory Chicken Take-out
Classic Savory Chicken Take-out


  1. this turned out super good. thanks for sharing the recipe!

  2. The 5-spice powder is spot on. You should try using sampaloc/tamarind extracts in the gravy too.

  3. Same feelings here. Classic Savory = bland chicken, too sweet sauce. Definitely not the original taste we all grew up to. Thats why now I just order from the original Savory instead (the group that manages the original branch in Escolta). Their branches are kind of hard to find but mas worth it kumpara mo naman sa lasa...

  4. Hi Margie O,
    Thanks for the reactions. Is the original restaurant in Escolta still serving the chicken or still open for business? It’s been almost a year when I was there.

  5. Hi. May I ask if the recipe really calls for 2 tbsp plus 1/2 tsp ground pepper for the marinade?


  6. Hi Aileen,
    It should be 1/2 tsp. I do not remember how the 2 tbsp. of ground pepper get in the list it must have been a typo error. Anyway I rectified it already, thanks for highlighting.

  7. Sir can i deep fry this instead of roasting? Thanks

  8. I am sorry, i could not help you I have not tried it yet.


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