HAINAN CHICKEN RICE

I LOVE Hainan chicken rice. If I have time, I like to make it old skool style, using a whole chicken which I’ll poach and then use the broth to cook the rice with and make a nice soup to go along with the dish. With the leftover stock, I like to just freeze it and use it for future meals.

If I’m short on time, I’ll forgo the whole chicken and just use chicken breasts with some ready made chicken broth, and by ready made, some Asian stock that I’ve stored in my freezer. By the way, if you don’t have homemade Asian chicken stock and just want to use canned chicken broth, I highly recommend diluting the canned chicken broth with a can of water, unless you like your food more on the salty side. I’ve included the old skool version and the quick version of this recipe for you.

To poach the chicken and make the broth, you just need to throw the ingredients into a stock pot. Bring it to a boil, remove the scum and let this gently simmer for about an hour.

A little over an hour later, you get this beautiful broth and nicely poached chicken.

After letting the chicken rest for about 30 minutes, cut it into pieces. Slice the chicken into bite size pieces right before serving.

If I know I’ll be using a lot of ginger and garlic, I like to get it all chopped up in my food processor. {By the way, I HATE my Cuisinart food processor cause this is seriously my third food processor from them cause it keeps breaking down. I highly recommend getting a Robocoupe if you have the money. That will probably be the next food processor I’ll get once this one breaks down…which will happen MOST likely. uggggghh.}

Nicely minced ginger and garlic will be used to cook the rice and make the sauces with.

To cook the rice, if you are using a package of Jasmine rice that states you don’t need to wash it first, you can forgo washing the rice at least three times and then letting it drain and dry. In a pan, heat up some oil. Add the minced ginger and garlic and saute until it is fragrant. Add the rice and saute until it is lightly golden in color.

Put this rice in your rice cooker and add the chicken broth to the 2-cup rice line. Set the rice cooker to cook.

Cut up the cucumber. I forget what this tool is called but I used it to peel some of the skin from the cucumber and I think it gives it a better presentation in addition to removing some of the bitter taste from the skin.

There are the ingredients for the soup. I know, the gizzards do NOT look very pretty.

Make the various sauces and set aside.

Serve the cooked rice with the poached chicken and various sauces.

Hainan Chicken Rice

Source: Lo Huynh (4 servings)

Ingredients:
Poached Chicken and Chicken Broth:
4 pounds whole chicken
16 cups water
2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled
1 each large yellow onion, peeled and cut in half
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon granulated sugar

Hainan Rice:
2 tablespoon canola oil
2 cups jasmine rice
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 tablespoon ginger, minced
2 cups chicken broth, from poached chicken

Gingered Fish Sauce:
1 tablespoon ginger, minced
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons water

Soy Ginger Dipping Sauce
4 tablespoons peanut oil/canola oil
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tablespoon ginger, minced
2 stalks green onion, chopped

Ginger Salt Dipping Sauce
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 each green onion, chopped
2 tablespoons ginger, minced
1 tsp kosher salt

Chili Lime Sauce:
1 tablespoon lime juice
4 tablespoons chicken broth
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon Sriracha chili garlic sauce
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled

Garnishes:
8 sprigs cilantro
¼ each yellow onion, julienned
¼ each English hothouse cucumber, sliced into thin rounds

Soup:
4 cups chicken broth
1 ounce bean thread noodles
gizzards from cooked chicken, chopped up, optional
2 tablespoons cilantro , chopped
1 stalk scallions, chopped

Poaching Chicken and Chicken Broth:
1. Put the whole chicken, 16 cups water, 2-inch piece ginger, large yellow onion, 4 cloves of garlic, kosher salt, and granulated sugar into a large stock pot.
2. Bring to a boil and skim off the scum.
3. Semi-cover the stock pot and simmer for 1 hour, or until your chicken is fully cooked.
4. Remove the chicken from the broth and let rest on a plate for 30 minutes before cutting it up to be served. Remove the gizzards from the chicken and set aside for the soup if you choose to serve it.
5. Strain the broth.
6. Reserve 2 cups of broth for the Hainan rice and 4 cups for the soup to go with this dish. The rest of the broth can be stored in the freezer and used for future meals that require an Asian chicken broth.

