Saturday, February 13, 2010

Singaporean Hainanese Chicken

Hainanese Chicken is a Singapore classic made with fresh/ chilled whole chicken.  Copious amounts of salt is rubbed into the skin and in the body cavity to remove impurities.  It is then rinsed in water and the salting- rinsing process is repeated to ensure that the chicken is very clean. The chicken is blotted dry then gently poached several times in chicken stock to infuse the delicate ginger-scallion-sesame flavor.  The resulting poached chicken is very tender and delicate. It is served with three dipping sauces to complement the flavor of the chicken.  Often jasmine rice is added to the stock used for poaching then served as Chicken Rice.

For this dish, I adapted the Hainanese Chicken Rice recipe from The Food Of Singapore.  Since I did not prepare the Chinese chicken stock myself, I added ginger, sesame oil, scallions and salt to enhance the flavor. 

Here's the modified recipe:
1 fresh chicken/ 4 chicken breasts or thighs (deboned but skin on)
4 cups chicken stock
1 tsp sesame oil 
3 slices of ginger
2 scallions
1-2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp light soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil

For the Chicken Rice:
2 cups jasmine rice
2 cups chicken stock used to poach chicken
salt and white pepper to taste

Three kinds of dipping sauces:
Kecap manis (sweet soy sauce)
Sambal olek
Ginger scallion sauce (made by mixing finely minced ginger, scallions, salt, sesame oil, canola oil and chicken broth)

Clean and dry the chicken.  Boil chicken stock, sesame oil, ginger, scallions, salt then put in the chicken.  Cover the pot, let the stock come to a boil again for 1 minute then turn off the heat and let the chicken steep for 15 minutes. Remove chicken from the pot, plunge in iced water and drain.

Bring the stock back to a boil, add the chicken and repeat the steeping process.  Plunge chicken in iced water and drain.  Repeat the whole process twice so that the chicken has steeped in the chicken stock for a total of 60 minutes.  The chicken will be lightly cooked, not at all dried out and with no traces of blood.  Cut into serving pieces, sprinkle with soy sauce and sesame oil, and set aside. Make sure you adjust the amount of seasoning depending on the size of chicken you use.

Wash jasmine rice and cook it in a rice cooker.  Place the dipping sauce in separate dishes.  Serve Hainanese Chicken with hot Chicken Rice and the three dipping sauces. Enjoy!


Angie's Recipes said...

One of my favourite dishes....yours looks very professionally cooked.

A Year on the Grill said...

This is such a beautiful post. I would try, but I am moving soon, and promised my wife I would not buy any more sauces... But saving this to try soon

Sharlene T. said...

Definitely something to fix for that someone special! Thank you for sharing.

Juliana said...

I love this chicken dish...and usually load the chicken with the sauce...so yummie!

Elra said...

My family favorite, it always remind me of home. I just made this for our week-end supper. Delicious!

My Carolina Kitchen said...

I'm not familiar with this dish. It looks so interesting and your photos are gorgeous.

Joie de vivre said...

Thanks so much for visiting! I've been out of the blogging world for a little bit. Just taking a break. It is so good to be back. You've changed your site a lot! It looks wonderful.

Carolyn Jung said...

One of my all-time favorite dishes! I totally hog the ginger-scallion sauce, too. I can't resist anything with ginger. And this sauce is so good, I just want to put it on everything.

lalaine said...

I've never tried this but it sure sounds delicious, even light enough to have for a summer meal! Thanks for sharing.