Brunei Darussalam

Home Cooked Hainanese Chicken Rice With A Difference

I got my driver’s license in Australia back when I was there pursuing tertiary education. I passed the driving test on my very first attempt, much to the envy of my classmates who flunked it more than once. The feelings that followed that day were a mix of happiness, fear and nervousness. Many years later, positively inspired by a Hainanese Chicken Rice recipe I had come across on the web, I thought I would give it a go and make a mess of the kitchen. This was back in 2007 when photographing food was a huge motivation that fueled my desire to cook. Like my driving test, my first attempt at cracking the code of succulent tender Hainanese chicken rice was a success. I cannot, however, take full credit for this accomplishment as I attribute the success more to my ability to follow the steps outlined in the recipe (with slight variation, of course). I am happy to take full credit for the pictures although given an opportunity to do it all over again, the styling and composition will be much improved.

I love lots of ginger, garlic and onions in my food. Family members may not agree to my generous use but for this first attempt, I wanted to make sure I use plenty to get a fragrant chicken rice.
Preparation the beginning of a wonderfully fragrant culinary experience in the kitchen.
Not exactly a Chubby Hubby recipe recommendation I stuffed the chicken cavity with a choke-full of my favourite items and on the skin rubbed generous helping of light soy sauce and black pepper.
"Bring a deep stockpot, filled with enough water to cover the chicken, to the boil. Lower the chicken into the pot—it should be completely immersed. Immediately turn off the heat, cover, and leave to stand for 1 hour. At 15-minute intervals, lift the chicken and drain the water from the cavity to ensure that the chicken cooks inside as well."
"At the 30-minute mark, reheat the water almost to boiling point, then turn the heat off. Never having been allowed to boil, the chicken should be cooked to succulent and juicy perfection."

“At the end of the hour, remove the chicken from the pot, and plunge into a large bowl of iced water to arrest further cooking. Once cool (about 15 to 20 minutes), drain the chicken thoroughly. Rub it down with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of soy sauce and sesame oil. Snip off the chicken wing tips, neck, and legs. Toss these into the liquid left in the stockpot. Set the chicken aside, covered, until ready to serve.” — Chubby Hubby

I think I took my love for ginger a tad too far with fried ginger shreds mixed with garlic.
Hainanese chicken rice is typically served with famous chicken rice chilli, dark soy sauce and ginger paste. In Brunei the ginger paste component is missing from the condiment.
"When ready to serve, chop the chicken Chinese-style into bite-sized pieces with skin and bone intact. Place on a serving platter over the sliced cucumber."
"When ready to serve, chop the chicken Chinese-style into bite-sized pieces with skin and bone intact. Place on a serving platter over the sliced cucumber. Garnish with sprigs of coriander. Dish some dark soy sauce into 4 individual saucers. Bring the remaining chicken stock back to the boil. Season to taste with salt and ground white pepper."

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