hainan chicken and rice
Moist, juicy chicken with fragrant rice and a trio of ginger, soy and chili sauce. I'm writing this at 12 am and my stomach just growled. This particular dish is actually quite simple - it may not be completely traditional however it'll definitely hit the spot if you are craving Hainan Chicken and Rice. I've experimented quite a bit with the sauces and this is what I've come up with - feel free to change it to your liking.
1 lb of chicken leg with thigh ( or you may use any bone in chicken )
1 Tbsp of Kosher salt (to clean the chicken)
1 tsp of Kosher salt
1/4 tsp of ground white pepper
1.Tbsp of rice wine (mi jiu)
1 cup of uncooked rice
2 Tbsp of Maggi ( Sauce A)
1 Tbsp of Soy sauce paste ( Sauce A)
1/2 Tbsp of minced garlic ( Sauce A)
1 tsp of sugar ( Sauce A )
a thumb length of ginger peeled and minced ( Sauce B)
the white part of 1 or 2 scallion minced ( Sauce B)
1/8 tsp of salt (Sauce B)
1 Tbsp of sesame oil ( Sauce B)
1 fresh red chili minced ( Sauce C)
1 Tbsp of garlic minced ( Sauce C)
1 Tbsp of white vinegar ( Sauce C)
1/8 tsp of salt ( Sauce C)
Fill a pot (that has a lid) with just enough water to cover the chicken and boil the water first. While you are waiting for the water to boil, sprinkle kosher salt on the the chicken and use it like an exfoliate for the chicken skin. This is to remove any grime from the skin - since in this dish the texture of the skin is essential to making this dish successful. After the water boils - place the chicken leg in the boiling water, turn off the heat and close the lid. You are essentially poaching the chicken in water but since it is chicken it is important that it is fully cooked. For bone in chicken leg and thigh I poach it anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour. I've poached a whole chicken before and I kept it in there for close to an hour and a half.
Prepare the 3 sauces labeled A, B and C. I reserve the green part of the scallion in Sauce B for the rice later.
Right before you take the chicken out prepare a large bowl full of ice and ice water and using a tong take the chicken out and immediately put it in the large bowl. This is to shock the chicken and stop the cooking process and ensure that the skin has a nice "crispy" bite to it. In Chinese we call it "QQ" to describe the texture. Season the cooked chicken with the salt and white pepper, then place the chicken leg in a Ziplock bag with the rice wine. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Use the broth from the poached chicken as the liquid to cook the rice - I also take the green part of the scallion, tie it in knot (easier to remove after) and drop it in with the rice. Once the rice is cooked arrange the chicken on the rice - top with chopped scallion/cilantro and serve with the 3 sauces.