Friday, January 01, 2010

Happy new year, happy tummy

This is Hainan Chicken Rice, a traditional Chinese-Malaysian dish. I was in Malaysia for about two months after graduating high school and ate this a lot. It's healthy and delicious and pretty easy to make:

Boil water and add salt and peppercorns. The pot should be big enough to cover an entire 2-3 lb chicken in water.
Meanwhile, rinse and drain a whole chicken. Cut off the excess fat and reserve, then stuff the cavity with sliced ginger and scallions.
Once the water has started boiling, put the chicken in breast side down and reduce to barely a simmer. You just want it to poach, not boil. If necessary, turn off the heat about 20 mins in. Cooking time for the chicken should be about 45 mins.
Once the chicken is done, remove from the cooking liquid and immediately submerge in ice water for about 10 mins. Remove and let drain at room temp. Save the cooking liquid!
Rinse your rice (jasmine) til the liquid runs clear.
Using the chicken fat, render it in a pot or deep saucepan (I used the one I'd cooked the chicken in as it's pretty heavy on the bottom). Throw a few cloves of chopped garlic in, followed by the rice. Sautee for about 5 minutes and then add the chicken's cooking liquid. I used 2 cups of dry rice and 3 cups of the liquid. Bring to a simmer and cover, with heat very low.
At this point you can make your chili sauce - fresh lime juice, a little sugar, some garlic mashed in salt, grated ginger, and Thai Sriracha sauce. Slice up some cucumber.
To serve, cut the chicken up into small pieces (see photo). Serve with the chicken rice, cucumbers, chili sauce, and a side of soy sauce.

I took all the skin off my chicken to make it even healthier - so delicious!

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