Hainanese chicken rice is easy to prepare. You just need to be armed with the right techniques to prepare succulent chicken with soft golden yellow skin, well flavoured chicken rice and most importantly, the chicken rice sauces.
Accompanying the dish are sauces like soy sauce and chilli sauce to enhance the taste. These contribute to the special flavour for which Hainanese chicken rice is known for.
The combination of the refreshing cucumber slices, tender chicken and aromatic rice teaming up with the chilli and soy sauce makes every mouthful a delight. If you’re looking for a roasted chicken rice recipe, head on to this recipe.
Secrets to moist and tender chicken
Along with the supple skin with a hint of golden yellow to it, the perfect Hainanese chicken has to be moist on the inside. Hence, cooking the chicken according to the recommended time is important.
The cooking process needs to be stopped immediately once the chicken is cooked by transferring it to an ice bath. This is to create the delicious skin which is synonymous with Hainanese chicken.
Tricks to a ‘golden’ coloured chicken
The combination of salt and sesame oil helps to add some colour to the chicken. This mixture should be applied on the chicken once it is removed from the ice bath.
Some stall vendors mixed turmeric powder with warm water and pour it over the chicken for the same purpose.
Non-alcoholic substitute for Shaoxing wine
Unfortunately, there is no non-alcoholic substitute for Shaoxing wine which is added for its sweetness. While most suggested using apple juice as a substitute, I would highly advise against it. Apple juice will spoil the taste of the dish making it slightly tart.
If you do not want to add alcohol in this recipe, simply omit it as the flavour of the gravy comes from the soy sauce and chicken broth. However, a teaspoon of oyster sauce may be added to better the flavour of the sauce.
Hainanese chicken rice soy sauce recipe
The sauce is paired with this dish for its mild salty and sweet flavours. It goes very well with the chicken and rice as it's very light. In fact, the sauce is very easy to prepare.
While preparing the chicken, you'll be preparing for the base of the sauce which is the chicken broth. All you need to do is to mix soy sauce, sesame oil, Shaoxing wine, sugar and the chicken broth together. It's as simple as that.
Chicken rice soup
The soup is one of the key side dishes to a complete Hainanese chicken rice meal. To enhance the sweetness of the soup, you may add radish or carrots or even both.
Adding a dash of white pepper would make a whole lot of difference to the taste.
Hainanese chicken rice for 2
If you are only cooking for one or two people, use chicken thighs instead of a whole chicken. Stuff the ginger and scallions between two chicken thighs and secure them with strings. Continue with the same cooking steps as per recipe.
Cook this awesome dish for your family and friends. They will appreciate your effort and be impressed.