I never looked for Hainanese Chicken on the internet, all I was looking for was the recipe for Uncle Chin’s Chicken rice. Who is Uncle Chin?? Have you ever traveled on AirAsia? A colleague had said once, ‘do try the Chicken dishes of AirAsia, they are amazing!’. I didn’t go boarding the flight just to try their food, it was the most convenient option for me while I was travelling to Bali for the first time. My first choice of in-flight meal for the afternoon was Uncle Chin’s Chicken Rice. You know what?? I had fallen asleep and those super glamourous cabin crews didn’t even wake me up!! Thankfully God jabbed me on time, I got hold of them and politely with a pale puppy face asked for my pre-booked meal.
With embarrassment that they couldn’t save one meal for God knows what.. one of the crew member served me my Chicken rice first and after 5 minutes a glass of water. Whatever it was, the food was melting good, moist and drooling delicious. I can never forget the taste of that chicken rice. I did travel on AirAsia after that, but my flight timings were as such that I couldn’t manage to have that same meal again.
When life was running, mind was involved in so many miscellaneous matters. But as we all had to step back, slow down given the circumstances of ‘life mostly inside the house’, old memories are just gyrating around my brain, heart and taste buds!! Food is the only solace to keep the travel coercion in control. So I searched and searched and searched on the internet for the recipe of Uncle Chin’s Chicken Rice.. but every time I could find videos of an aircraft and the video maker enjoying the food, OR there were lists of recipes naming ‘Hainanese Chicken’. Giving up to Youtube’s dubious behaviour, I opened one of the videos on Hainanese Chicken.. And eurekaaa… Uncle Chin’s Chicken rice is actually not Uncle Chin’s Chicken Rice, It is actually ‘ Hainanese Chicken’!! Could you ever think of it!!
Ok Youtube, I was acting dubious.. Not you!! So coming to the recipe now, it’s very easy to make with just a tiny little problem. The dish is served with 3 different sauces and one has to dip the chicken into any of the sauces of her choice and eat it with rice. Being a lazy soul, I couldn’t make 3 different sauces, serve them into 3 small ramekins, then dip the chicken each time in one of the sauces or may be dip them one by one into all the sauces.. That’s way too much of an effort for me!!! SO I found an easy option to make this Hainanese Chicken, tell me you want to know my lazy version???? *** I will tell you either way***
Recipe of Hainanese Chicken (My Lazy Version):
Let’s start with the Chicken First:
- I saved few fat from the chicken and kept it aside. Usually for this recipe it’s better to use chicken pieces without bone or breast pieces, but I can never let the bones go, I used solid chicken pieces with bones.
- Take a pan or pot, add water to make some stock. Once the water comes to boil, add 2-3 whole spring onions, few cloves of garlic, whole cinnamon, cloves, bay leaf, star anise, black pepper, salt and the chicken pieces. Let the chicken boil for 5- 7 minutes (if required a little more may be)
- Once cooked, take out the chicken pieces, keep it aside. Save that stock to cook the rice.
- As I didn’t want to serve the dish with 3 different sauce, I tossed the chicken in a sauce which was easier for me. So in a pan, add little oil, chopped ginger-garlic, add tomato ketchup or you may use worcestershire sauce, little chili sauce, soy sauce, little pepper and little salt (if required) and tossed the chicken pieces on to the sauce and the chicken is ready.
- Next is rice. Rice should nicely washed, and soaked for 30 minutes in water. Take a pot, add the fat pieces of the chicken, after few seconds the fat will start melting and will remove oil, once melted discard the solid fat and add lot of garlic on the liquid fat. Let the garlic become light brown, and add the soaked rice. Stir for a bit, then add the chicken stock. Stock should (1+1/4) cup more than the number of cups of rice. If you use 2 cups of rice, then the stock should be (3+1/4) cup. Usually I used to mention 1 cup extra water, but gradually I have realised that this extra 1/4 cup of water keep the rice more moist and tender. (The quantity of water also depends on the quality of rice). you may also consider part chicken stock and part water. If you need to add more water while the rice is half cooked, use HOT WATER.
- Once the water comes to a boil, low the heat, add salt to the rice and give it a stir, cover the pot and let the rice cook for about 15-20 minutes. After 15 minutes give the rice a gentle stir and cover it for another 5 minutes, After 20 minutes, once the rice is cooked thoroughly, switching the heat off, keep the pot covered for another 10 minutes, giving it a resting time.
- Now it’s ready to serve. Sprinkle some fresh coriander leaves on top of the rice and chicken and you are ready to enjoy a wholesome lazy meal.
What say?? Are you going to give it a try?
Inspired from a video by @Tasty