This is one of our favourite meals… the kids break out into a happy dance when it’s “white skinned chicken” for dinner. It’s also a great option for warmer weather as this dish is served at room temperature.

Hainanese Chicken and Rice can be found at most Chinese, Singaporean and Malaysian restaurants but it can take a bite out of your wallet. Now that my kids are consuming whole adult portions, this is a budget friendly dinner to have at home. The cost of a homemade meal for four is the same as a single order of this dish at a restaurant.

Poaching a whole chicken on the stovetop is superior to making it in an electric pressure cooker. There is greater control over the texture of the chicken. Plus it yields a whole pot of chicken broth! However, I do prefer cooking Hainan chicken legs in the electric pressure cooker for a quicker option.

Makes 4-6 servings

Ingredients

For the Chicken

Water
1 tablespoon sea salt
3 pound whole chicken
6 stalks green onion
2 ounce ginger, sliced
3 cloves garlic, smashed

For the Dipping Sauce

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
6 stalks green onion, chopped
2 ounces ginger, grated
½ teaspoon kosher salt

For the Rice

Chicken fat
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 rice cups Jasmine rice, washed and drained
4 rice cups chicken broth, reserved

For Serving

1 English cucumber, thinly sliced
2-3 pinches ground white pepper
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
8 sprigs cilantro, garnish

Instructions

  1. Fill a large stock pot halfway with water, add salt and bring to a boil. While the water is boiling, prepare the chicken. Remove excess fat and set it aside.
  2. Stuff the cavity of the chicken loosely, with green onion, ginger and garlic.
  3. Once the water reaches a rolling boil, place the chicken into the pot, breast side up. Turn the heat down to low and cover. Do not let the water simmer. It should be still. Let the chicken poach for 50-60 minutes. Place the poached chicken in a large bowl of ice water for about 10 minutes to halt the cooking. Discard the green onion, ginger and garlic. Reserve broth.
  4. Meanwhile, place the green onion, ginger and salt into a bowl. In a medium saucepan on medium high heat, heat the oil until you see a whisp of white smoke. Carefully pour it over the green onion and ginger mixture and mix well. Set aside.
  5. Turn the heat down to medium and add the chicken fat to the saucepan. Render the chicken fat until you get about 1-2 tablespoons of liquid. If you don’t have 2 tablespoons, add enough vegetable oil to reach approximately 2 tablespoons.
  6. Add the garlic and stir-fry for about 30 seconds until fragrant, then add the rice and stir-fry for about 5 minutes. Stir occasionally, making sure it doesn’t burn. Discard the pieces of chicken fat. Add 4 rice cups of the reserved chicken broth to cook the rice.*
  7. On medium high heat, bring the rice to a simmer, uncovered. Cover and turn down the heat to low. Cook until rice is tender and no water remains in the saucepan, about 18-20 minutes.
  8. Check the bottom of the rice by sticking a rubber spatula down the side of the pot to see. If the bottom of the pot is still wet or if the rice feels wet, turn off the heat and let rest for 5-10 minutes.
  9. If the bottom of the pot is dry and the rice is not quite tender, sprinkle about a tablespoon of broth evenly over the top of the rice and cook for another 5-10 minutes.
  10. Meanwhile, arrange the cucumber slices on a serving plate. Once the chicken is cool to handle, separate the meat from the bones, slice or shred the chicken and place on top of the cucumber. Sprinkle with 2-3 pinches of ground white pepper.
  11. In a small bowl, stir the soy sauce and sesame oil until well mixed. Drizzle the mixture evenly over the chicken. Garnish with cilantro leaves.
  12. Serve with rice and green onion mixture on the side.

*Alternatively, transfer and cook rice in a rice cooker or electric pressure cooker, using only 3 rice cups of the reserved broth as the ratio of rice to liquid will then be 1:1. If using an electric pressure cooker, pressure cook on high for 4 minutes. Once the pressure cooking is done, natural pressure release for 10 minutes and then quick release the remaining pressure.

Hainan Whole Chicken and Rice

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
Servings: 6 people

Ingredients

For the Chicken

  • Water
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 3 pound whole chicken
  • 6 stalks green onion
  • 2 ounce ginger sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic smashed

For the Dipping Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 6 stalks green onion chopped
  • 2 ounces ginger grated
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

For the Rice

  • Chicken fat
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 rice cups Jasmine rice washed and drained
  • 4 rice cups chicken broth reserved

For Serving

  • 1 English cucumber thinly sliced
  • 2-3 pinches ground white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 8 sprigs cilantro garnish

Instructions

  • Fill a large stock pot halfway with water, add salt and bring to a boil. While the water is boiling, prepare the chicken. Remove excess fat and set it aside.
  • Stuff the cavity of the chicken loosely, with green onion, ginger and garlic.
  • Once the water reaches a rolling boil, place the chicken into the pot, breast side up. Turn the heat down to low and cover. Do not let the water simmer. It should be still. Let the chicken poach for 50-60 minutes. Place the poached chicken in a large bowl of ice water for about 10 minutes to halt the cooking. Discard the green onion, ginger and garlic. Reserve broth.
  • Meanwhile, place the green onion, ginger and salt into a bowl. In a medium saucepan on medium high heat, heat the oil until you see a whisp of white smoke. Carefully pour it over the green onion and ginger mixture and mix well. Set aside.
  • Turn the heat down to medium and add the chicken fat to the saucepan. Render the chicken fat until you get about 1-2 tablespoons of liquid. If you don’t have 2 tablespoons, add enough vegetable oil to reach approximately 2 tablespoons.
  • Add the garlic and stir-fry for about 30 seconds until fragrant, then add the rice and stir-fry for about 5 minutes. Stir occasionally, making sure it doesn’t burn. Discard the pieces of chicken fat. Add 4 rice cups of the reserved chicken broth to cook the rice.*
  • On medium high heat, bring the rice to a simmer, uncovered. Cover and turn down the heat to low. Cook until rice is tender and no water remains in the saucepan, about 18-20 minutes.
  • Check the bottom of the rice by sticking a rubber spatula down the side of the pot to see. If the bottom of the pot is still wet or if the rice feels wet, turn off the heat and let rest for 5-10 minutes.
  • If the bottom of the pot is dry and the rice is not quite tender, sprinkle about a tablespoon of broth evenly over the top of the rice and cook for another 5-10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, arrange the cucumber slices on a serving plate. Once the chicken is cool to handle, separate the meat from the bones, slice or shred the chicken and place on top of the cucumber. Sprinkle with 2-3 pinches of ground white pepper.
  • In a small bowl, stir the soy sauce and sesame oil until well mixed. Drizzle the mixture evenly over the chicken. Garnish with cilantro leaves.
  • Serve with rice and green onion mixture on the side.

Notes

Alternatively, transfer and cook rice in a rice cooker or electric pressure cooker, using only 3 rice cups of the reserved broth as the ratio of rice to liquid will then be 1:1. If using an electric pressure cooker, pressure cook on high for 4 minutes. Once the pressure cooking is done, natural pressure release for 10 minutes and then quick release the remaining pressure.


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