Chicken Hainan Rice:
1. Wash the Jasmine rice at least three times, drain, and let dry. If you use a Thai Jasmine rice where the package states you don’t have to wash the rice before cooking, you can omit this step.
2. In a pan, add 2 tablespoons canola oil. Add 1 tablespoon minced garlic and 1 tablespoon minced ginger. Add rice and saute until slightly golden. This should take about a minute or two.
3. Put rice grains in a rice cooker and add the proper amount of liquid using the liquid used to poach the chicken. I generally adhere to the lines that are found on the rice cooker and generally find that 2 cups of broth works for me.
4. Turn your rice cooker on.

Dipping Sauces:
1. For the fish sauce, mix together the ginger, garlic, sugar, vinegar, fish sauce, and water.
2. For the ginger soy sauce, heat the oil. Turn off heat and then add the ginger, green onion, and soy sauce.
3. For a plain ginger green onion dipping sauce, heat up 3 T. vegetable oil. Turn off heat and add to 1 green onion chopped, 2 T. minced ginger, and 1 tsp. salt.
4. For the chili lime sauce, process the lime juice, poaching liquid, sugar, Sriracha chili garlic sauce, garlic, and ginger in a food processor. If you don’t have a food processor, you can just blend this sauce in a blender.

Soup:
1. In a stock pot, heat 4 cups of the chicken broth and chopped up gizzards if you choose to serve them.
2. If you think your stock is too bland, season with salt and sugar.
3. Bring the broth to a boil, add the bean thread noodles and cook for about a minute.
4. Turn off the heat.
5. Serve with some chopped cilantro and scallions.

Plating the Hainan Chicken Rice:
1. Serve the rice with the poached chicken on a plate with the sliced English hothouse cucumbers.
2. Garnish with the cilantro sprigs and serve with the dipping sauces on the side.

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Quick Version: Hainan Chicken Rice

Source: Lo Huynh (4 servings)

Ingredients:
4 each chicken breasts
2 cups homemade Asian chicken stock
2 cups jasmine rice
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 tablespoon ginger, minced

Dipping Sauces:
Gingered Fish Sauce:
1 tablespoon ginger, minced
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons water

Soy Ginger Dipping Sauce
4 tablespoons peanut oil/canola oil
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tablespoon ginger, minced
2 stalks green onion, chopped

Ginger Salt Dipping Sauce
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 each green onion, chopped
2 tablespoons ginger, minced
1 tsp kosher salt

Chili Lime Sauce:
1 tablespoon lime juice
4 tablespoons chicken broth
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon Sriracha chili garlic sauce
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled

Directions:
1. Poach chicken breasts in the chicken broth by bringing the broth to boil, add the chicken, bring the broth to simmer and cook the breasts in the broth until it is fully cooked.
2. Set chicken breasts aside.
3. Wash the jasmine rice at least three times and drain.
4. In a pan, add 2 T. oil. Add 1 T. minced garlic and 1 T. minced ginger. Add drained rice and saute until slightly golden.
5. Put rice grains in a rice cooker and add the proper amount of chicken broth.
6. Make the dipping sauces.
7. For the fish sauce, mix together the ginger, garlic, sugar, vinegar, fish sauce, and water.
8. For the ginger soy sauce, heat the oil. Turn off heat and then add the ginger, green onion, and soy sauce.
9. For a plain ginger green onion dipping sauce, heat up 3 T. vegetable oil. Turn off heat and add to 1 green onion chopped, 2 T. minced ginger, and 1 tsp. salt.
10. For the chili lime sauce, process the lime juice, poaching liquid, sugar, Sriracha chili garlic sauce, garlic, and ginger in a food processor. If you don’t have a food processor, you can just blend this sauce in a blender.
11. Serve the rice with the poached chicken breasts sliced with the dipping sauces.