What are the ingredients for making fina’denne’? According to an article in Guampedia, “Prior to the introduction of soy sauce by Japanese, Chamorus made fina’denne’ by mixing tuba vinegar (fermented coconut sap), salt, lemon, water, and fresh pepper.” The balance between salty, sour and spicy varies as the sauce can be modified to suit one’s palate.
In this Guam-style grilled chicken recipe, fina’denne’ is made with soy sauce, calamansi juice, shallots, garlic, ginger and chilies. While nothing will ever compare to the lovely smokiness of chicken grilled over glowing charcoal, for convenience, the chicken here was grilled in the oven.
When grilling in the oven, remember to arrange the chicken on a rack set over a tray. Unless you want drippings all over the floor of your oven, don’t dispense with the tray. It makes cleanup a breeze.
The exact cooking time depends on the size of the pieces of chicken. At 425F, they should be done in 20 to 30 minutes. The skins should be blistered and crackly and the meat is cooked through. But, to be on the safe side, do test the meat for doneness by piercing the thighs at the center near the bone. If the juice that ooze out is clear (a.k.a. not bloody), the chicken is done.
Guam-style grilled chicken
- 1 kilogram chicken drumsticks and thighs
- ½ cup soy sauce
- ¼ cup calamansi juice - lemon or lime juice may be substituted
- 2 tablespoons chopped shallots
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- ½ tablespoon chopped ginger
- 2 to 3 bird’s eye chilies - roughly chopped
- Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Place in a shallow bowl.
- Make the fina’denne’ by stirring together the rest of the ingredients.
- Pour half of the fina’denne’ over the chicken. Reserve the remaining half in a jar with a screw-type cap.
- Mix the fina’denne’ and chicken. Cover the bowl. Refrigerate for at least six hours (overnight works better).
- Preheat the oven to 425F.
- Place the chicken on a rack positioned over a tray.
- Oven-grill for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Serve the Guam-style grilled chicken with the reserved fina’denne’ on the side for dipping.