Hainanese Chicken Rice

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Product name: Food Passport: Hainanese Chicken Rice
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Description: If you live in Singapore, you can have Hainanese Chicken Rice anytime and anywhere. This delicious dish fits the definition of comfort food perfectly: Accessible - Simple - Cheap - Delicious. I have such passion for this dish not only because of its flavourful rice and succulent chicken pieces...
Type: Dinner
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Food Passport: Hainanese Chicken Rice
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Time to prepare the recipe: 15 minutes
Time to cook: 50 minutes
Duration: 65 minutes
Servings:
Ingredients: ,
Instructions:

When it comes to food, what are you looking for?

Of course, it has to be delicious, but what about the experience it brings to you? Does it have to be Michelin Star dish with the complexity of flavour, texture and components? Or are you happy to enjoy something rather simply-prepared but sensational? For me, the more straightforward, homier kind of food wins the prize. Indeed, that is the reason why I fell in love with Singapore’s National Dish – Hainanese Chicken Rice.

It is not because fancy things do not suit me, I love trying new dishes and getting inspired by Michelin Chefs, but that is not something you are able to regularly. On the other hand, if you live in Singapore, you can have Hainanese Chicken Rice anytime and anywhere. This delicious dish fits the definition of comfort food perfectly: Accessible – Simple – Cheap – Delicious.

During my time studying in Singapore, Chicken Rice had been a big part of my diet. I found myself having Chicken Rice for breakfast, lunch or dinner at least 3-4 times a week, and enjoyed it. I have such passion for this dish not only because of its flavourful rice and succulent chicken pieces, but also how economical it is. With only just $2.5 to $3 (depend on location and stores) I can have a sumptuous meal, piping hot, carefully wrapped in banana leaves waiting for me to dive in. And if I feel a little bit more generous with myself that day, I would order the $5 option with an addition of soup and a side of steamed bok choy in oyster sauce.

Cooking Chicken Rice is not as complicated as it sounds. Though some techniques will still be required to get the best result out of the chicken, please do not feel intimidated by this. I will offer you one hilarious and interesting tip: give the chicken its spa time before cooking it. You must be thinking that I am telling you a joke (as many did haha) but I am very serious here. By massaging it, you loosen up all the joints, relax the tense muscles and this will give you tender chicken meat. I learned about this from the legendary Martin Yan, and started applying it. Massaged chicken meat indeed tastes better.

Hainanese Chicken Rice will also be our last Food Passport stop in the Lion City. I hope you have been enjoying the trip as well as the recipes. And now let’s roll up our sleeves and cook some Chicken Rice so we will have enough energy for the next culinary adventures in many parts of the world to come.

THE RECIPE

Hainanese Chicken Rice

Serving 2 people

Prep time Cook time
15 mins 50 mins

(Recipe video below)

Ingredients:

Chicken 2 kg
Brown Onion 1
Ginger 55 g
garlic 35 g
Shallot 45 g
Spring onion 2 stalks
Pandan leaves 10 g
Rice 400 g
Chicken’s Stock 600 ml

Sauce:

Soy sauce 1/3 cup
Sesame oil 2 tbsp
Chicken stock 1/2 cup

Method:

1. Trim the excess fat around the chicken neck and the cavity, as well as the wings tips. Save those for the rice later

2. Start massaging the chicken by stretching the legs, moving it up and down and circular motions. Do the same to then wings. Do this for 5 mins or until the chicken is nice a relaxed

3. Sprinkle salt over the chicken, and start rubbing it (like a salt scrub). This will help the chicken skin become nice and shine, then rinse off the salt.

4. Boil some water in a stock pot. When the water is boiling, blanch the chicken for 1 minute, then remove, and soak immediately in icy water. By doing this, the chicken skin will become more springy and the chicken will cook more evenly later.

5. While the chicken is resting. Cut the onion in haft, cut the ginger into slices, garlics cut in half, thinly slice shallot and spring onions cut into equal parts

6. Bring the pot to the boil again, then add the chicken back in the pot, add the halved onion and using only haft of the quantity of other ingredients, as we will use the rest for the rice.

7. Reduce the heat to simmering and let the chicken cook for 50 mins.

8. In a saute pan, add in the trimmed fat and wing’s tips, when the fat is rendered out, add in the ginger, garlic, shallot, and spring onion that we saved before.

9. When all the ingredients are fragrant, add in the washed rice and saute it to evenly coat with the flavoured oil.

10. Transfer everything into the rice cooker, scoop 600ml chicken stock from the pot then add in with the rice. Add the pandan leaves then close the lid and let the cooker does it magic.

11. After 50 mins, remove the chicken from the pot and soak it in icy water to stop over cooking. When rested cut into bite size pieces.

12. To make the sauce, simply combine everything together then pour over the chicken or set aside as a dipping sauce.

13. When the rice is cooked, fluff up the rice, then serve on the side with the chickens, drizzle the sauce over. Paired with some sambal and steam bok choy are recomended.

14. And your Hainanese Chicken Rice is done! Enjoy!

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