This recipe is based on the one from the book The Food That Makes Us. For more about the book and its authors click the link for the story.
Hainanese Chicken Rice. Photo: The Food That Makes Us
HAINANESE CHICKEN RICE
4 to 5 servings
2kg whole chicken
120g ginger, lightly smashed
1 chicken stock cube
30-50g chicken fat
100g ginger, lightly smashed
2 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 chicken stock cube, crumbled
4 cups white rice, washed
3/4 tsp salt
fried garlic and oil
2 tbsp chopped garlic
100ml cooking oil
5 red chillies
5 bird’s eye chillies
oil reserved from chicken broth
1 tsp salt
1 lime or
2 limau kasturi (calamansi)
1 cucumber, thinly sliced
To prepare chicken and broth
Rub a teaspoon of salt all over the chicken to clean the bird thoroughly. Rinse with water.
Rub another teaspoon of salt all over the chicken.
Submerge the whole chicken in a large pot of water. Add ginger, stock cube and salt, and bring to a boil.
Skim the excess oil from the surface and set aside for making the chilli sauce.
Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 45 to 60 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.
Fill a large bowl with drinking water and ice cubes. Lift the cooked chicken out of the pot and immediately submerge it in the ice water bath until the chicken cools down completely. Reserve the chicken broth in the pot.
Allow the chicken to rest on a cutting board for 5 minutes, then chop it into thick pieces for serving with a cleaver.
To cook chicken rice
Cook the reserved chicken fat in a wok over moderate heat, stirring until the fat is brown and shrunken.
Add ginger and fry until fragrant. Add the minced garlic and fry until fragrant. Add the chicken stock cube, rice, and salt. Stir until rice is evenly coated with grease.
Transfer into the rice pot, and pour in the reserved chicken broth to the appropriate level indicated in your cooker – or about 5 cups (use the same cup for measuring the rice). Wait for the rice to cook.
To make fried garlic and oil
Fry the garlic in the oil until golden brown.
To make chilli sauce
Blend ginger and chillies into a paste, adjusting the heat and balance to taste.
In a small saucepan, add 1 tablespoon of the reserved chicken oil and the chilli and ginger paste.
Add salt to taste and bring it to a boil, stirring continuously. Remove from heat. Squeeze in lime or calamansi just before serving.
Place chopped chicken on a plate and drizzle with the garlic and oil. Serve with chicken rice, cucumber slices and chilli sauce. – Recipe based on one from The Food That Makes Us