Hainanese Chicken Rice – Recipe

Hiananese Chicken Rise

Hiananese Chicken Rise

Hiananese Chicken is a comfort food that many South East Asian’s will be familiar with growing up, whether your stuck at home with chronic man-flu, out with friends on a Saturday night, in need of it’s medicinal qualities to counter the redbull and jaegar or travelling on the road and want a touchstone from home.

It’s simple, nutritious and so popular, Singapore considers it a national dish with everyone living there, swearing that they know where the best one can be found.

So what is the secret to this poached chicken, with rice and broth?  Read on and find out my interpretation of this homely dish, something you should be able to whip up, with 20 minutes prep work, between an hour poaching, sautéing and boiling rice.

1 whole chicken  1.75 kg)
Rock salt
10 cm section of fresh ginger, in 0.5 cm slices
2x spring onions stalks, cut into 2-3 cm sections (both the green and white parts)


1 teaspoon sesame oil for sautéing the rice.
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
2-3 cm worth of ginger, finely minced
2 cups long-grain uncooked rice, washed and soaked in cool water for 10 min or longer
2 cups reserved chicken poaching broth
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil


1 teaspoon rock  salt for the chilli sauce mix
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 tablespoon reserved chicken poaching broth
2 teaspoon sugar
4 tablespoon sriracha chilli sauce or brand of your choosing.
4 cloves garlic
1” ginger
1/4 cup dark soy sauce
Few sprigs coriander
1 cucumber, thinly sliced or cut into bite-sized chunks

The first step is to clean up the chicken and and prepare the carcass for all that savoury goodness.  Well begin by grabbing a handful of rock salt and rub the chicken all over, getting rid of any loose skin and dirt.

An unsuspecting Mr Chicken

An unsuspecting Mr Chicken

Rinse chicken both inside and out seasoning with the salt, flavouring all those nooks and crannies.  The next step is to slice up the ginger and spring onion to provide Mr Chicken with a vegetarian suppository.

These guys are going to have a temporary new home.

These guys are going to have a temporary new home.

Once you’ve provided our little friend with a cavity filling, you can then gently relax Mr Chicken with a warm inviting bath, provided by a large inviting pot, making sure that you’ve filled with cold water to cover by about 1 inch.

After a thorough massage, Mr Chicken is all relaxed..

After a thorough massage, Mr Chicken is all relaxed..

... with the vigetarian suppository.

… with the vegetarian suppository.

Bring the pot to a boil over high heat, then immediately turn the heat to low to keep a simmer. Cook for about 30 minutes more (less if you’re using a smaller chicken).

Check to make sure it’s cooked through, by sticking a chopstick into the flesh under the leg and see if the juices run clear or insert a thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh not touching bone. It should read 77 degree’s celcius

Mr Chicken has gone to the day spa.

Mr Chicken has gone to the day spa.

When the chicken is cooked through, turn off the heat and remove the pot from the burner. Immediately lift and transfer the chicken into a bath of ice water to cool and discard the ginger and spring onion. Don’t forget to reserve the poaching broth for your rice, your sauce, and the accompanying soup. The quick cooling will stop the cooking process, keeping the meat soft and tender, and giving the skin a lovely firm texture.

Ice, Ice, baby

Ice, Ice, baby

Once the hot pool day spar session, it's time for the cold pool treatment.

Once the hot pool day spar session, it’s time for the cold pool treatment.


Draining the rice. In a wok or sauce pan (use a medium sauce pan if you plan on cooking the rice on the stove top), heat 2 tablespoons of cooking oil over medium-high heat. When hot, add the ginger and the garlic and fry until your kitchen smells like heaven. Be careful not to burn the aromatics! Add in your drained rice and stir to coat, cook for 2 minutes. Add the sesame oil, mix well and the taste will make you as happy as the rice.


To make the rice on the stove: In the same sauce pan, add 2 cups of your reserved poaching broth, add salt and bring to a boil. Immediately turn the heat down to low, cover the pot and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit (with lid still on) for 5-10 minutes more.

Alternatively like every Asian household, you will probably have a rice cooker, in which case, you can pour the aromatics and rice together after frying, into your rice cooker, add 2-2.5 cups of your reserved poaching broth and salt to taste

While your rice is cooking, remove the chicken from the ice bath and rub the outside of the chicken with the sesame oil. Carve the chicken for serving.

Mr Chicken Drawn and Quartered

Mr Chicken Drawn and Quartered

To make the chilli sauce: Blend your chilli sauce ingredients in a blender until smooth and bright red.

The awesome sauce

The awesome sauce

To make the soup: You should have six or seven cups of the reserved poaching broth left over to serve as soup. Just before serving, heat up the soup, taste and season with salt as necessary.

Serve the chicken rice with chilli sauce, dark soy sauce, cucumber slices, and a bowl of hot broth garnished with coriander or spring onions and enjoy


About techdevourer

My little website that started off as a food and technology site and somehow became all about the food. Look around, kick back and read, my sporadic musings, informal writing's and occasional typos.

Posted on January 13, 2015, in Food, Recipe and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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