Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Hainanese Chicken Rice

Last night, I made Hainanese Chicken Rice which is considered the national dish of Singapore using the recipe from Mark Bittman's book How to Cook Everything. It's a 'simple' dish of poached chicken and white rice cooked in chicken broth.

1 whole chicken, 3 to 4 pounds, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 4 pieces
3 tablespoons of grated garlic
1 big knob of ginger, grated finely
1/4 cup peanut oil or neutral foil (I used canola oil)
2 cups white (jasmine) rice
2 tablespoons dark sesame oil
Ginger-Scallion sauce (recipe to follow)
Chopped fresh scallion or cilantro leaves for garnish

  • Put about 4 inches of water in a large pot over high heat
  • Run the inside and outside of chicken with salt and half of the garlic and ginger
  • When the water boils, put the chicken in the pot; it should just submerged (if necessary, add water)
  • Return to boil, cover and reduce the heat to medium, and cook for 15 minutes
  • Turn off the heat and let the bird remain in the water for 1 hour, covered
  • The meat should be opaque all the way to the bones; if not, return to pot to a boil and cover again for another 5 - 10 minutes
  • Remove the chicken from the pot and set aside
  • Put the oil in a skillet over medium heat
  • When hot, add the remaining garlic and ginger, stirrin occasionally, until the garlic begins to brown and becomes fragrant, about 2 - 3 minutes
  • Add the rice and stir, then add 4 cups of the stock; bring to a boil again
  • Adjust the heat to a simmer so that the mixture bubbles gently but steadily, cover
  • Cook until the rice has absorbed all the liquid (~20 minutes)
  • Taste and adjust the seasoning
  • Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces (optional) and rub with sesame oil
  • Drizzle some of the Ginger Scallion sauce over it, serve over the rice and sprinkle with scallion or cilantro
  • You can also serve serve the (heated) stock with some scallion in a small bowl on the side

Ginger Scallion Sauce

1/4 cup minced (or grated) fresh ginger
1/2 cup chopped scallion
1 or 2 clove garlic, grated
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup peanut oil or neutral oil (I used canola oil)

  • Mix the ginger, scallion, garlic and salt together in a heatproof bowl
  • Put the oil in a small saucepan or skillet over high heat until smoking
  • Carefully pour the hot oil over the ginger scallion mixture (Note: it will sizzle a lot)
  • Mix well and serve or refrigrate for up to 3 days

1 comment:

  1. Nom nom nom, looks delish! I grew up in Malaysia and this chicken rice dish was my regular weekly meal when I return from school.