For making Hainan Chicken Rice recipe click on the link. Buy fresh pandan leaves at Chinese supermarkets or frozen packages, if none available you can substitute with spring onion or young leeks. To handle the leaves for stuffing and cooking, tie 3-4 leaves into a knot as shown in the image here below.
Hainan Chicken Tutorial step-by-step photo overview
Fresh pandan leaves, great fragrance and vibrant colour
For us a distinct Hainan Chicken Rice flavour is steeping the stock with Pandan leaves, it enhances unique fragrance. My home recipe for Singaporean style how to teach my kids to cook this dish. Like any great dish, every Singaporean cook has its very own recipe. Suggestions for Chinese stock methods and variations or Hainan Chicken Rice – food chat trivia, click on the links. Luckily we all share one big secret ingredient.
“Love” to eat, create and share.
Preparing chickens; have everything set up and ready.
Don’t forget to remove the chicken fat at the rear side of the chicken
Remove chicken fat and set aside for use in stock or making chilli paste.
Salt and rub all over the chicken, scrub as you can see it exfoliates and smooth the skin
After a good rub, the skin will look glossy and clean
Season the chicken in and outside with pepper and salt
Season the chickens
Stuff cavity with whole garlic cloves, ginger slices followed by the pandan knots. This will prevent the stuffing from falling out and locks everything in for great aroma development.
Stuff chicken with herbs in cavity
Tie up the chicken legs, so it is easier to lift and lower the chickens into the stock.
Tie up the chicken with the packaged food elastic or butcher’s twine.
Chicken prepared, marinating time will do its work blending the flavours.
Transfer the chicken to a container and marinate the chicken in the fridge for 6-8 hours or overnight.
Prepare the aromatics for stock and rice
Fry the chicken fat add ginger, garlic, Chinese wine, light soy sauce, a dash of sesame oil. Fill the pan with 4 litres of water.
Preparing Chicken broth
Bring to a rolling boil first, lower the chickens submerged in the liquid and turn the heat down to a simmer. With only a soft bubble on the surface, this manner is poaching the chickens.
Whole chickens submerged in stock
Let the chicken poach in the stock for approximately 35-40 minutes, taste and add seasoning if needed. Put a lid on and turn off the heat. Let the chickens cool down in the poaching liquid
Hainan Chicken Rice – plump rice kernels full of flavour
Method 1: Wash 6 cups of rice and cook in cooled poaching stock for a fragrant rice with a light aroma.
Method 2: Fry chicken fat in 2 tablespoons of oil together with the smashed garlic and ginger till its golden brown and fragrant. Add the rice, keep stirring coating all the rice kernels with a thin layer of chicken fat oil. Add the rice wine while it sizzles keeps mixing, as soon as you smell fragrance lifting up this signals to add the poaching liquid to cook the rice. At the end when you fluff up the rice remove the aromatics.
Method 3: Make a rice paste first, by pounding the chicken fat, ginger and garlic together with seasonings. Then fry the paste into 3-4 tablespoons of oil for 3-4 minutes releasing an aroma. Add the rice and mix to coat the rice. Pour the stock with pandan leaves to cook till the rice is ready.
Of all three methods, the rice paste will be fully absorbed producing an intensified flavour to the chicken rice.
Lift the chicken up from the pan with the opening down to pour the cavity empty.
If you leave the skin on rub the chicken with ½-1 tablespoon sesame oil for extra aroma and a nice gloss. Fluff the rice pan and remove all the aromatics from the rice.
How to cut and dress the plate
How to cut the chicken into serving portions
Cut off the chicken legs and remove the stuffing.
This way the cavity opened up more to take out the stuffing. Now remove off the chicken wings, cut away the backbone. And remove the chicken carcass by pulling it off the chicken meat.
Cut and remove the breasts
Turn the breast, remove all the bones and cartilage, with the breasts up cut through the middle and slice it up in pieces.
Cut each breast horizontally lengthwise, making it thinner and easier to cut equal portions,
Chop the legs with a cleaver through the bone or debone first. Remove and discard wing tip, chop in equal pieces.
Dress the plate
With all the cutting done, scoop the rice onto the plate add the garnish.
If at a restaurant or shop, sometimes you will be asked which meat cut
Place a combination of sliced chicken breast or chopped chicken wing or juicy leg onto the plate
Add condiments; dark soy sauce, chilli hot-sour sauce (and minced ginger sauce).
Enjoy labour of love
Hainan Chicken Rice Plate – Let’s jiak! – Time to makan-lah :-).
As street food meal, a big bottle of ice-cold beer makes a great combination. In refined dining setting pairing with wine, I would opt for a Viognier. Why? It is a dry, medium-bodied with loads of fruit flavours. While enjoying have a look here at Singapore as your next stop.
What would you like to pair with this dish? Leave a comment of even better sent me a photo how you enjoy your meal. Cheers!!
- Chinese stock methods and variations
- Hainan Chicken Rice – food chat trivia