This recipe for poached chicken was packed in many suitcases when it left the Chinese island of Hainan. Since then it has made its way to Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, the Philippines and Thailand. It’s one of the most popular street foods in the world and it’s not fried. The whole bird is only simmered for 10 minutes and then for the rest of the cooking time it is left in the hot water with the lid on, keeping the flesh pillow-soft and full of juices. The stock is then used to make garlic rice and it is served up with a ginger chilli sauce. Chicken and rice is the ultimate comfort food and this is indeed one of the best preparations.
Put 4 litres (
Meanwhile, to make the dipping sauce, combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Alternatively, you could pulse it in a food processor instead of chopping by hand. Set aside.
About 10 minutes before the chicken is done, heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat and cook the garlic for 30 seconds or until golden. Add the rice and stir for 1 minute or until well coated in the oil. Add enough of the stock from the pan with the chicken to cover the rice by 1 cm (⅜ inch). Cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until tender. Remove from the heat and leave covered while you cut the chicken.
Remove the chicken from the pan and discard any loose skin. Using kitchen scissors or a cleaver, cut the meat into large pieces. Arrange on a platter with the cucumber ribbons and coriander. Serve with the rice and dipping sauce.
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