Saturday, 16 August 2008

Chicken Rice with Ginger & Spring Onion Sauce

Hankering for some good old home cooked Chinese food, which alas...I can't pop down the road to buy, I decided to make some Hainanese chicken rice. There were a few frantic phone calls to my mother, who was more than a little amused by my sudden need to know how to poach a chicken. Mind you, this is no ordinary poached chicken - this was done the Hainanese way! Specific steps must be followed to ensure a silky smooth chicken at the end.

Poached chicken
1 medium chicken - I used corn fed, free range
  • Fill up a pot with enough water to ensure that the chicken will be totally submerged during the cooking process. If you have a choice, better go with a pot that is slightly narrower but deeper. Your pot should also have a good fitting lid. Let the water get to the rapid boil stage. Lift your chicken into the pot - preferably legs first - and cover tightly.
  • Let the water come back to a boil. Lift the chicken out, cover the pot and let the water boil rapidly again. Return the chicken to the pot.
  • Do this another 2 times (or if you're being fussy like my mother, another 3 times) but on the 2nd/3rd time after returning the chicken to the pot, let the water come up to a boil. Switch off the heat and let the chicken sit in the covered pot for 30-40 minutes. DO NOT OPEN THE POT!
  • Once the time is up, carefully lift up the chicken and plunge it into a bath of cold water. Some people use ice water, others like my mother runs it under a cold tap. Apparently this is to ensure that the chicken stays smooth.
  • After it has cooled considerably, chop the chicken up into good chunky pieces. Serve with soy sauce, fried garlic and some of the oil the garlic was cooked in.
Garlic Rice
One of the best things about chicken rice is the rice. Cooked with the liquid that the chicken was poached in, it's full of flavour.

chicken stock
garlic - lots and lots
fat of some sort - if you're ready to go all the way, chicken fat is the best thing. Butter is also a good alternative. But if you're going healthy, a flavourless oil will do - or be a little naughty and mix it with some butter

Lightly fry the garlic in the fat of your choice. Add the rice, all the while ensuring that the garlic does not burn. When the rice is opaque and toasty (a minute or two), add the chicken stock. It should bubble quite rapidly at this point. Season and give it a good mix. Cover and cook as you would normal rice.

If you have some time on your hands, then chicken rice accompaniments must be made. Ginger sauce is one of them and garlic chili sauce is another. I was a little lazy, so I just made the ginger sauce. Great thing about both sauce is that they do keep and always great with rice or noodles.

Ginger and Spring Onion Sauce
spring onions

Skin the ginger and chop if very finely to a paste - if you have a food processor, even better. You can actually just serve the ginger paste at this point but I like taking it a step further. In a bowl, I add oil, salt and the finely sliced whites of the spring onions. I then steam it - if you're using old ginger, it can take up to an hour. If you have young ginger, then 10 - 15 minutes should do it. Served slightly cooled or room temperature with the chicken and rice.


Su-Lin said...

Oh, I'm so craving some Hainanese chicken rice now...

Great blog, btw!

Alan said...

This looks great i'm going to try it.
Being from Malaysia, have you tried Ipoh chicken? yum.

I'm a Half Malay-Chinese, new Zealander living in London, I try to cook the food I like because it is so difficult to find.

Also thought you may like this site,
from a fellow Kiwi, with lot's of good recipes.

Luscious Temptations said...

Hi Alan,

Thanks for stopping by. I've definitely had Ipoh chicken. I had some during my last visit home - not in Ipoh but Ipoh style anyhow :) Delicious! Photos of the lovely food whilst on holiday will go up once I get round to sorting them out.

Like you, I find myself having to cook the food I like or am craving for. Sometimes I’m just so lazy though and find myself moaning that I wish that I was back in Malaysia :) or that my mother lived around the corner.

Thanks for sharing the site. It’s always nice to discover new yummy sites.