Hainan Chicken Rice

Hainan Chicken Rice


  • 1 whole chicken [2-3 lbs]
  • 5-6 stalks fresh scallions
  • 6 inch fresh ginger, peeled, cut into thick slices
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 additional stalks fresh scallions, chopped, for garnish [optional]
  • 1 seedless cucumber, peeled, halved and sliced diagonally
  • a few sprigs of fresh cilantro, for garnishing
  • tsp white peppercorns
  • salt

        Ingredients for Chicken rice :

  • 3 cups long grained rice, washed and drained
  • 1 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp chicken fat or vegetable oil
  • 6 cups, or more, chicken broth [from the cooking broth]
  • 6 pandan leaves [screwpine leaves] [optional]

        Ingredients for Special Chili Dipping Sauce :

  • 1 tbsp kaffir lime juice [Substitute: lime or lemon juice]
  • 1-2 tbsp chicken broth [from the cooking broth]
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 4 tbsp hot chili sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely ground or mashed
  • 1 inch ginger, finely ground or grated
  • salt

       To Prepare Special Chili Dipping Sauce :

  • Mix hot chili sauce with lime juice, sugar, garlic, ginger, chicken broth [spooning some of the chicken fat oil] and salt to taste
  • Pour chili sauce into small condiment dishes, for each individual serving


Cook's Note : This meal can be made a low-fat diet dish. Skim and discard any residual fat/oil from the chicken broth before cooking the chicken rice. [Best if chilled in the fridge for easy removal of fat/oil]. You may also remove the skin from the cooked chicken before serving.


          To Prepare Chicken :
  • Cut off any excess fat, reserve for using to cook rice, wash chicken, drain well, stuff ginger slices and scallions stalks into the cavity of the chicken
  • In a large stockpot, add sufficient water [to cover the chicken], white peppercorns and about 2 tbsp salt, bring to a boil
  • Submerge the whole chicken, breast-side down in the boiling water, and immediately reducing the heat to a slow poach
  • Cover, poach chicken for about 45-50 mins, [check to make sure the water does not 'boil' the chicken]
  • When chicken is cooked, remove and plunge immediately into a bath of icy cold water, submerging the chicken for about 10 mins
  • Remove chicken from the ice bath, discard ginger slices and scallion stalks from the cavity, drain the chicken well, set aside - meanwhile cook the chicken rice
  • When the chicken is cool enough to handle, cut it neatly into serving size pieces [de-bone chicken, if you prefer]

       To Prepare Chicken Rice :

  • Wash rice till water runs clear, drain well
  • Heat wok on high, add the reserved chicken fat, render into an oil to about 2 tbsp [add vegetable oil if chicken fat oil is insufficient ]
  • Add chopped garlic, stir-fry for a few seconds
  • Add the raw rice, stir-fry till the rice grains start to look translucent, about 8-10 mins
  • Transfer rice to a pot, add 6 cups chicken broth, salt and pandan leaves [*Note: depending on the type of rice, use more or less of the chicken broth]
  • Bring to a boil, reduce heat, simmer uncovered, until the chicken broth is absorbed by the rice [small 'bubble' holes start to appear on the rice]
  • Reduce heat to very low, cover the rice with a tight-fitting lid, cook for a further 10-12 mins
  • Turn off heat, DO NOT open the cover, wait for 10 mins before opening [steam inside will gently finish steaming the rice]
  • Fluff up the rice with a fork [If rice is not fully cook, simply add a little chicken broth, cover and steam on very low heat for another 5 mins or so]
  • Alternatively, 'fry' the raw rice in a wok until translucent, then transfer into an electric rice cooker and add sufficient chicken broth to cook
  • Any leftover chicken broth after making the rice, can be served as a small side soup, garnished with some chopped cilantro
  • Line a serving platter with cucumber slices, arrange chicken pieces on top, sprinkle with soy sauce, sesame oil, and garnish with chopped scallions and cilantro sprigs
  • Serve Hainan chicken [usually served at room temperature] with chicken rice, side soup - and special chili dipping sauce!


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