Hainanese chicken rice

Easy Food Recipes and Cooking - Hainanese chicken rice

Hainanese chicken rice

Serves 6
3 tbsp salt, more as needed
1 whole chicken, washed and cleaned, head and feet removed (optional)
1 head of garlic, cloves pounded
5-inch piece ginger, sliced and bruised
3 stalks spring onion, tied into individual knots
1 tbsp sesame oil, more as needed
coriander, for garnishing
cucumber, seeded and sliced, for garnishing (optional)

For the chilli sauce
3 bird’s eye red chilli, deseeded, more as desired
3 garlic cloves
1-inch young ginger
1 tbsp lime or calamansi juice
2 tbsp vinegar
1 tsp salt
½ tsp sugar
2 tbsp chicken broth (from the pot)

For the rice
2 tbsp chicken fat
5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 medium shallots, finely sliced
3-inch piece young ginger, finely chopped
2½ cups rice, washed and drained
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tsp salt
2 pandan leaves, knotted
3 cups chicken broth (from the pot)

Hainanese chicken rice

1. Generously rub salt on the chicken skin as well as inside the cavity. Stuff the chicken with garlic, ginger and spring onion.

2. Place the chicken in a pot, breast side down, and add enough water to fully submerge the chicken, plus about an inch more. Bring the water to a boil and with the lid on, remove from heat. Set the pot aside, covered, for about 30 mins to let chicken poach in the hot liquid.

3. Meanwhile, prepare the chilli sauce. Combine all the ingredients and blend until you get a slightly chunky
consistency. (You can blend it for longer if you prefer a smoother sauce.) Adjust seasoning and set aside.

4. Carefully flip the chicken over and bring the water back to a boil. Put the lid back on and remove from heat, setting aside the pot so that the chicken can cook in the hot liquid for another 20-30 mins (time depending on the size of the chicken). To check, use a small knife to make a small cut at the base of the leg;
the juices should run clear.

5. While waiting for the chicken to cook, prepare the rice. Sweat the chicken fat for about 5 mins over medium low heat, or until there is sufficient oil in the pan and the fat has significantly reduced in size.

6. Sauté the garlic, shallots and ginger until fragrant. Tip in the rice and cook for about 2 mins. Pour in the sesame oil and mix well. Remove from heat.

7. In a rice cooker, tip in the rice, salt, pandan leaves and 3 cups of the broth from the pot where the chicken
is cooking. Stir and cook according to appliance’s directions. If not using a rice cooker, combine the ingredients into a heavy-bottomed pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to the lowest and place the lid on. Remove from heat once all the liquid is gone.

8. Prepare an ice bath. Remove chicken from the broth and quickly it in to cool. The remaining broth may be used as soup – simply season to taste with salt and white pepper and garnish with chopped spring onion.

9. Drain the ice bath after 10 mins and allow excess water to drip off the chicken for another 2 mins.

10. Remove the stuffing and chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Drizzle sesame oil over and and garnish with coriander leaves and cucumber slices. Serve with rice and chilli sauce.

TIP Use a pot that is not excessively huge; it should just fit the chicken. The lesser the water, the richer the stock and the more flavourful the chicken, rice and soup. Also, do not scrimp on the salt in step 1; it is very important that there’s enough salt for the chicken and the broth