Hainanese Chicken Rice
“You’re from Singapore? Do you know how to cook Hainanese Chicken rice?” is the question that I’m asked by avid fans of this dish. Hainanese chicken rice is a Singaporean favourite… In fact it is one of the few local delights that is served on Singapore Airlines (not that I’ve tried theirs yet though)! The last time we had chicken rice was with SM and J in Melbourne. Not having chicken rice readily accessible in Canberra, I try to cook this dish occasionally to remind us of the flavours that we love so much.
Honey was initially against the idea of me keeping chickens as she was worried that I’ll cook them into delectable dishes. If we ever get chickens, she said that she will name them to increase my attachment to them! I’m happy to report that this chicken is free-range and not a pet.
Even though Hainanese chicken rice is relatively easy to to create, perfection is the difficult part. But for the home cook, the sky’s the limit. The poached chicken should be tender and juicy, the rice so fragrant that salivary glands start working and your stomach start rumbling….I put some lettuce underneath the chicken to let the excess sauce fall on to it.
Fluffy rice that is packed with chicken flavour. There’s chicken fat in the rice, but heh, everything in moderation. Next comes the condiments that further completes this dish… the chilli-vinegar sauce and ginger dipping sauce. The family was very happy with this meal.
honeyandsoy’s Hainanese Chicken Rice
1 Large free-range whole chicken (2 kg)
2 1/2 cm Ginger, bruised
2 cloves Garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons Sesame oil
1 teaspoon Light soy sauce
Fragrant Chicken Rice
600g Long grain rice (about 4 cups)
3 cloves Garlic, sliced
2 cm Ginger, sliced
1 tablespoon Vegetable oil
6 cups Chicken stock
small piece of chicken fat (1-2 tsp)(optional)
2 teaspoon Salt
2 teaspoon Sesame oil
6 Fresh red chillies, de-seeded
1 clove Garlic
2 cm Ginger
1 teaspoon Salt
2 teaspoons Sugar
1 teaspoon Vinegar or lime juice
2 teaspoons Chicken stock
Ginger dipping sauce
2cm knob ginger
some spring onions
3 teaspoons water
1 teaspoon white vinegar
- Boil the water in a large pot big enough to hold the chicken.
- Clean the chicken.
- Add in ginger and garlic to the chicken in the pot.
- Carefully, put in the chicken into the boiling water.
- To prevent the chicken from over cooking, do not cover the pot!
- Let it immerse for 2-3 minutes.
- Bring the water to the boil and simmer for 30 mins
- Test for doneness by piercing the flesh with a toothpick. The juices should run clear.
- When the chicken is cooked, take it out and plunge it into ice cold water
- This process prevents overcooking and firms up the meat and creates a gelatinous layer between the skin and the flesh
- Brush it with a mixture of sesame oil and soy sauce.
- Reserve enough stock for rice and chilli sauce.
- Season lightly with salt, pepper and spring onion.
- Keep warm.
- Wash and drain rice well. Heat vegetable oil in a pot or rice cooker and fry garlic and ginger until golden brown.
- Add drained rice and fry for 2-3 minutes.
- Add 6 cups of stock, sesame oil, chicken fat and salt.
- Cook until all liquid is absorbed.
- Cover the pot tightly and reduce heat until the rice is cooked and fluffy.
Preparing Chilli sauce / Ginger sauce
- Mix all ingredients in an electric blender and grind finely.
- Add into the boiling chicken stock.
- Put into a sauce bowl.
- Put some rice on a serving plate,
- Cut chicken into bite sized pieces and arrange them on a separate plate lined with your favourite vegetable (e.g. lettuce, cucumber).
- Pour some light soy sauce, chinese rice wine and sesame oil.
- Best eaten with hot soup, chilli sauce and ginger sauce.