Chicken Rice

Hainanese Chicken Rice (Version 2.0)

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My partner A who is in Hong Kong right now has been ‘complaining’ about seeing too much chicken rice that it made me crave more than ever.

This isn’t my first time to cook Hainanese (or Singaporean) chicken rice but I can say this time it is more successful than my previous attempts.  It is unbelievably good!  This must have come after years of trial and error.  Ages ago when we were based in Beijing where you can only find the dish in hotels and Singaporean restos, my version was a short-cut method as per directions from a former Bruneian boss who cooked the dish for friends and myself.

I started cooking a bit later than usual when I did this and so my kid asked me why it took me so long to serve dinner.  I told him I didn’t want to spoil the outcome by rushing any part of the cooking process. I explained that I used the broth made from cooking the chicken to make flavorful rice and that part of it also went into the condiment.  Being the foodie he is slowly becoming, he understood.  He also recognizes that certain dishes need to be eaten as a package.  One can’t have the chicken pieces without the rice, or not dip the meat into that chili/ginger sauce.  It would definitely taste good but the eating experience incomplete.  Like eating kare kare without alamang, and that’s perfectly fine, but I’m pretty sure you get my drift.

The funny boy can also identify different cuisines.  He’d say ‘Yum! Tomyum my favorite!’ or ‘This is butter chicken like the one at the Indian restaurant, right?’ or ‘I’ve tasted this before in Manila’ when I cooked pinais or ‘This smells like something we ate from the Malaysian restaurant’ when served with chicken rice.

Ingredients and how-to’s all written in my mahiwagang notebook but with all my previous chicken posts, I thought I’d blog about it at a later date. Weeks passed by it almost slipped my mind. A number of friends and family has been asking for the recipe.  I hope they’ll enjoy it the way we do.

Ingredients

For the chicken:
1 whole free-range chicken (I used corn-fed)
A thumb of ginger, peeled and crushed
6 stalks of spring onion
Salt

For the broth:
4 stalks of spring onion
1 carrot, diced
1 tsp salt
Chicken stock (approx. 1 liter, enough to cover chicken in a pot)

For the rice:
5 tbsp sunflower oil (that’s what I have right now but vegetable or other types will do)
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, minced (optional)
4 cups (rice cooker measuring cup) Jasmine rice – good for at least 3 people but you can add more
6 stalks of spring onion
A thumb of ginger, crushed
1 tsp salt
Enough broth used to cook chicken

Sauce for the cooked chicken (you may double the proportion for extra):
2 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp broth used to cook chicken
3 tbsp sesame oil
3 tsp oil used to sauté garlic and onion
1 tbsp cooking wine (optional)

Chili Sauce (condiment):
4 tsp chopped chili (use more as you like)
3 tbsp minced ginger
1  clove garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
¼ cup broth used to cook chicken
Juice of 1 lime

Other condiment:
A plate of light soy sauce to complement chili sauce

Garnish:
Ringlets of spring onion
Cucumber, peeled and cut into long matchsticks

Get a pot large enough to fit chicken.  Pour chicken broth and place over hob to boil while preparing the chicken and broth ingredients.

Stuff spring onion and ginger into the chicken cavity.  Rub the chicken all over with salt.  Set aside.

Add carrot, spring onion and salt to the broth.  Bring to boil.  Submerge chicken breast down into the pot. Lower heat and simmer for about 35 minutes. Turn off heat but let stand on the hob for another 10 minutes.

During chicken cook time, prepare ingredients for the rice.

Pour ice-cold water into a large bowl.  Carefully scoop out cooked chicken from the pot and submerge into the bowl.  Pour more ice-cold water on the chicken and let stand for 10 minutes.

Drain chicken broth from the pot with a colander into a separate bowl.  Broth with fats and all, set aside for cooking rice, chicken sauce, condiment and side soup.  Place pot back into the hob. Heat oil in it and sauté garlic until golden and fragrant.  Add onion and sauté until translucent.  Scoop out 3 tbsp of oil; reserve for the chicken sauce later on.

Add washed rice and mix well.  Transfer into rice cooker.  Add ginger and spring onion.  Pour enough chicken broth to cook rice according to rice cooker settings.  While waiting for the rice to cook, prepare chicken sauce and condiment by mixing ingredients as listed above.

Arrange cucumber on a serving platter.  Top with chopped cooked chicken and drizzle with prepared sauce.  Garnish with spring onion and more cucumber matchsticks.

Serve alongside chili sauce, a small plate of light soy sauce, bowls of chicken rice, and soup (left-over chicken broth) garnished with spring onion.


