The Perfect Hainanese Chicken Rice

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Everyone’s definition of perfect is different, so when I claim this to be the perfect Hainanese Chicken Rice, I really mean it’s perfect for me. My version of the perfect Hainanese Chicken rice is that the rice is flavourful, fragrant, not overly oily, fluffy and not soggy. Saucer had the cravings for Hainanese Chicken a couple of weeks back, and asked if I could make it. Make it? Why, I had never made it before, so I was caught by surprise. But being a person who welcomes challenges, I took it upon myself to give it a try. The first time I did it, the chicken was slightly undercooked with more pink areas that I’d like and the rice was too dry. The second time I did it, the chicken was slightly better, but the rice was still not up to par. And they said, third time’s a charm, and it was! This time, the rice turned out to be exactly how it’s supposed to be, and not even Saucer could find a fault with it. And hence, the recipe has to be recorded for my future records. :)

Hainanese Chicken rice

Hainanese Chicken Rice

There are 3 main components to a complete Hainanese Chicken Rice dish, and they are the chicken, the rice and the chilli sauce. Most recipes require a whole chicken to be poached in order to prepare this dish, but since there were only 2 of us, I only cooked half a chicken at a time.

Ingredients:

a) For Chicken

  • 1/2 a chicken (free range preferably)
  • 2 stalks of scallions
  • 1/2 bulb garlic
  • 1 piece of ginger (about 2 to 3 inches long)
  • Sesame oil
  • Salt
  • 3 tsp of garlic and shallot oil
  • Coriander

b) For Rice

  • 2 cups of rice
  • Approximately 40-50g of chicken fat/skin
  • 1 tsp cooking oil
  • 1/2 garlic bulb chopped
  • 1 shallot chopped
  • 1 piece of ginger (about 2 to 3 inches long) sliced
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 cubes chicken stock (1cm x 1cm cube ~ 4g each) – I used Continental chicken cubes
  • Pinch of salt

c) For Chilli Sauce:

  • 5 red chillies
  • 3 bird’s eye chillies
  • 1 bulb garlic
  • 1 piece of ginger (about 2 inches long)
  • 2 pcs lime

Hainanese Chicken

Hainanese chicken

Steps:

a) For Chicken:

1. Bring a pot of water to boil. Make sure the water level can cover the whole chicken when it’s dipped in.

2.Marinate chicken with salt and sesame oil by rubbing them in liberally on the surface. Remove excess chicken fat (especially near the chicken bottom) for cooking rice later.

3. Peel the garlic cloves, chop the scallions into about 3cm length and slice the ginger before putting them all into the boiling water.

4. Once the water is boiling hot, place the chicken into the water and let it boil for about 5 minutes.

5. Cover the pot and turn off the heat. Let the chicken simmer inside the hot water for about 30 minutes (or more depending on the size of chicken). If you’re worried about the chicken being too pink (like me), turn on the heat again after about 15 minutes, and turn it off once the water starts boiling.

6. Remove the chicken from the pot and transfer to a big bowl filled with ice water. Let it soak for about 5 minutes.

7. Drain the ice water and chop the chicken into pieces.

8. Drizzle chicken with garlic and shallot oil and soy sauce. Garnish with coriander.

Hainanese Chicken rice

Chicken rice

b) For Rice:

1. Wash 2 cups of long grain rice and drain.

2. On a frying pan, heat the cooking oil and chicken fat. You can find plenty of chicken fat near the chicken bottom.

3. When the oil is hot and chicken fat starts to melt, throw in the chopped garlic and shallot and sliced ginger. Fry until lightly browned.

4. Pour in the rice and stir fry for about a minute.

5. Add in sesame oil and dash of salt. Fry rice for another minute or two.

6. Transfer rice into rice cooker.

7. Melt the chicken stock using the soup from the chicken in a). Use in total 2 cups of soup for the rice.

8. Give the rice a good stir when it’s cooked before serving.

Chilli sauce

Chilli sauce

c) For Chilli sauce:

1. Blend the red chillies, bird’s eye chillies, garlic and ginger until fine.

2. Add in juice of 2 limes.

3. Add in about 3 tbsp of chicken soup from a) (or more if you prefer a more liquid texture).

Hainanese Chicken rice

Perfect chicken rice – fluffy, flavourful and fragrant

Finally, serve all 3 components together for a completely satisfying Hainanese Chicken Rice meal. The chicken was smooth, tender and juicy, and the chilli sauce had a nice kick to it. Remember, the trick is not to completely boil the chicken in boiling water or it will turn out to be hard and dry! I am keen for anyone out there to try out this recipe, especially the chicken rice, because both Saucer and I absolutely love it!

