Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Hainan Chicken Rice


The Chicken

2 kg whole corn-fed chicken*
coriander leaves for garnishing

*mature corn-fed chicken will be tastier but tougher. Chicken rice shops use young farmed chicken which are very tender (and cheaper) but flavorless so msg is added to the sauce to cover the bland taste.

Updated on 25/6/08:
1. Put enough water in a pot to almost cover chicken (too much water and your soup will be tasteless).
2. Put chicken into the boiling water, cover, turn heat to high and when it starts to boil, lower heat so water is gently bubbling. Simmer 10 min. Turn off heat and leave chicken in pot for 30 min, covered. Test the thigh with a skewer. If the water that runs out is red, heat the water to nearly boiling, then switch off and let chicken sit in it for another 5-10 min. If not, go to step 3.
3. Remove chicken and immerse chicken in a basin of ice-cold water for 15 min, to 'tighten' the skin and make it slightly 'el dente' and also to stop the chicken from cooking. Soaking the chicken in cold water also makes the chicken moist. Pour away water. Leave chicken to cool completely, rub some sesame oil over if like, before cutting into small pieces with bones on.
Garnish with chopped coriander.

The Rice

1 bulb garlic, chopped finely (optional but tasty)
5 cups rice
1 chicken stock cube, crumbled
1 tsp salt
a knot of pandan leaves
3 to 4 slices ginger, smashed
kunyit (tumeric)* juice or powder for color

Heat 2 T oil and lightly brown the garlic. Remove the garlic but leave the oil. Fry the rice under medium heat for 1 min, then put rice into a rice cooker and add the stock from boiling the chicken till level 5 (or less, according to the type of rice). If you don't like your rice oily, do not fry the rice. Stir in all the remaining ingredients except the fried garlic. The garlic should be sprinkled on top of the cooked rice or stirred well into it just before serving.

*Orange-colored ginger which is used as a natural yellow food dye.

The Soup

1/2 head of Sichuan preserved veg, sliced & soaked in water for 10 min
3 to 4 tomatoes, in wedges
finely cut spring onions for garnishing

Put the Sichuan veg and tomatoes into the stock in which the chicken was boiled and let the soup simmer 15 min. Do not add salt.

The Chili Sauce

5 red chilies
2 cloves garlic
3 cm piece of ginger
1/2 T vinegar
1/2 t fine sugar
2 T stock/soup

1. Pound the first 3 ingredients in a stone mortar till fine.
2. Heat 1/2 T oil and fry the pounded ingredients for 5 seconds, turn off fire and add the remaining ingredients.

Ginger Dip

4 cm piece of ginger, pounded finely
2 cm piece 'sand' ginger, pounded finely
spring onions, cut finely
1 T each light & dark soy sauce (if like)
1/2 T oyster sauce
2 T oil
sesame oil (optional)

Put spring onions in a sauce bowl. Heat 2-3 T oil until smoking, add the gingers, fry 2 seconds, then turn off heat and add oil and ginger quickly onto the spring onions . Add the soy sauces and oyster sauce if used. Alternatively, put the gingers and spring onions into a small dip dish and pour hot oil over, then add the soy sauces. The more common dip is ginger, spring onions, hot oil and salt but my parents included soy sauces in this and I prefer it that way.

Note: Serve with sliced cuke, or blanched veg, or a simple beansprouts dish: boil the beansprouts briefly, drain well, splash a little fish sauce over and top with fried garlic bits.


hongyi :o) said...


Cheeyan said...

This is so cooooooool.

The Hainan Chicken rice we get here from restaurants in Chinatowns are awful!

I have always wanted to make great Hainan Chicken Rice... and here's the awesome recipe from my ex-roommate at the University of Manitoba...

Good work... remember what I always told you when we were bunking in Winnipeg... when in doubt, go cook!!

terri said...

Cheeyan!!!miss u my dear friend! hope everything's going well with u! ur blog has been rather quiet-time to go travelling!say hi to Chris for me.

terri said...

My dear ex-roomie, i guess i must be in a lot of doubt these days b/c i'm cooking all the time.. i know, you invest when ur're in doubt-all those Bay houses! make sure u let Yi in ur home if she ever gets into Stanford/UCLA!

bh said...

The Hainan chicken rice looks sooooo yummyy....

must say that you have great photography skills too.... I esp like the bamboo trampoline pic from the Kaamatan festival :)

terri said...

bh:great photo skills??no way!i was at the donggongon tamu yesterday & it was dark & most of my pics turned out blur. some people looked like ghosts b/c they turned out transparent!aiya!

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