HAINANESE CHICKEN RICE
As you might expect, Hainanese Chicken Rice (海南鸡) hails from China’s southernmost province of Hainan, a tropical island. There is little doubt that Hainanese chicken rice has become one of China’s most popular tourist attractions recently.
Hainanese chicken rice is popular in Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand. This meal was brought across the border by Chinese migrant laborers because of the significant Chinese population in these countries.
The rice is the centerpiece of the dish and is prepared with chicken juices, stock, and fat (from poaching the whole chicken). I can only picture how people’s eyes would explode and jaws would drop when they try this rice for the first time: (to shovel in more of that rice, of course). Cooking rice with chicken soup is a luxury, but the flavor is miles and miles better than plain white rice.
Delightfully cooked Hainan chicken also emerges from the stock pot and ice bath, leaving rice perfectly moist and silky. Finally, you can slather the whole thing with as much sauce as you like. There are three sauces: chili sauce, ginger sauce, and sweet dark black soy sauce in this instance. This Hainanese chicken rice recipe is worth the time and work if you’re willing to put it in.
- 1 fresh or organic chicken
- 2 whole scallions
- 12-14 cups of water
- 4-5 slices of ginger
- 1 tablespoon of salt
- Chicken fat
- Chicken stock
- 4 cloves of minced garlic
- 3 cups of washed and drained uncooked white rice
- 2 teaspoons of salt
GINGER GARLIC SAUCE
- 4-inch piece of roughly chopped ginger
- 1 clove of garlic
- 3 tablespoons oil
- pinch of salt
SWEET DARK SOY SAUCE
- 1/3 cup of water
- 3 tablespoons of rock sugar
- 1/3 cup of dark soy sauce
- 6 fresh red chilies
- 3-inch piece ginger
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 3-5 tablespoons of chicken broth
- ½ teaspoon of sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon of rice vinegar
- ½ teaspoon of sugar
- juice of 1 small lime
TO MAKE THE CHICKEN
- Remember to save the piece of chicken fat from the back cavity after thoroughly washing the chicken. Put the chicken on a platter and use a paper towel to blot it dry. Salt the chicken and give it a little massage. The chicken skin will have a lovely gloss as a result. Leave it alone.
- In a sizable stockpot, bring the water to a boil along with the ginger and onions. Rinse the chicken to remove the salt before putting it in the pot. Place the chicken breast side in hot water and carefully lower it. To avoid having dry white meat, it is a good idea to raise the water level now so the chicken breast only protrudes over the water.
- When the water boils, carefully remove the chicken from the pot and pour away the colder water that has become trapped inside the cavity. Place the chicken back into the pot carefully. Once more, bringing the water to a boil, cover the lid. After removing the pot from the heat, cover it and leave it there for 45 to 50 minutes (set a timer). Insert a toothpick into the thickest section of the drumstick to determine whether the chicken is finished cooking. The food is fully cooked if the juices are clear.
- Prepare a sizable ice bath when the chicken’s 45-minute timer is almost up. After the chicken has finished cooking, carefully remove it from the saucepan, drain the liquid from its cavity, and place it in the ice bath. Be cautious not to rip the skin. The chicken should be totally cooled after 15 minutes in the ice bath, drained, and covered with transparent plastic until ready to cut and serve. The ice bath slows the cooking process, preserves the liquids, and improves the texture of the chicken skin.
TO MAKE THE RICE:
- As the chicken cools, prepare the rice. Render the chicken fat for about a minute after adding it. Garlic cloves that have been minced should be added after frying for a little time.
- Include the uncooked rice. For roughly two minutes, stir continuously.
- Cut the heat off. Instead of water, use chicken stock to cook the rice. Depending on your rice cooker, this quantity may change) and salt. Press START while the lid is closed.
- You can use these instructions if you don’t have a rice cooker. Let your rice soak for a further 20 minutes after washing. Then drain the rice and repeat the previous procedures, but move the rice mixture to a medium- or large-sized pot rather than your rice cooker. Give it a short swirl before adding the salt and 3 cups of chicken stock. Upon boiling, turn down the heat to the smallest level. Till the rice is finished, simmer and cook it (covered) for 10-15 minutes. Although it isn’t quite as reliable as a rice cooker, you should still obtain a relatively similar outcome. Just be sure to watch it carefully since burned rice is unpleasant.
- Let’s create the three unique dipping sauces while the rice is cooking. These sauces can also be made while the chicken is cooking in the pot.
GINGER GARLIC SAUCE:
- In a food processor, blend the ginger and garlic until a paste is created. In a small saucepan, heat the oil. Ginger and garlic should be gently fried until fragrant and just caramelized. It should only be lightly cooked to eliminate uncooked ginger and garlic’s pungent, raw flavor. Transfer to a sauce dish after adding salt to taste.
SWEET DARK SOY SAUCE
- Warm the water and sugar. As the sugar dissolves and the mixture thickens into a simple syrup, stir regularly. Stir in the dark soy sauce after adding it. Place in a sauce bowl.
- In a food processor, pulse the chilies, ginger, and garlic until they are very finely minced. You may need to scrape down the food processor’s sides a few times to ensure everything is mashed up evenly. To the food processor, add the sesame oil, salt, sugar, lime juice, and vinegar. To blend, pulse 2 to 3 times.
- Once the chicken has been transferred, stir in the chicken broth, 1 tablespoon at a time to create a saucy consistency. This truly comes down to personal opinion; if you prefer a thicker paste, use less broth. Additionally, the broth gives the sauce more body and enhances the flavor of the chicken.