Hainan Chicken & Rice
Chicken & Duck Noodles, Pasta & Rice ★★★★★

Hainan Chicken & Rice (海南雞飯)

Hainan Chicken Rice is an extremely popular dish in Singapore. Nearly every hawker in Singapore can make a good Hainan Chicken Rice. We don’t have access to a quality Hainan Chicken Rice here in Australia, so I have to resort to making my own at home.

To me, an excellent Hainan Chicken Rice has the following qualities:
– the chicken meat is silky smooth and super tender;
– the chicken rice is fragrant and flavoursome; and
– the ginger, chilli & garlic sauce is tasty and gives the right amount of “kick”.

After experimenting with a few different ways of making Hainan Chicken Rice and with varying success, I can now post a recipe that I am reasonably happy with. (Do follow the sequence under Method for a smooth workflow.)

INGREDIENTS

Chicken:
1 whole chicken (in the video, I used only half a chicken)
4 slices of ginger
1/2 stalk of spring onion
Sufficient water to cover the chicken meat

Chicken rice:
1 cup of jasmine rice (washed & drained)
Chicken fat (from the chicken)
4 slices of ginger
1 tbsp chopped garlic
1 teaspoon of salt
1 cup of chicken stock

Chicken soya sauce *
1 of salt
1 teaspoon of sesame oil
1 tablespoon of light soya sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
4 tablespoons of chicken stock

Chilli and ginger sauce:
1 tablespoon of grated ginger
1 fresh chilli (chopped)
1 tablespoon garlic & oil
1 teaspoon of salt
2 tablespoons of chicken soya sauce (see above *)

Spring onion and ginger sauce:
Half a stalk of spring onion (sliced)
1 tablespoon of grated ginger
1 tablespoon of garlic & oil
1 teaspoon of salt
2 tablespoons of chicken soya sauce (see above *)

Chicken soup (per serve):
1 cup of chicken stock
2 lettuce leaves (shredded)
1 teaspoon fried onion

METHOD

1. Poach the chicken

  • Place ginger and spring onion in a pot of boiling water. Cover and boil for a few minutes. Ensure there is sufficient water to cover the chicken meat.
  • Make sure the chicken reach room temperature before putting it into the pot of boiling water. Bring the water back to a boil. Dip the chicken in and out of water ensuring the water fill the inside of the chicken.
  • Cover the pot and boil the chicken for 5 minutes.
  • Turn the heat down to very low and simmer for 20 minutes. {In the meanwhile, move to step 2.)
  • After 20 minutes, check whether chicken is fully cooked. Insert a food thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken. Chicken is cooked when the internal temperature reaches 70°C.
  • Remove the chicken and put it into an ice bath to stop the cooking process. (I didn’t do this step in the video).
  • Once cooled, remove the bones (if preferred) and slice the chicken. Put the sliced chicken on a serving dish. Brush the chicken lightly with sesame oil.
  • Place the bones back into the pot of water and continue boiling to reduce to a more concentrated chicken soup.

2. Make garlic oil and cook the rice

  • Place chopped chilli and grated ginger in a sauce bowl. Set aside.
  • Place sliced spring onion and grated ginger in another sauce bowl. Set aside.
  • Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a saucepan. Add chicken fat and fry.
  • Add chopped garlic and fry till golden.
  • Remove 1 tablespoon of oil and garlic to the bowl of chilli and ginger.
  • Remove 1 tablespoon of oil and garlic to the bowl of spring onion and ginger.
  • Add ginger slices to the remaining oil and garlic.
  • Add the washed rice and fry till the rice is fully coated with the ginger and garlic mixture.
  • Add salt, to taste.
  • Transfer rice to a rice cooker and add 1 cup of the chicken poaching liquid.
  • Steam the rice as per usual method.

3. Prepare the sauces

  • Chicken soya sauce:
    • Place sugar, sesame oil and soya sauce in a sauce bowl.
    • Add 4 tablespoons of poaching liquid. Stir to mix.
  • Chilli and ginger sauce:
    • Add salt and 2 tablespoons of chicken soya sauce to the bowl of chilli, ginger and garlic oil. Stir to mix.
  • Spring onion and ginger sauce:
    • Add salt and 2 tablespoons of chicken soya sauce to the bowl of spring onion, ginger and garlic oil. Stir to mix.
  • Pour the remaining chicken soya sauce over the chopped chicken, just before serving.

4. Prepare the chicken soup:

  • Place lettuce shreds in a soup bowl.
  • Ladle the boiling chicken stock into the bowl.
  • Top with fried onion.

Serve Hainan chicken and chicken rice with chilli ginger sauce, spring onion ginger sauce and chicken soup. Enjoy a hearty meal 😋😋😋😋😋

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