Hainanese chicken rice is a dish of Chinese origin, and is most commonly associated with Hainanese, Malaysian and Singaporean cuisines, although it is also commonly sold in Thailand. It is based on the well-known Hainanese dish called Wenchang chicken (文昌雞), due to its roots in Hainan cuisine and its adoption by the Hainanese overseas Chinese population in the Nanyang area (present-day Southeast Asia). Hainanese chicken also appears as a specialty in Vietnamese cuisine. Mother’s day is approaching and it would be a bad idea to prepare some dishes for her and why not consider Chicken Rice. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hainanese_chicken_rice)
As explained above, chicken rice is a common household dish and hawker’s saleable item. It is welcomed by population of all age groups in Singapore and Malaysia, be it children, teens or adults and all levels from workers to top executives. Singapore is famous for its chicken rice (actually, I am not sure about the reasons behind this since places like Ipoh, Malaysia are also famous for their chicken rice) and is deemed to be a “national dish”. It is also one of the items served by Singapore Airlines for its business class and first class customers.
My kids loved chicken rice and I decided to cook chicken rice yesterday since they have been mentioning it for quite a while. In fact, they are having chicken rice at least one to twice a week at the school canteen.
IS CHICKEN RICE DIFFICULT TO PREPARE? – Simplified version of chicken rice preparation
Chicken rice is basically “chicken” plus “rice”. If you are not fussy and able to forgo a lot of minute details in the dish preparations, you will score possibly a pass in your preparation.
If I am not having meals at home, my mother in law can cook a pot of chicken rice serving our family (2 adults and 2 kids; 2 women, 1 girl, 1 boy) with just two drumsticks. This was how she did it. She cleaned the drumsticks; mixed the uncooked rice with a few spoons of chicken rice sauces sold in the supermarket; added a few sticks of pandan leaves; put it in the rice cooker; put the drumstick on top of the rice and in the rice cooker. This is a super quick way to cook, my mother in law was using the steam generated from cooking the rice to cook the chicken and let the juices drip into the rice. It took her only 20 minutes to cook. There was no complaint from her daughters and grandchildren as the three women family members don’t really like to consume meat. They just want “chicken-rice flavored white rice” and they are more than happy to give all the drumsticks to my son. HOW BRILLIANT IS MY MOTHER IN LAW!
However, if you and your family members are food critics, then you may take a while for you to prepare an entire dish until the level acceptable by the foodies. The next question would logically be what differentiates a plate of delicious chicken rice from the “yucky” one.
WHAT CONSTITUTES A GOOD PLATE OF CHICKEN RICE ?
Usually, the chicken rice was assessed based on the following criteria:
|Fragrance||Should emit a nice aroma which basically is a mixture of fragrances from pandan leaves, ginger and garlic|
|Texture||The rice should be soft but still maintain the original grain shape. It should not be soggy (meaning too much water added) and greasy.|
|Color||Color should be slightly yellowish that and not plain white. Yellowish color makes the rice looks more presentable and appetizing.|
|Texture||Should be soft and juicy. Therefore, simmering/poaching of chicken is one of the critical processes in this dish preparation.|
|Appearance||A bit glazy, skin should not be broken. However, most households will throw away the skin and de-bone the chicken before serving it.|
|Fragrance||As original as possible|
|Chili sauce||Beside spicy, chili sauce must also have the fragrance of sesame oil, ginger, garlic and lime.|
|Specially made soya sauce||The soya sauce should be thick and slightly sweet|
|Ginger sauce||Gingers were freshly ground and overall sauce must be tasty enough|
Before I go ahead, I have to caution that my recipe is the healthy version but the outputs resemble those chicken rice sold in hawker centers or posh hotels or restaurants. You got the hint? If you found my ingredients are not that healthy, just substitute with what you usually use. Of course, not the chicken and rice!!! I will justify the usage of my ingredients.
Here is the chicken rice and does it look appealing to you? Overall, I think I spent less than SGD 10 for the entire dish for a meal of 4 family members. This price is not adequate for you to have a plate of chicken rice at a posh restaurant outlet. At a local food court, if we order one whole chicken plus four plates of rice, one plate of vegetables, plain chicken soup, you will need at least SGD to have that. We can’t really finished the meals and we still have half a pot of rice left and about one third of chicken left.
The “aftermaths”…..….CHICKEN PORRIDGE
I used the left over chicken “stock” from submerging the poached chicken in the ice water, throw the chicken rice, the meat into the water and boil for about 15 minutes. Add condiments and garnished with fried onion, coriander leaves and chopped onion and a bowl of chicken porridge is ready for breakfast.
WHY NOT COOK SOME CHICKEN RICE FOR YOUR MOTHER THIS MOTHER DAY? IF YOU CANNOT COOKED FOR HER, WHY NOT FORWARD THIS POST TO HER AND SAY.
“ MUMMY, HAPPY MOTHERS DAY,
Mom, You’ve cooked for me with love all this while and how I wish I could prepare this dish for you this Sunday to assure you that your kid have grown up and able to take care of themselves. However, since I am not free to cook this Sunday, why not we have the most famous Chicken Rice in Singapore at the famous Mandar…. Hotel in Orchard Road instead? Mom, I love you….. “
HAPPY MOTHERS DAY TO ALL MOTHERS;
HAPPY MOTHERS DAY TO MY WIFE – MY KID’S MOTHER ; AND
HAPPY MOTHERS DAY TO MY WIFE’S MOTHER – MY MOTHER IN LAW………
Enjoy reading and look out for my National Flower Series – Spain (Red Carnation).