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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Chicken Rice

Chicken rice is one of my favorite malaysian food. Its also one of my  son's favorite as well, mainly because there is always chicken rice in every food court we visit and he can always enjoy a meal out.  I think this is originally known as Hainese chicken rice, a recipe which made it self home in Malaysia.
 The chicken is first cooked in  water and then the stock or liquid  that the chicken  was cooked in is used to cook the rice, and the remaining liquid is used a  side dish to mix with your rice or sip along as you eat it with the cooked chicken , and a garliky chilli sauce and cucumber slices. I tried different recipes of Chicken Rice and finally found a satisfying recipe given to me by a good freind of mine ,who in turn had got it from a Malaysian freind of her's. I  have changed certain things like the chilli sauce as I couldnt find mild red chillis here ,so to get  the bright red colour of the chilli sauce , I used a red bell pepper instead.

Recipe : Chicken Rice ( serves 3-4 persons)

 3 chicken  whole leg pieces
8 cloves of garlic,  grated.  and 3 extra cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
1 inch piece ginger, grated
1 1/2 cups long grain rice or basmathi rice
6 tsp  light soy sauce
2 tsp oyster sauce
Sesame oil
2-3 star anise
4 -5 cardamon pods
1 pandan leaf ( cut into big pieces)
2 tbsp oil
2 hot chillies ( green or red)
1/2  red bell pepper ( deseeded and white pit removed)
2 slices of ginger
Juice of 1 lime
1 tsp sugar
Finely sliced spring onion,(optional)
A few slices of cucumber( to serve)
Some steamed vegetables such as brocolli, brocollini, or chinese greens such as kailaan, or bok choy(to serve)

Step 1: Prepare the chicken :
 Clean chicken, pieces , leave the skin on but trim the extra fat.  Season with salt and rub the grated 8 cloves of garlic and ginger.
Place chicken pieces  inside a large pot  or a stock pot, Pour water  about 6-7 cups of water  season with a tiny bit of salt. Bring to a boil then  cover and simmer till the chicken is tender. ( tender not tough!!).
Once cooked , remove the chicken, stir in soy sauce and oyster sauce into the stock  that is left in the pot.
Taste and adjust salt for your liking.

Drizzle a little sesame oil on the chicken pieces and leave to air  dry in fly free zone :)

Step 2 : Rice
Wash rice several times till the water runs clear. Heat a sauce pan preferably a nonstick one with oil ( not olive oil!) fry star anise, cardamon pods, cloves and pandan leaves till they release their aroma.
Add rice and stir fry 1 minute  then add enough stock  , bring to a boil , then simmer till the stock is absorbed  and rice is nice and fluffy.. Fluff it up .

Step 3: Chilli sauce
Place the red bell pepper, chillies, lime juice, remaining ginger slices and  garlic cloves in a blender  and blend to a smooth paste. Taste andd sugar  and salt and then pulse once then taste adjust sugar and salt level to your liking.

Step 4: Final touch :
Heat a frying pan with   with tiny bit oil , then place the chicken pieces skin side down and let it brown lightly, this is quite unecessary , you can just serve the chicken straight away but I like slightly crispy skin.
Once brown , you can try chopping it up like they serve at the chicken rice shops or just serve as it is.

To Serve,
Place a nice  bowl ful of rice , sprinkle some sping onions on top if using. Arrange the chicken on one side, the steamed vegetables at another along with a coup of slices of cucumber. Serve with  remaining stock and chilli sauce. Yummm!!!

One of my favorite chicken rice haunts is  a  restaurent chain known as the " The Chicken Rice Shop". They  serve very delicious chicken rice , and the places are clean and have good kiddie set meal with smaller size portion.

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