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Hainanese Chicken Rice

by Matthew Johnson

Ingredients

for 6 servings

Hainanese Chicken

  • 3 lb
    whole chicken, giblets removed (1.3 kg)
  • ¼ cup
    kosher salt, divided (60 g)
  • 4 inch pieces fresh ginger, peeled and cut into ¼-inch (6 mm) slices
  • 1 bunch fresh scallion
  • 1 gal
    cold water, plus more as needed (3.7 L)
  • 2 tablespoons
    sesame oil

Hainanese Rice

  • ¼ cup
    sesame oil (60 mL)
  • 2 tablespoons
    chicken fat, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon
    fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 teaspoon
    kosher salt
  • 2 cups
    long grain rice, rinsed and drained (400 g)
  • 2 cups
    reserved chicken poaching broth (480 mL)

Chili Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons
    sambal
  • 2 tablespoons
    sriracha
  • 2 teaspoons
    sugar
  • 1 tablespoon
    garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon
    fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 tablespoon
    lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons
    reserved chicken poaching broth

Ginger Garlic Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons
    fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 tablespoons
    garlic, finely minced
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons
    peanut oil
  • 1 tablespoon
    rice vinegar

Soy Dipping Sauce

  • reserved fried garlic and ginger
  • 1 tablespoon
    oyster sauce
  • 3 tablespoons
    dark sweet soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon
    light soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons
    reserved chicken poaching broth
  • 2 cucumbers, thinly sliced, for serving
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, for serving

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Preparation

  1. To clean the chicken, rub all over with a handful of kosher salt, getting rid of any loose skin. Rinse the chicken well inside and out. Pat dry with paper towels.
  2. Remove any excess fat from the chicken and set aside for later.
  3. Season the chicken generously with salt. Stuff the chicken cavity with the ginger slices and scallions.
  4. Place the chicken in a large stock pot, cover with cold water by 1 inch (2 cm), and season with salt to taste.
  5. Bring to a boil over high heat, then immediately reduce the heat to low to maintain a simmer. Cover and cook for about 30 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F (75°C). Remove the pot from the heat.
  6. Remove the chicken from the pot, reserving the poaching liquid for later, and transfer to an ice bath for 5 minutes to stop the cooking process and to keep the chicken skin springy. Discard the ginger and green onion.
  7. After it’s cooled, pat the chicken dry with paper towels and rub all over with sesame oil. This will help prevent the chicken from drying out.
  8. In a large wok or skillet, heat ¼ cup (60 ml) of sesame oil over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of reserved chopped chicken fat, the garlic, ginger, and salt, and fry until aromatic, about 10 minutes.
  9. Reserve ¼ of the fried garlic mixture, then add the rice to the remaining fried garlic and stir to coat. Cook for 3 minutes.
  10. Transfer the rice to a rice cooker and add 2 cups (480 ml) of reserved poaching broth. Steam the rice for 60 minutes, or until tender.
  11. While the rice is cooking, carve the chicken for serving.
  12. Make the chili sauce: combine the sambal, Sriracha, sugar, garlic, ginger, lime juice, and chicken broth in a small bowl and stir to incorporate.
  13. Make the ginger garlic sauce: in a small bowl, combine the ginger, garlic, salt, peanut oil, and rice vinegar, and stir to incorporate.
  14. Make the soy sauce: in a small bowl, combine the reserved fried garlic and ginger with the oyster sauce, dark soy sauce, light soy sauce, and chicken broth, and stir to incorporate.
  15. Serve the sliced chicken with the rice, dipping sauces, sliced cucumbers, and fresh cilantro.
  16. Enjoy!
 

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