Hainanese Chicken rice

Hainanese Chicken Rice with the works

Hainanese Chicken Rice
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Chinese
Serves: 2-3
Ingredients
For Chicken
  • ½ a chicken (free range preferably)
  • 2 stalks of scallions
  • ½ bulb garlic
  • 1 piece of ginger (about 2 to 3 inches long)
  • Sesame oil
  • Salt
  • 3 tsp of garlic and shallot oil
  • Coriander
For Rice
  • 2 cups of rice
  • Approximately 40-50g of chicken fat/skin
  • 1 tsp cooking oil
  • ½ garlic bulb chopped
  • 1 shallot chopped
  • 1 piece of ginger (about 2 to 3 inches long) sliced
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 cubes chicken stock (1cm x 1cm cube ~ 4g each) - I used Continental chicken cubes
  • Pinch of salt
For Chilli Sauce:
  • 5 red chillies
  • 3 bird's eye chillies
  • 1 bulb garlic
  • 1 piece of ginger (about 2 inches long)
  • 2 pcs lime
Instructions
For Chicken (a):
  1. Bring a pot of water to boil. Make sure the water level can cover the whole chicken when it's dipped in.
  2. Marinate chicken with salt and sesame oil by rubbing them in liberally on the surface. Remove excess chicken fat (especially near the chicken bottom) for cooking rice later.
  3. Peel the garlic cloves, chop the scallions into about 3cm length and slice the ginger before putting them all into the boiling water.
  4. Once the water is boiling hot, place the chicken into the water and let it boil for about 5 minutes.
  5. Cover the pot and turn off the heat. Let the chicken simmer inside the hot water for about 30 minutes (or more depending on the size of chicken). If you're worried about the chicken being too pink (like me), turn on the heat again after about 15 minutes, and turn it off once the water starts boiling.
  6. Remove the chicken from the pot and transfer to a big bowl filled with ice water. Let it soak for about 5 minutes.
  7. Drain the ice water and chop the chicken into pieces.
  8. Drizzle chicken with garlic and shallot oil and soy sauce. Garnish with coriander.
For Rice:
  1. Wash 2 cups of long grain rice and drain.
  2. On a frying pan, heat the cooking oil and chicken fat. You can find plenty of chicken fat near the chicken bottom.
  3. When the oil is hot and chicken fat starts to melt, throw in the chopped garlic and shallot and sliced ginger. Fry until lightly browned.
  4. Pour in the rice and stir fry for about a minute.
  5. Add in sesame oil and dash of salt. Fry rice for another minute or two.
  6. Transfer rice into rice cooker.
  7. Melt the chicken stock using the soup from the chicken in a). Use in total 2 cups of soup for the rice.
  8. Give the rice a good stir when it's cooked before serving.
For Chilli sauce:
  1. Blend the red chillies, bird's eye chillies, garlic and ginger until fine.
  2. Add in juice of 2 limes.
  3. Add in about 3 tbsp of chicken soup from a) (or more if you prefer a more liquid texture).

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Comments

  1. says

    Hey, lovely home cook Hainanese Chicken Rice. Erm, Why you did not make it like rice ball? hehehe… I am Hainanese I love chicken rice ball! xD

    • says

      Haha I prefer eating nice and fluffy rice that’s why I didn’t make them into rice balls. But I’m guessing it will be a fun activity to do, making rice balls!

  2. says

    THUMBS UP!! it’s always challenging and tough to cook perfect hainanese chicken rice!! and you did it, can open a shop in Sydney and earn a big fortune already!! call yourself “Mother of All Chicken Rice”, haha.. i really mean this, it looks so good and you are able to come out with such a detailed recipe, cool~~

    BTW, i like that recipe section with the Print button.. how did you do this?? it’s so cool~~

  3. says

    the rice looks absolutely divine! i love chicken rice that’s a little on the oily side, with tons of flavor, and with a yellowish tinge. yours ticks all the right boxes, and looks way better than 90 percent of the chicken rice i’ve eaten anywhere :D

  4. says

    It certainly looks perfect. Lucky Saucer, having such a perfect wife…can cook nice chicken rice. I tried a couple of times – not successful so I just gave up. Would just go an eat in the town – easier. Tsk! Tsk!

    • says

      If anything, I’m far from perfect STP! :) But I can make a darn good plate of Chicken rice for sure! hehe you should give this recipe a try.. see if it changes your luck!

  5. says

    Hey! thanks a lot for the tips on the chili dipping. My cili always turns out wrong. must be due to i did not add the chicken soup!.

    Now i look forward to making it. My son likes “yellow rice” as he calls it

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