Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Hainanese Chicken is spelled like this: Y-U-M

What could be more apropos than having my 500th blog post be about food?

Really, nothing.

So here goes....

I am always on the lookout for new, simple recipes.  In the midst of a grey, cold, rainy Spring Break week, I came across a recipe for Hainanese Chicken with Rice on the Kitchn.

An excerpt of the author's description of the recipe: "And finally you have this scrumptious rice — slippery with oil, and fragrant with shallots and garlic."

I was smitten.

Here is the original recipe (courtesy of my secret boyfriend, Mark Bittman).

But, if you're too lazy to click through, here it is (with my shortcuts, of course):

(the picture is from

Hainanese Chicken With Rice

Yield: 4-8 servings

  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 whole (3- to 4-pound) chicken, trimmed of excess fat
  • Several cloves smashed garlic, plus 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • Several slices fresh ginger, plus 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1/2 cup peanut oil, or neutral oil, like corn or canola
    • I used canola
  • 3 shallots, roughly chopped, or a small onion
    • I used about 1/4 of an onion
  • 2 cups long-grain rice
  • 1/2 cup minced scallions
  • Chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it. Add chicken to pot along with smashed garlic and sliced ginger. Bird should be completely submerged, but only just. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and cook for 10 minutes. Turn off heat and let bird remain in water for 45 minutes to an hour, covered, or until it is cooked through.

  • I know, this doesn't seem like enough time or heat to cook the chicken.  But I swear, it worked like a charm. 

2. Remove chicken from pot, reserve stock, and let bird cool to room temperature. Put half the peanut oil in a skillet over medium heat; you may add trimmed chicken fat to this also. When oil is hot, add remaining garlic, along with shallots; cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring, until glossy. Add 4 cups reserved chicken stock and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cover; cook for about 20 minutes, until rice has absorbed all liquid. Stir in salt and pepper to taste.

3. Make a dipping sauce of remaining oil, ginger, half the scallions and a large pinch of salt.

4. Shred or chop chicken, discarding skin. Put rice on a large platter and mound chicken on top of it; decorate platter with remaining scallions and cilantro. Sprinkle sesame oil over all and serve with dipping sauce.

  • Without the add-ons, this is really nothing more than some tender chicken and white rice.  With the toppings, it's like tiny fairies waved their wands and turned it into a sensory journey to an exotic Asian land.   I made the "dipping sauce", but just sort of scooped it into the middle of the individual portions.  Don't omit the drizzle of sesame oil!  I also dripped Sriracha over it.  It was AMAZING.  
I would have included a picture of my own, but I have been too busy gobbling down the leftovers. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This chicken sounds yummy. Will have to try it on Dad. -- Jan