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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Hainanese Chicken Rice for Winter Solistice Festival

Today is Winter Solistice Festival, which means CNY is coming soon! Steamed chicken with chilli sauce ( with ginger & lime ) or soy sauce ( with fried garlic ) is one of the must have dishes during festive season way back in Ipoh. We only made this type of chilli sauce during festive season and I can't forget it as it taste really good together with steamed chicken.
Therefore, we cooked Hainanese chicken rice today with chilli sauce ( for the two adults, haha! ). As I am cooking the whole chicken, ES got the chance to have her drumstick ( we seldom buy drumstick to cook at home ).

Using steamykitchen's recipe as a guide for tonight's winter solistice festival's dinner. MSLS loves it as they keep on asking for more chicken meat until I have to stop them.


1 whole chicken
kosher salt\
4'' section of fresh ginger, in 1/4'' slices
2 stalks green onions, cut into 1" sections (both the green and white parts)
1 teaspoon sesame oil oil - FOR THE RICE ( I omitted this )
2 tbsp vegetable oil
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1'' section of ginger, finely minced
2 cups long-grain uncooked rice, washed and soaked in cool water for 10 min or longer
2 cups reserved chicken poaching broth1/2 teaspoon sesame oil ( I omitted this )
1 teaspoon kosher salt - FOR THE CHILI SAUCE
1 tablespoon lime juice ( iused lemon juice - for making chilli sauce )
2 tablespoon reserved chicken poaching broth
2 teaspoon sugar
4 tablespoon chili sauce
4 cloves garlic
1'' ginger
a generous pinch of salt, to taste


1. To clean the chicken, with a small handful of kosher salt, rub the chicken all over, getting rid of any loose skin and dirt. Rinse chicken well, inside and outside. Season generously with salt inside and outside. Stuff the chicken with the ginger slices and the green onion. Place the chicken in a large stockpot and fill with cold water to cover by 1 inch. Bring the pot to a boil over high heat, then immediately turn the heat to low to keep a simmer. Cook for about 30 minutes more (less if you're using a smaller chicken). Check for doneness by sticking a chopstick into the flesh under the leg and see if the juices run clear or insert a thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh not touching bone. It should read 170F.
2. When the chicken is cooked through, turn off the heat and remove the pot from the burner. Immediately lift and transfer the chicken into a bath of ice water to cool and discard the ginger and green onion. Don't forget to reserve the poaching broth for your rice, your sauce, and the accompanying soup. The quick cooling will stop the cooking process, keeping the meat soft and tender, and giving the skin a lovely firm texture.
3. To cook the rice: Drain the rice. In a wok or sauce pan (use a medium sauce pan if you plan on cooking the rice on the stove top), heat 2 tablespoons of cooking oil over medium-high heat. When hot, add the ginger and the garlic and fry until your kitchen smells like heaven. Be careful not to burn the aromatics! Add in your drained rice and stir to coat, cook for 2 minutes. Add the sesame oil, mix well.
To make the rice on the stove: In the same sauce pan, add 2 cups of your reserved poaching broth, add salt and bring to a boil. Immediately turn the heat down to low, cover the pot and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit (with lid still on) for 5-10 minutes more.
To cook rice in a rice cooker: Pour aromatics and rice (after frying) into your rice cooker, add 2 1/2 cups of your reserved poaching broth and salt. Follow the instructions for your model (usually this will just mean "turn it on!")
4. While your rice is cooking, remove the chicken from the ice bath and rub the outside of the chicken with the sesame oil. Carve the chicken for serving.
5. To make the soup: You should have six or seven cups of the reserved poaching broth left over to serve as soup. Just before serving, heat up the soup, taste and season with salt as necessary.
Serve the chicken rice with chili sauce, dark soy sauce, cucumber slices, and a bowl of hot broth garnished with cilantro or scallions

I didn't follow this recipe for making chilli sauce, as still prefer our traditional chilli sauce recipe.

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