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Hainanese Chicken Rice

Hainanese Chicken Rice Recvipe
Hainanese Chicken Rice Recvipe

This dish holds a special place in the hearts of those who grew up eating it, like my husband and best friend. But even if you’re new to Hainanese Chicken Rice, don’t be intimidated by its reputation as a complicated dish. In reality, it’s much easier to make than it looks! Featuring succulent poached chicken served with rice, flavourful broth, spring onion sauce, chilli sauce and a drizzle of sweet soy sauce, this is a delicious meal that the whole family will love. In case you’re worried about needing a bunch of specialty ingredients to make this dish, I’ve included simple ways to make your own sambal oelek and kecap manis using ingredients that you are more likely to already have on hand.

Can you make Hainanese Chicken Rice ahead of time?

Yes, you can refrigerate the chicken, rice and soup separately for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave.

Is Hainanese Chicken Rice suitable for leftovers?

Hainanese Chicken Rice is not suitable for freezing, but you can refrigerate the chicken, rice, and soup separately for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave.

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Hainanese Chicken Rice Recvipe

Hainanese Chicken Rice

  • Total Time: 1 hour 45 mins
  • Yield: 4 1x

Ingredients

Units Scale

Chicken and broth

  • 1.11.8 kg whole free-range chicken
  • 2 spring onions/scallions, whole, tops removed
  • 2 tsp chicken stock powder
  • 1 tsp ginger, freshly grated
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup Shaoxing wine (Chinese cooking wine)
  • 1 tsp sesame oil, plus extra to taste
  • 1 tsp tamari (or all-purpose soy sauce), plus extra to taste
  • 1/4 green cabbage, roughly sliced

Rice

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ginger, freshly grated
  • 1 cup jasmine rice
  • 1.5 cups chicken stock

Spring onion sauce

  • 4 spring onions/scallions, finely sliced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ginger, freshly grated
  • 4 tbsp olive oil (see note 1)

Chilli sauce

  • 4 bird’s eye chillies
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (see note 1)
  • 1 tsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp white sugar
  • 1 tbsp chicken poaching liquid
    OR
  • 1 tbsp store-bought sambal oelek chilli paste mixed with 1 tbsp chicken poaching liquid

Kecap Manis

  • 1/2 cup tamari (or all-purpose soy sauce)
  • 1/2 cup caster/superfine sugar
    OR
  • 1/2 cup store-bought kecap manis

To serve

  • Sliced cucumber
  • Coriander/cilantro

Instructions

Chicken and broth

  1. Rinse the chicken (this creates a clearer broth) and place it in a large pot. Cover with water so that the chicken is submerged with at least 2 cm or 1/2″ of water on top.
  2. Add the whole spring onions (bend or tear to fit them in the pot if required), chicken stock powder, grated ginger, garlic cloves and Shaoxing wine.
  3. Cook on high heat, and once the soup comes to a boil, reduce to the lowest heat setting with the lid on, slightly ajar. Simmer for 1-1.5 hours.
  4. Remove the chicken from the broth and set aside in a small bowl. Drizzle with the sesame oil and tamari (or all-purpose soy sauce). Cover it with foil to keep it warm. Allow to rest for at least 10 minutes.
  5. Add the cabbage to the poaching liquid, and cook for 5-8 minutes until soft.

Rice

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add the garlic and ginger. Cook, stirring for 30 seconds until fragrant. Immediately add the rice. Cook, stirring for 1 minute.
  2. Pour the contents into a rice cooker (see note 2 for the stovetop absorption method).
  3. Add the chicken stock and cook as per the rice cooker instructions.

Spring onion sauce

  1. Combine the spring onion, salt, ginger and olive oil in a small bowl. Mix until well combined.
  2. Allow to sit at room temperature for at least 10 minutes.

Chilli sauce

  1. In a food processor, blend the chilli, garlic, olive oil, rice wine vinegar, salt, sugar and chicken poaching liquid until smooth.

Kecap manis

  1. Add tamari (or all-purpose soy sauce) and sugar to a small pot. Bring to a gentle simmer on medium heat (see note 3 for microwave instructions).
  2. Simmer for 2 minutes until the sugar dissolves and the sauce begins to thicken, the sauce will also thicken as it cools.
  3. Store refrigerated for 2-3 weeks in an air-tight jar.

To serve

  1. Cut chicken into quarters and serve with the rice, sliced cucumber, coriander, spring onion sauce and chilli sauce. Drizzle the chicken and rice with kecap manis.
  2. Serve the broth alongside and season to taste with more sesame oil and tamari (or all-purpose soy sauce).

Notes

Note 1 – A neutral-tasting oil, such as canola or peanut oil, can be used if preferred.

 

Note 2 – Cooking rice using the absorption method:

  1. Heat the olive oil on medium heat in a large skillet. Add the garlic and ginger. Cook, stirring for 1 minute.
  2. Add the rice. Cook, stirring for 1 minute.
  3. Add the chicken stock. Bring to a boil and then immediately reduce to the lowest heat.
  4. Cover and cook for 15 minutes (do not remove the lid).
  5. Remove from heat and rest for 10 minutes with the lid on before fluffing up with a fork and serving.

Note 3 – To make kecap manis (a dark, sweet, sticky soy sauce) in the microwave, add the tamari (or all-purpose soy sauce) and sugar to a microwave-safe bowl. Heat in the microwave for 3 minutes, stopping to stir once halfway through. Continue heating in 1-minute increments until the kecap manis is thick and sticky. Take care as the bowl will be hot. The kecap manis will continue to thicken as it cools.

MAKE AHEAD

Refrigerate chicken, rice and soup separately for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave. Not suitable to freeze.

LEFTOVERS

Refrigerate chicken, rice and soup separately for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave. Not suitable to freeze.

  • Author: Nicole
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 1.30 hours
  • Category: chicken
  • Method: boil, broth
  • Cuisine: Chinese

Keywords: Hainanese Chicken Rice, Hainanese Chicken Rice recipe

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Comments

  1. Having grown up in Singapore, my chicken rice standards are high. My family really enjoyed this dinner, especially as it was simple and easy to make.
    I’d make a few tweaks next time to suit our tastes- poaching the chicken in stock instead of water for a bit more of an flavour kick and doubling the rice component. But this is a really solid version and definitely will make it into my regular rotation.

    • This is such a lovely message – Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. I’m so glad you loved the recipe, best compliment ever knowing of your time in Singapore! My family and I really enjoy it too as a take on the famous classic. Great idea about both the stock and rice (I often double the rice too and freeze leftovers). Thank you again, Nic x

  2. My husband and kids are still telling everyone that will listen how amazing this dish is. An absolute winner x

    • Haha! Oh this is fantastic! Thank you so much, I am so glad you all loved it as much as we do! Nic x

  3. I grew up eating chicken rice, and it is one of my favourite meals of all time! Your recipe is easy to follow and delicious! It’s going to be on repeat at our place!

    • Love this so much, thank you! Nic x

  4. I made this tonight & was told it was the best meal I’ve ever cooked! 6yo and 1yo also ate it heartily. Winner winner chicken dinner! Definitely a recipe to make again and again. Thanks!

    • My kids love this recipe too – But I can’t tell you how much it means to me knowing that your littles loved it as much as mine do. Thank you so much for trying the recipe and taking the time to comment! Means more to me than I can tell you. Nic x

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