Ask a Singaporean and it is likely they will have a favorite Chicken Rice shop. Although we are far from Singapore, we do like to make Chicken Rice occasionally. Don't be put off by the length of the recipe. It is really quite easy and more technique than anything. Most importantly, have fun!
1 medium sized Chicken, organic and free range preferred
2 inch pc Ginger, halved and slightly crushed
4 large cloves Garlic, slightly crushed
5 Scallions, washed and trimmed
2 tbsp Soy Sauce
2 tbsp Sesame Oil
TOOLS: Kitchen twine, meat thermometer
1 - Prepare the chicken. Sprinkle salt liberally on chicken skin & massage in a circular motion. Wash it in cold water. Trim off fat from the chicken neck & cavity. Set the fat pieces aside for the rice. Pat the chicken dry, including the cavity.
2 - Stuff the chicken. Sprinkle 1 tsp of salt inside the chicken cavity then stuff the garlic, ginger and scallions inside. Truss the chicken with the kitchen twine like you are preparing it to be roasted with the wings and legs pulled in close and tight to the body.
3 - Cooking the chicken. Set a large pot of water to boil. The pot has to be large enough to fully submerge the chicken. Once large rolling bubbles form, gently lower the chicken in and out of the water 3-4 times. This helps tighten the skin and lock the juices in.
4 - Simmer the chicken. Set the timer for 10 mins, lover the heat to the point where only small bubbles form and pop occasionally. Leave the pot uncovered until the timer goes off. After 10 mins, put the lid on, set the timer for another 20 mins, and let it simmer on low. Occasionally monitor the water and heat level. After 20 mins, turn OFF the heat and leave the chicken in the pot with the cover on for 40-50 mins. The time may vary based on the size of chicken. Do NOT open the lid.
5 - Prepare the ice bath. 10 minutes before the timer goes off, get an ice bath ready for the chicken. When the timer goes off, gently remove the chicken. Take the temperature in the breast or thigh area. Temp should be 165°F/74°C. Remove the stuffing and plunge the chicken into ice bath, remove after 10 mins & pat dry.
6 - Preoare to serve. Rub soy sauce and sesame oil on the chicken, remove twine and chop into serving pieces.
SG CHICKEN RICE: Rice
2 cups Jasmine Rice, rinsed
4-5 Pandan leaves, washed & tied in a knot
8 tbsp Sesame Oil
3 Scallions, washed and trimmed
1 inch Ginger, peeled and sliced into pieces
5 cloves Garlic, slightly crushed
Reserved Chicken Fat
Tools: Rice Cooker
NOTE: You can make this while the chicken is simmering.
1 - In a small saucepan, add the sesame oil, scallions, ginger, garlic & chicken fat and heat on medium high. When the oil starts to bubble, turn heat down to low and simmer. The oil is done when the chicken fat has dissolved and scallions are crispy. About 20-30 mins. Set aside.
2 - Place the rice into the rice cooker. Pour in the oil, add the Pandan leaves and the chicken stock for the 2 cups of rice according to rice cooker. Turn it on to cook. When done, discard Pandan leaves & fluff rice before serving.
HOT OIL & CILANTRO RELISH
1/2 bunch Cilantro, finely chopped
2 Scallions, chopped into rounds
1/4 cup Neutral Oil (Avocado, Canola, etc.)
1 tsp Garlic, finely chopped or grated
1/2 tsp Ginger, grated
1/4 tsp Salt
1 - Combine the cilantro, scallions, garlic and ginger in a bowl or a mason jar.
2 - In a small sauce pan, heat up oil until you see small bubbles form and slightly smoking. Do not walk away from pan.
3 - Pour oil carefully on top of cilantro mixture. The oil is hot so pour away from you as it may splatter. Season with salt and mix together with a spoon. Use as a topping on top of your dumplings.
NOTE: This relish can keep for up to a week if stored in a covered container in your refrigerator. Use to top eggs, soups, in a marinade, it's versatile.