HAINANESE CHICKEN RICE

I first became addicted to this dish when travelling throughout south east Asia. Notably Malaysia and Thailand food courts. Served up by the local Chinese Immigrants / Expatriates, (whichever you prefer). It’s chicken, rice and a bit of greenery for decoration with a hot sauce accompaniment.
This version is based on Rick Stein’s far Eastern Odyssey, but adapted for ease of ingredients.

Make sure your chicken is as good a quality as you can afford and sizeable enough as it makes great leftovers.

Day 1 Chicken & Rice

Day 2 Chicken Noodle Soup

Day 3 Chicken fried rice

You will need:
1.5kg Free Range / Organic Chicken
Ginger, Garlic, Lemon Grass
Spring Onions
Jasmine Rice
White Pepper
Coriander

3 things take it from normal to excellent: Ground White Pepper, Coriander, Jasmine Rice

Stage 1: Prep Chicken
If the chicken has a wedge of fat near the cavity, save for frying the rice with. If it has Giblets, add into the pot at the same time as the chicken and leave in there when reducing the stock.

Cut up some spring onions, ginger, garlic and lemon grass and coriander stalks if they’re nice and thick. Add to Chicken cavity and refrigerate for 2hrs minimum.

Stage 2: Cook Chicken
Boil a pan of water big enough to cover your chicken. If you add too much, you will need to boil it down more.
Once it’s boiling, simmer for 15 minutes uncovered (against a 1.5kg chicken, 5 minutes per Kilo is recommended, but the bigger the chicken the longer the rest period.

Once you’ve had 15 minutes, take it off the hob and cover. Leave to rest for 30 minutes. Once it’s rested take it out and put on a large curved plate (they’ll be a lot of juice), cover in foil and tea towels to keep warm.

Stage 3: Make the hot sauce
While the Chicken is resting, make the hot sauce. Up to you what ingredients to use, but here’s a few starters:
* Sweet Chilli Sauce
* Soy
* Lime
* Chilli (lots of chilli)
* Ginger
* Garlic
* West Indian Hot Sauce is equally as good

Stage 4: Reduce the Stock
It’s up to you how much you want to reduce the stock by, but the longer you spend boiling it, the meatier and stronger the flavour. I typically go for about half. Make sure you skim the scum off if there is any. Once it’s reduced, pass through a muslin sieve (or a wire coriander if you don’t have the Muslin)
Reserve enough stock for the rice.

Stage 5: Prep Rice
Wash the rice thoroughly, until the water runs clear, drain.

Stage 6: Fry the rice (yes, fry)
Take the reserved chicken fat and fry it off in a pan until it has rendered down. If you don’t have much fat, add a bit extra sesame seed oil. Once you have about a tablespoon full, add your washed and drained rice into the pan and quickly stir it round so it doesn’t stick to the bottom. Once the rice has been coated and almost translucent, add in the reserved stock. Simmer covered for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave another 10. At the end of 10 minutes, take a fork and fluff the rice up. Drain any remaining liquid.

Stage 7: Carve the Chicken
Carve the chicken up into quarters. 2 x Breasts, 2 x Thighs. Good for 4 portions, or alternatively lots of leftovers.

Stage 8: Plate up
Portion of Chicken on a plate, add a spoonful of rice and some green stuff (Cucumber, Tomato, Salad etc… Who cares if it’s not Asian?), a dollop of the hot stuff and a bowl of the stock all sprinkled liberally with coriander and chopped Spring Onion (if you can be bothered).

 

 

Notes:
Left over chicken carcus (from a Sunday lunch) with raw chicken thighs and legs. Adjust timings accordingly (10 mins for initial simmer). The stock will be darker, but just as rich.
The Chicken doesn’t have to be served hot, but the rice must be.
Once you’re finished, pick over the chicken carcus reserving any meat for left overs, it should come apart in your hands. Don’t forget the chicken oysters, the best part of the chicken!

Written by Kieron Bissett