Hainanese Chicken Rice - The Innovative Way
Thankfully, Germany isn't so bad in terms of ingredients. The lack of Malaysian restaurants means the lack of certain ingredients. But most of what I needed was around. So what went in?
5 Stalks Spring Onions (sliced to about 5cm each, with roots thrown away)
Thumb sized Ginger (skin taken off and sliced)
4 pieces chicken thigh (cleaned and insertions cut into the meat)
1 tbsp whole white pepper
2 to 3 bulbs of shallots (skin removed and sliced into half)
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup jasmine rice
2 tsp butter
1 clove garlic - finely sliced
1 tbsp soy sauce
salt and pepper to taste
A bunch of lettuce leaves
1 large bowl of water
- To prepare the chicken, make sure to clean all unwanted parts - feathers left over. Next cut deeply into the chicken so that it has enough space to stuff some ginger and spring onions - use the green part of the spring onions. You can opt to insert the spring onions underneath the skin of the chicken as well.
- Prepare a pot, add in the bowl of water and bring to boil. Whilst waiting for the water to boil, add in shallots, whole white pepper, the white part of the spring onions, oil and salt.
- When water is boiling, add in chicken. Reduce the heat to allow soup to cook chicken.
- On another pot, wash a cup of jasmine rice. Cooking rice in a rice cooker and a pot is the same. Do not disturb it. But before we actually cook the rice, we add the sliced garlic, butter, spring onions and black pepper. Heat the pot up containing the rice. Ensure the butter starts to melt and constantly stir the rice to avoid it sticking to the pot. The butter will act as the oiling agent for the rice replacing vegetable oil. Here you can replace the butter with oil if you do not want to have it too fatty but trust me it tastes way better with butter.
- Once the rice is coated thoroughly with butter and the spring onions is turning colour into a deep green, add in the right dosage of water. Here one cup of water would need 1 1/2 cups of water. Cover the pot and let it cook. The heat is what will cook the rice. Do not open the cover until after 10 minutes. Stir the rice and then cover again. Let it sit for another five minutes before switching off the fire.
- The chicken by now would be ready. Reduce the heat to the smallest flame available. Take out the chicken and let it sit. Using the soup, add in your lettuce leaves to blanch it. This would cook your vegetables and save you time in boiling up another pot of water to blanch your leaves. It also adds flavour to them.
- Serve up with chicken, vegetables and rice. For condiments, you can choose to have chilli sauce or for me Chiu Chow Chilli sauce. Not having a blender makes it difficult for me to serve up the chicken rice chilli sauce. But then again, this probably calls for innovative thinking :)
As I had no rice cooker, I had to use what was available to me to cook the rice. I used this glass to measure my rice and my portion of water. It goes the same with other glasses. Just do not start using bowls. That would mean an overflow of rice.
The time I took to cook was about 45 minutes provided you have defrosted your chicken or bought fresh from the supermarket. It may be a tad long, but you will relish the taste after that.
Still savouring the taste,
The Innovative Baker