Tender chicken drenched in waves of ginger and garlic, dressed with ginger fish sauce, aromatic flavorful rice to complete the harmonic ocean. What an amazing combination of texture that’s simple yet delicious dish!!
When I was a little girl in Vietnam, chicken was really expensive so it never made it to the dinner table often. Only on rare, special occasions did my grandma spoil us with chicken. But with family of seven, including four hungry teen brothers, that one chicken did not last long. For the most part, our meals consisted of pork, eggs, and tofu.
The variety of choices and affordability of food in the US allow us to have chicken anytime we want now. However, integration of chicken in my Vietnamese dishes has been reluctant. Thus, I have had this dish only a few times in life.
Hainanese chicken rice or Com ga Hai Nam originated from the island of Hainan in China and gained its popularity throughout Malaysia and Singapore. The chicken used in this dish usually is “free range” instead of regular chicken from US markets. Reason being, the free range chicken yields less fat, and provide chewier meat than regular chicken, even the broth itself is more flavorful.
The chicken in this dish is cooked with ginger and garlic. Stir-fried fat from the chicken and the recycled broth from the boiled chicken are used to give flavors to the rice. The aromatic ginger and the savory smell from the broth can then be used again for soup, with your choice of vegetables, served as a side dish.
This Hainanese chicken and rice is flavorful, with the most aromatic ginger rice and tender, silky smooth chicken pieces. Then the remaining broth can be served as a side soup, with the most amazing flavors broth from the chicken.
You’ll love this recipe because it’s completely out of this world incredible, tasty and satisfying. It’s the perfect comfort meal to enjoy with family.
Hainanese Chicken Rice
- 1 whole chicken (prefer free range or organic) about 4lbs
- 3 cloves garlic (pounded)
- 1 knob ginger (around 3 oz) sliced
For the rice
- 3 cups uncooked washed rice
- 1 cup sticky rice (or sweet rice)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 3 cloves garlic (sliced)
For the ginger garlic sauce
- 1 small knob ginger (2 oz)
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon apple vinegar
For the scallion oil
- 1/2 cup green onion
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- pinch of salt
For the chicken
Scrub salt and wash throughly the chicken. I like to chop the chicken into 4 pieces so it's easier to handle. In a stockpot, place garlic and ginger slices and bring to a boil.
Place chicken so it submerged under water. Add more water if needed and bring it to a boil. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, turning the chicken half way.
Turn off and remove the chicken from heat. Let the chicken sit in hot water with lid close for approximately 20 minutes.
Remove chicken and set aside to cool at room temperature. Shredded the chicken by hand, saving the bones for the broth.
Place the chicken bones back to the stockpot. Simmer and season to taste.
For the rice:
Wash the rice and drain well. Set aside.
In a medium skillet, heat vegetable oil over medium heat. Add in 3 cloves garlic and cook until fragrant, about a minute. Add in the rice and sticky rice. Stir fry the rice for about 5 minutes, until rice is toasted and golden.
Transfer the rice to a rice cooker. Ladle some of the chicken broth over. To determine the water level, a good rule of thumb is to measure with your index finger. The water level should reach the first section of your finger.
When the rice is done cooking, fluff the rice using a fork.
For the ginger garlic sauce:
Place all ingredients in a food processor or a blender and blend until smooth.
For the scallion oil:
Place green onion, vegeteble oil and salt in a bowl. Microwave on high for 30 seconds. Set aside
Place some rice on a serving plate, add in shredded chicken. Drizzles some scallion oil and ginger garlic sauce. Serve with remaining broth as a side soup.