Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Hainanese Chicken Rice : Give your chicken a poach

I have never been a chicken fan. If I had to pick from the poultry family, I would go with a delicious and sleep inducing Turkey. I think the reason I tend to avoid chicken is because it more often than not, it comes out dry. Dry chicken reminds me of being a diet I desperately want to quit - I absolutely can't stand it.

That being said, one of my favorite recipes includes Mr. Chicken ( i guess Ms. Chicken would be more accurate). Hainanese Chicken Rice has been in our family for years and I've finally mastered it and am able to whip it up sans recipe. That's always an amazing feeling. Anyway, the reason why this chicken passes my test is because it's always moist. The poaching method that's used in this dish ensures a tender and succulent bite, every time.

Since this is a Kiew family specialty, I hope you don't tip off the paparazzi. The key to this dish is really in the rice preparation, and the sauces. You'll use a whole chicken in this, so don't be afraid to spend a little extra for an organic, young bird - this dish is so minimalistic that the quality of the meat really counts.

Hainanese Chicken Rice

Whole Chicken (preferably Ranch or Yellow)
Ginger, coarsely chopped
1 stalk Scallions, coarsely chopped
4-5 Cloves Garlic, Peeled

Chicken Rice:
1 1/2 cups Jasmine Rice
Chicken Stock (from poached chicken)
5-6 Garlic Cloves, peeled and smashed
Rendered Chicken Fat (from chicken)

Special Dipping Sauce:
2-3 Tablespoons Sambal Olek
Cilantro (to taste)
Chicken Stock (from poached chicken)
Lemon juice (to taste)


1) Remove bag with giblets, etc - trim any visible fat and set aside later for Chicken Rice
2) Stuff Chicken with Garlic, Scallions, and Ginger
3) On stove, boil a pot of salted water - make sure the pot is big enough to submerge the entire chicken (I used a stock pot)
4) When the water is boiling, submerge enter bird, breast down, into the water. Turn down the heat so chicken is being poached, not boiled (usually the low setting). Cover and cook for 40-50 minutes, depending on the size of the bird.
5) Remove from Stove - retain chicken stock for Rice and Dipping sauce.
6) Submerge Chicken into Icy Bath for approximately 10 minutes to stop cooking process and cool
7) Remove bird from Icy Bath and de-bone, slicing into serve-able pieces - serve with Rice and Dipping Sauce.

Chicken Rice:
1) Take Chicken Fat removed from bird in step 1 above and put into a very hot pan on the stove. Fat will render within a few minutes - take the fat out and set aside.
2) Wash/Rinse Jasmine Rice
3) Put Rice into Rice Cooker - add oily part of chicken stock to cover about 1 inch above the rice. Add in rendered chicken fat and whole garlic cloves. Cook until ready.

Special Chili Dipping Sauce:
1) Using a food processor, mix all ingredients for about 20 seconds to taste. Serve with chicken.

Here are the pics of the results. Did I mention this tastes amazing with an ice cold ginger ale?

Oh also if you love garlic, you can combine some minced deep fried garlic to the chili sauce. I usually make it on the side with some olive oil - just mince 4-5 cloves of garlic and fry it in a pan with about 4 tablespoons of oil. The crunchiness and kick will add some deliciousness to the dish. Just don't make out with anyone after...


Embert said...

ive made this chicken but with thighs without ever knowing there was a name for it. im about to get on that sauce though!

Carmen said...

Yay! I promise you, it's sooo good. Don't they serve some variation of it at Mix Bowl?

jc said...

i am drooling. i had this stuff in Vancouver for the first time a couple years ago, I can't believe you know how to make it. Ummmm dinnner sooooon!