Thursday, March 6, 2014

Hainanese Chicken Rice

I believe everyone in Singapore has tasted Chicken rice before or the least know what it is when it is mention. It is such a common and popular dish for decades and it is no surprise that many home cooks has their own special recipe. Okay, I am not talking about cooking it from a box or some premix from a package or bottle, I meant really cooking it from scratch! I admit I fall in that category of using premix prior to this, convenient and frankly speaking its not bad in taste too. But the satisfaction of know you can whip this up yourself and actually taste great, how awesome is that?Haha! But I do believe every different family has their own recipe in cooking this...just like my mum's! But the surprising thing is I never consulted my mum on this before cooking from scratch...I just go! You would think it's so difficult to cook no its not, I promise. Plus the end result is gonna wow you that you can actually cook this awesome heehee:D

Okay enough talk, here is the recipe for my chicken rice:

Ingredients for Chicken Rice (Serves 4)
1 whole chicken (get fresh, not frozen is possible)
2 tbsp salt

5 slices fresh peeled ginger 
2 sprigs of spring onion, cut into segments

6 shallots peeled 
8 garlic cloves
8 slices peeled ginger
2 pandan leaves

2.5 cups washed white rice (I mixed 1 cup brown rice heehee)

salt to taste
2 cups chicken stock (Optional, I used some chicken powder and water)
1 cucumber, sliced (I used Japanese, less seed and not as bitter)

Sauce over the chicken
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp sugar

Ice water (1.5Liter) for "shocking' the chicken
  • Clean the whole chicken by rinsing in water and remove unwanted parts. Dab dry and rub the whole chicken with salt, a good 2 tablespoons all over the chicken including the cavity area. Let it marinate for 20 minutes.
  • Prepare the steamer, at a medium fire. Place the chicken in the steamer together with the ginger slices and the spring onion segments after 20 minutes. 
  • Steam till the juice runs clear when pricked at the deepest part of the met. I pricked the part between the inner thigh and breast. Mine took about 30-35 minutes to fully cooked. Timing depends on the size of the chicken.

  • In the mean time, place garlic, shallots and ginger slices into a blender and zap till fine.
  • Heat up the wok with 3 tbsp of vegetable oil and add in all of the ground mixture and stir fry till fragrant.Cook about 5-8 minutes at medium low heat till fragrant, add in the 2 pandan leaves (knotted) and stir for 30 seconds. Remove from fire.
  • Place the washed rice in the cooker together with cooked mixture earlier with the pandan leaves. Add salt and chicken seasoning (if desired) together with enough water. Give it a quick stir and cook the rice in the cooker.
  • Once the chicken has been cooked, remove it from the steamer and gently place in the prepared ice water to cool it down. Leave the chicken in the water for 5-10 minutes. Then remove and let rest for 10 minutes before cutting.
  • Prepare the special sauce for the chicken. This sauce will perk up the flavor and keeps the meat moist and flavorful.
  • Chop up the chicken nicely, and drizzle the special soy sauce mixture over the chicken. Serve with the cooked rice while still warm.
  • The drippings of the chicken while steaming was used for making soup. I added cubed silken tofu and slices of fish cake plus a bit of salt & 2 cups water. (Optional)

Look at the juicy and tender meat!I was so happy this turned out well! I am actually looking forward to cooking it again. ;) Plus the family was all praise about part is you know there is no preservatives, yay!
The weekend is around the corner, do consider taking the chance to cook this for your family. I know you can walk across the street to the food stall to buy a pack, but it will be so so so different and worth it, guarantee!

Try it and let me know how you like it. Happy advance weekend to you guys! Cheers!