Hoi An White Chicken Rice

Cơm Gà Hội An

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Preparation info

  • Serves

    4-6

    as part of a Shared Meal
    • Difficulty

      Easy

Appears in

The Songs of Sapa

By Luke Nguyen

Published 2009

  • About

I AM WAITING WITH A SMALL GROUP OF LOCALS FOR THIS ROADSIDE CHICKEN STALL TO OPEN. IT IS 4.59 P.M., AND THE RICE IS STEAMING, FRAGRANT WITH JASMINE AND GINGER. WE SIT AND WAIT PATIENTLY, SALIVATING AS WE WATCH THE CLEAVER CHOP THROUGH SKIN AND BONES. THIS DELICIOUS DISH WAS INTRODUCED TO HOI AN BY THE CHINESE, AND IS SIMILAR TO THE CHINESE DISH CALLED HAINAN CHICKEN. IF YOU HAVE ANY EXTRA GINGER, FINELY JULIENNE IT AND ADD IT TO YOUR DIPPING SAUCE.

Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken (1.5 kg/3 lb 5 oz), cleaned
  • 2 onions, peeled and cut into quarters
  • 4 spring onions (scallions), knotted
  • 100 g ( oz) ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • coriander (cilantro) sprigs, to garnish
  • dipping fish sauce, to serve

    Method

    To cook the chicken and make the stock, stuff the chicken with the onions, spring onions and ginger. Place the chicken in a stockpot with 5 litres (175 fl oz/20 cups) of cold water and bring to the boil for 15 minutes, constantly skimming any impurities off the surface. Now add the fish sauce sugar, 1 teaspoon salt and 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper. Cover the pan and simmer for 20 minutes, then turn off the heat and set aside for 45 minutes. Remove the chicken and cool. Strain the stock through a piece of muslin — you will need 750 ml (26 fl oz/3 cups) of stock. Set the stock aside. With a cleaver, chop the chicken in half, then chop each half into 8 pieces. Set the chicken aside.

    To make the ginger rice, place a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Add the oil, garlic and ginger and fry for 2 minutes, or until light brown, then add the rice and stir-fry for 5 minutes. Add the chicken stock and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover the pan and cook for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow the rice to stand for 10 minutes still covered.

    Garnish the chicken with coriander sprigs and serve warm or at room temperature with the ginger rice. Serve with a bowl of dipping fish sauce.