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5.0 from 1 reviews
Hainanese Chicken Rice
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3-4
 
Ingredients
  • 1 whole free-range chicken (I used corn-fed)
  • 2 thumbs of ginger, peeled and crushed
  • Approx. 16 stalks of spring onion
  • Salt
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • Chicken stock (approx. 1 liter, enough to cover chicken in a pot)
  • 5 tbsp sunflower oil (that’s what I have right now but vegetable or other types will do)
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced (for rice)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (for chili sauce)
  • 1 small onion, minced (optional)
  • 4 cups (rice cooker measuring cup) Jasmine rice – good for at least 3 people but you can add more
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp cooking wine (optional)
  • 4 tsp chopped chili (use more as you like)
  • 3 tbsp minced ginger
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • A plate of light soy sauce to complement chili sauce
  • Cucumber, peeled and cut into long matchsticks
  • Ringlets of spring onion (garnish)
Instructions
  1. Get a pot large enough to fit chicken. Pour chicken broth and place over hob to boil while preparing the chicken and broth ingredients.
  2. Stuff 6 stalks of spring onion and thumb of ginger into the chicken cavity. Rub the chicken all over with salt. Set aside.
  3. Add diced carrot, 4 stalks of spring onion and 1 tsp salt to the broth. Bring to boil. Submerge chicken breast down into the pot. Lower heat and simmer for about 35 minutes. Turn off heat but let stand on the hob for another 10 minutes. (During chicken cook time, prepare ingredients for the rice.)
  4. Pour ice-cold water into a large bowl. Carefully scoop out cooked chicken from the pot and submerge into the bowl. Pour more ice-cold water on the chicken and let stand for 10 minutes.
  5. Drain chicken broth from the pot with a colander into a separate bowl. Broth with fats and all, set aside for cooking rice, chicken sauce, condiment and side soup. Place pot back into the hob. Heat oil in it and sauté garlic until golden and fragrant. Add onion and sauté until translucent. Scoop out 3 tbsp of oil; reserve for the chicken sauce later on.
  6. Add washed rice and mix well. Transfer into rice cooker. Add a thumb of crushed ginger and 6 stalks of spring onion. Pour enough chicken broth to cook rice according to rice cooker settings.
  7. To prepare sauce for chicken: mix 2 tbsp light soy sauce, 2 tbsp chicken broth, 3 tbsp sesame oil, 1 tbsp cooking wine (optional), and reserved 3 tsp oil used to sauté garlic and onion.
  8. To prepare chili sauce: mix 4 tsp chopped chili, 1 tbsp minced ginger, garlic minced (1 clove), 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp sugar, ¼ cup chicken broth, and juice of 1 lime.
  9. Arrange cucumber on a serving platter. Top with chopped cooked chicken and drizzle with prepared sauce. Garnish with spring onion and more cucumber matchsticks.
  10. Serve alongside chili sauce, a small plate of light soy sauce, bowls of chicken rice, and soup (left-over chicken broth) garnished with spring onion.
Notes
- Preparation time included in the above total hours as I was preparing while cooking (if that makes sense). - Better use free range chicken - tasty!

 

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Iska
I am not a professional cook. My only claim to having a culinary background is a short stint as my dad’s teen ‘sous chef’ in his carinderia ages ago. Dad ran small eateries since I was a young kid - serving standard ‘turo-turo’ food ranging from the likes of menudo, adobo, pritong isda, dinuguan, binagoongan, bopis, munggo, pinakbet and giniling to merienda fares like goto, ginataan, pancit bihon, halu-halo and saging con yelo.

My father, a farmer in his hometown before working his way to becoming an accountant, definitely influenced my cooking in a lot of ways than I thought. My siblings and I were raised in a backyard full of fruit trees and vegetable garden. We spent weekends and the summer breaks running around with ducks, chickens, goats and pigs. I had wonderful memories of gathering eggs, butchering chickens, selling vegetables and the sweet aroma of preserved fruits. But my love for art led me to a degree in Architecture. Just few months after getting my license, I went abroad and lived independently at age 23. Definitely no maid, no cook, and a totally different food culture. Along the way I met lots of friends and spent what seemed a lifetime learning new tricks and recipes.

Now living in Auckland, I am a work-from-home mum who juggles time between work, fun and family - in pursuit of work-life balance. No matter how busy I am, I love the idea of cooking for my family. My blog chronicles home cooking greatly influenced by life outside my home country from Southeast Asia to Beijing and Auckland. And most of the time, being busy also means easy (sometimes quick), affordable meals.

13 thoughts on “Hainanese Chicken Rice (Version 2.0)

  1. I have loved Hainanese Chicken since I first tasted it. I still haven’t attempted cooking it at home as I do find it a little challenging, but I guess I have to try it sometime.

    Hopping here from Food Trip Friday. Happy weekends!
    Jenn recently posted Cafe d’Asie Breakfast Buffet

  2. this is mouth-watering! i’d love to do this at home but i’m not sure if my mom would eat it–ayaw nya ng puting chicken, parang raw daw! LOL gusto laging may soy sauce.

    1. Indeed! In Southeast Asia it’s everywhere! The first time I cooked it was when we were based in Beijing. Kung saan sa specialty restos lang meron, at sa mga hotels. Here in Auckland, you can have them in some Malaysian restaurants :-)

  3. i haven’t tasted Hainanese rice yet, but have been wanting to ever since i watched it in one of the shows in Lifestyle Channel (hehehe). everything looks yummy! bookmarked again! :)

    thanks so much for linking over at Food Friday, Iska
    so sorry for the late visit….
    mymy recently posted Rainy Days

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