Friday, June 19, 2009

Chicken with Rice, Hainan Style

Another great recipe that marries chicken, rice, ginger, and garlic. It's texture and "feel" are different than stir-fry, but the flavors are quite similar. You'll have extra stock leftover; freeze it in small portions for use in later stir-fries. If you have rice leftover, freeze that, too, and a future stir-fry or batch of fried rice is that much quicker to assemble. The Ginger-Scallion Sauce called for really makes this dish; otherwise, it's a bit bland. If you have leftover sauce, simply save it for the beginnings of a terrific batch of fried rice.

Recipe from How to Cook Everything, 10th ann. edition

  • 1 whole chicken, 3 to 4 pounds, trimmed of fat and cut into 8 pieces, or any combination of parts
  • salt
  • 3 T. roughly chopped garlic
  • 5 slices fresh ginger, smashed
  • 1/4 c. neutral oil, like canola or peanut
  • 2 c. rice (any)
  • 2 T. dark sesame oil, optional
  • Ginger-Scallion Sauce
  • 2 c. peeled, seeded, and diced cucumber
  • 2 tomatoes, sliced
  • chopped fresh scallion and/or cilantro leaves for garnish
  1. Put about 4 inches of water in a large pot over high heat. Rub the inside and outside of the chicken with salt and about half of the garlic and ginger. When the water boils, put the chicken in the pot; it should be just submerged (add more water if necessary and return to boiling; remove some of if you have to). Cover, reduce heat to medium, and cook for 10 minutes. Turn off heat and let the bird remain in the water for 1 hour, covered. (Mine didn't take this long--I checked after 35 minutes and it was ready.) The meat should be opaque all the way to the bone; if not, return the pot to a boil and cover again for another 5 minutes.
  2. Remove chicken from pot and set aside. At this point, you may refrigerate chicken and stock separately for a day. Put the oil in a skillet over medium heat. When hot, add remaining garlic and ginger; cook, stirring occasionally, until the garlic begins to brown, about 3 minutes. Add the rice and stir, then add 4 cups of the stock; bring to a boil again, adjust heat so that mixture bubbles steadily and gently, and cover. Cook until the rice has absorbed all the liquid (20 minutes for white; 40 minutes and some extra stock for brown). Taste and adjust seasoning.
  3. Rub chicken with sesame oil if using and cut into bite-sized pieces (with or without the bone). Drizzle Ginger-Scallion Sauce over it and serve over the rice, decorated with the cucumbers and tomatoes and sprinkled with the scallions and/or cilantro.
Serves 4 generously

*Rubber Chicken note: In our house, we have this as is the first day and make up some fried rice, using the leftover rice, bits of chicken, and any leftover veggies, the next day. We use the extra sauce to start the fried rice, giving it a nice subtle flavor and saving the trouble of chopping more garlic, onions, and ginger! Mmmm....

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