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  • Writer's pictureArmand

A Delicious way of Dealing with Post-workout Muscle Pain

Updated: Dec 13, 2023

Being a year shy of senior citizen status, one could not help feeling more of the aches and pains after a workout. My workout routine – twice a week in the late afternoon or early evening – consists of a fivekilometer run inside the University of the Philippines campus in Diliman Quezon City. A post-run stretching session, followed by a shower, usually alleviates the soreness I feel in my leg muscles. But that’s just one part.

I also feel quite hungry, famished actually, after my run. My body, it seems, would be craving for a substantial meal. Thing is, I usually take a light supper. Anything more leaves me feeling bloated, uncomfortably bloated. The trick I’ve discovered is to avoid red meat. Fish doesn’t do the trick, but chicken, to me, has become the perfect alternative.

The fried variety, however, especially from the popular food chains, has a cloying effect on me. The boiled variety, such as tinola, with its savory soup, is great. Except that it is terribly rice intensive, and I tend to overdo the fish sauce, or patis. Thus, I end up feeling bloated, not to mention slightly nauseated.

A month or so ago, I stumbled on the perfect dish. The chicken inasal of JT’s Manukan. I am partial to dark meat when it comes to chicken, and my favorite part is the leg/thigh part, which in their menu is the Paa. Some will say chicken inasal is chicken inasal regardless of where you get it. I strongly beg to disagree. I have tried the chicken inasal that the best that Bacolod City or Iloilo City has to offer. Tender, succulent, in other words, just right. And among the handful of chicken inasal food chains in Luzon, I would have to honestly say that I consider the one that JT’s Manukan has on offer as the most authentic, closest to if not exactly the same as the ones I’ve savored during my trips to Bacolod or Iloilo City.

The size of their chicken, the paa, for instance, is just right. Another food chain seems to have more hefty parts, but they look unusually large for a chicken. Seems unnatural, if you know what I mean. Anyway, aside from being the right size (looks exactly like chicken), it’s juicy yet sufficiently cooked – the trick is to look at the bone joints. The skin does not always look food advertisement perfect, but it’s still succulent with just the hint of a crunch.

I take the paa with garlic rice, which I drizzle with the chicken oil (a bottle with the sensible dispenser on top is on hand at every table). I then mix the chicken oil with the garlic rice by hand, then pick off bitesize chunks from (still by hand) the bone and set them to one side of my plate. Then on the dipping bowl, I make my soy sauce/calamansi/sili concoction. Ready for my meal, I set up the first handful (no utensils necessary, just gets in the way) with a sip from an ice-cold bottle of Pale Pilsen beer. The routine I follow is get a chunk of chicken, dunk it in the dipping bowl, dump it over the rice, then scoop a handful in my mouth. A few mouthfuls, rinse (with beer), repeat.

It certainly doesn’t look elegant or gentlemanly. Who cares. The soreness in my muscles? Gone.

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