Hainanese chicken rice

On most monday nights, I have bible study with Soph, a mentor of mine from a church group called Cross Cultures. We have been doing bible study since May. Since I love to cook, I always try to make something special every week. I made this dish a few months back before I even started this blog. This is one of my favourite dishes.  Hainannese chicken rice is very famous in Singapore. You can get them everywhere and they are so cheap and taste amazing.It is quite time-consuming making this at home and involved a few steps but it is definitely worth making it! because I cannot get decent hainannese chicken rice in Melbourne. The chicken is so tender and flavoursome, eating it with the specially cooked rice is just perfect and YUM!

serves 4
Cooking time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Preparation time: 20-30 minutes

For the chicken
1 whole chicken (1.2 kg)
1 tablespoon chinese rice wine
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
3 cloves garlic, peeled
Ginger, thumb size, peeled
2 spring onions
1/2 teaspoon salt

Sesame oil
Light soy sauce

For the rice

3 cups long grain rice, rinsed & drained
3 tablespoons vegetable oil, for frying
1 tablespoon sesame oil
Ginger, thumb size, grated
2 shallots, finely chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups chicken stock (you can use broth from which you can cook/boil chicken in)
2 pandan leaves

Chicken rice chilli sauce

45 g red chilies (if you like spicy, use some bird’ eye chilli)
7 g garlic
15-20 g ginger (depending on whether if you like ginger, you see, I don’t like ginger)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
25 ml chicken broth (use broth from which you can cook/boil chicken in)
30 ml lime juice, to taste.

Sweet soy sauce

1 tablespoon caramel dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
2 tablespoon sesame oil

Coriander sprigs
sliced green onion
1 cucumber, thinly sliced
2 fresh tomatoes, sliced to wedges

Cooking Instructions
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil (the pot has to be big enough to contain the chicken).
  2. Crush 3 cloves of garlic and ginger and 1 green onion in a food processor, and place them into the cavity of the chicken. If you don’t have a food processor, easily mix/crush them using mortar and pestle.
  3. Tie the other spring onion into a knot, and place them with the chicken along with 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Alternatively, you can put the salt on the skin of the chicken, this is just to keep the skin shiny. Carefully submerge the chicken breast side down into the water.
  4. Bring to a boil and left it boiling for 5 minutes, then cover and remove from heat. Let stand covered for 50 minutes to an hour, turning the chicken over half way through. (Shorter boiling time for smaller chicken or smaller chicken pieces).
  5. While the chicken is cooking, heat the vegetable oil and 1 tablespoon of sesame oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Fry the shallots, ginger, and garlic in the oil until fragrant. Add rice, stirring until slightly toasted. 
  6. Transfer the rice to a rice cooker (for easiness) and pour in chicken stock and season with salt. Left it to cook. If you want to use the broth from which you can cook/boil the chicken in, leave this part until your chicken is fully cooked. 
  7. For the chilli sauce, combine all the ingredients except lime juice in a food processor, or alternatively in a mortar & pestle and blitz them until all combined. It should be runny. Then slowly add the lime juice in 10 ml portions, then blitz quickly just to mix, have a taste. To make this chilli sauce, it is important to taste it and using the lime juice to adjust the taste according to your liking. So add more lime juice if you think you need more. It’s really easy!
  8. When the chicken has cooked, remove it from the pot, and place under cold running water to tighten the skin. This will ensure tenderness of the meat.
  9. Rub the outside (skin) with sesame oil, light soy sauce and a bit of salt. Chop into pieces.
  10. Place pieces on a serving platter, and garnish with coriander, cucumber and tomatoes.
  11. Serve with rice, vegetables, chili and garnish with thickened black sauce.
Side notes

1. I prefer to break the bones of chicken before I boil it so that it is easier to chop them to pieces.

2. Water that is used to boil chicken can be used as soup too. Since the soup has all the goodness and sweetness from chicken, just add a bit of salt and pepper and it will taste amazing.

3. Vegetables such as chinese broccoli, bokchoy or choysum goes well with this dish. Just lightly blanch the vegies to avoid overcooked. Put on a plate and add a reasonable amount of oyster sauce and maybe some fried shallots if you have.

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