Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Take Three Ingredients.... Hainanese Poached Chicken


Chicken, green onions and ginger! That's all it takes to make this delicious chicken dish.

It's one of those recipes you make when you get a craving for that silky chicken meat dipped in an intensely flavourful green onion and ginger oil or when you have chicken on hand and you're wondering what to do with it. Which ever the reason it's always a winner for dinner with my family and it's just so-O simple to make. Here's how to get that restaurant-inspired poached white chicken done just right.

1) Rub ten chicken drumsticks all over with kosher salt. This will exfoliate the chicken skin, make it smooth and take out all the muck. Season the chicken with kosher salt.

2) Place the chicken in a skillet and fill water just to cover by 1-inch. Add 2-inch chopped green onion ends and two thin slices of ginger. Bring that water to a boil, then quickly turn down to keep it at a simmer and cover.

3) Skim the scum with a handy scum skimmer. It's fine enough to only remove the scum and oil off the surface.


4) Cook for 20 minutes and turn off heat. Remove chicken onto a plate. In the past I would submerge the chicken in a cold water bath with ice, to stop them from cooking and to tighten the skin and make it firm and springy. Unless I had spring water available or cold boiled water, I try not to do it with tap water anymore. I now just cover the chicken with a big enough bowl until I'm ready to serve to keep it warm and to prevent the skin from browning and drying out.


Yum, white, nice and plump!

Meanwhile, prepare the green onion and ginger dipping sauce. Slice three onions and mince 1" ginger piece. Add together in a small bowl with 1/2 tsp. kosher salt. Heat 3 Tbsp. canola oil in skillet or sauce pan and pour into the mixture. Instant sizzle, instant fragrance whets the appetite! There you have it- three main ingredients of chicken, green onion and ginger to make a delicious poach chicken with a scrumptious dipping sauce.


To take it one step further and true to serving Hainanese-style chicken, you would flavour the rice with ginger and garlic before cooking it. Drain the chicken broth over a strainer and set aside. On medium-high heat, stir in three garlic, minced and 1 Tbsp. minced ginger with 2 tsp. oil. Once fragrant, add three cups of washed jasmine rice, soaked in water for 10 minutes and drained. Stir for three minutes coating all the rice with flavour.




Place the rice in your rice cooker and pour enough chicken broth to cook three cups of rice. Add 1/2 tsp. salt and close to cook.

You can also serve with a chili lime dipping made from sriracha sauce, lime, sugar, salt and a little reserved chicken broth.


Cover the drumstick ends with foil to make it easy and mess-free for the kids to eat.

For a true Hainanese chicken experience, use a whole chicken (3.5 lbs)- makes 6 to 8 servings. Rinse inside and out and exfoliate as in step 1. Stuff with green onion pieces and ginger slices. Cook as in step 2, for 35 to 40 minutes. Check for doneness by piercing flesh in thick part of thigh- juice should run clear. Carefully remove from broth with two big slotted spoons. Use broth to make rice as above. Let chicken cool for 15 minutes. Remove stuffing before carving; remove legs and cut the rest into two-bite pieces.

                         

Serve with cucumber slices, tomato slices, chopped cilantro, and chili-lime and green onion and ginger oil for dipping.







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