Friday, October 12, 2007

Chicken rice - national dish made available wherever you are

Mention the chicken rice and you will hear some of them classifying it as one of the national dishes of Singapore.

Serving from my kitchen is one home-style creation - not lacking in authenticity, yet not-as-complicated. A delicious plate of chicken rice. Preparing and cooking chicken rice requires some patience, time and hard work. It's not just any chicken with rice.

In the very basics, chicken rice should come with (1) chicken-stock flavored rice; (2) quintessential moist juicy chicken cooked to perfection; and (3) spicy chili condiment that makes you go woos-ahs-hooking "what is chicken rice without the chili sauce? "

Chicken Rice
First, the rice:
Made from the same stock used to poach/cook the chicken(below), ginger and scallions were also added to the same stock while poaching the chicken. When cooking the rice with chicken stock, finely minced garlic was added as well. You will get aromatic chicken rice!

Then, comes the chicken:
I would say this is the most patience-testing part in making chicken rice. I used Chubby Hubby's chicken rice post as a guide. This method works perfect! Succulent moist juicy chicken. Basically, you should never allow the chicken to come to a boil - Bring a pot of water with ginger and scallions to boil. Then completely immerse the chicken into the pot, turn off heat immediately, cover the pot and leave to stand for about 1 hour(with an interim step at approx. the 30th minute). Since I used chicken drumsticks, I did not have the "cavity" problem as opposed to handling whole chicken. After about 30 minutes, the "water" or rather chicken stock, with the immersed chicken should be re-heated to almost boiling point, then again turn off the heat and left standing for the remaining 30 minutes of that 1 hour. My term for cooking chicken this way? - CHICKEN SPA TREATMENT!

Of course, some say the MOST AUTHENTIC Hainanese Chicken Rice has to use 文昌鸡 (Wen Chang chicken) - from Wenchang City, Hainan Island. Wenchang is the source from where most overseas Hainanese migrated. Majority of Singapore's Hainanese population has ancestral roots in Wenchang. Maybe that's what made Hainanese chicken rice such a popular and national dish in Singapore.

Not forgetting the chili sauce:
The chicken rice chilli sauce is typically concocted from fresh chilli, garlic, ginger, vinegar, sugar and salt. Sometimes, the Hainanese has grated ginger as an additional condiment as well.

To add variety, color and some refreshing vegetables for my home-style chicken rice:
Broccolini was blanched and drizzled with some oyster sauce, and not forgetting tomatoes! Though I have completely emptied everything on the plate into my stomach while I am writing this, I felt hungry again after looking at it :O

Don't you think chicken rice is not as unhealthy as it seems?
A wholesome, colorful, tasty meal of delicious aromatic chicken rice with that succulent tender chicken, just a spoonful away :)

I know most of you went for the crispy chicken wings when there was a choice between roasted vs chicken-cooked-this-way. But if it's cooked this way, would you like some?

Tuck in, and enjoy! :D

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