No-Fail Hainanese Chicken Rice: A Moist and Flavorful Recipe You Can’t Mess Up

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Looking for some heat? Serve this Hainanese Chicken Rice with Hainanese chicken chili sauce!

Hi everyone, it’s April from Relax Lang Mom here. I hope you’re all doing well and enjoying Sunday!

I’m coming to you today with a recipe and tips for making moist and flavorful Hainanese chicken rice that definitely won’t be dry. 

As those of you who know me know, being located on the island of Marinduque means it can be difficult to get some ingredients that are more readily available in Metro Manila. However, that also means we have access to lots of fresh local produce!

Over the years I’ve perfected my Hainanese chicken recipe using what’s available here on the island. The key is taking your time with it and making sure the chicken is thoroughly cooked throughout while keeping it juicy and tender. Before this, I’d always have dry chicken and I wanted those restaurant type hainanse that has juices running out when you’re eating it.

I learned this technique from Chef Tatung, in one of the cooking classes I attended at The Maya Kitchen. He taught us, I think, it was the Ala Max Fried Chicken where he did the boil and turn off technique and I figured that this would be a good way to prevent that dry and rubbery Hainanese.  I know that these have a bit more steps that my other Rice Cooker Hainanese chicken but I promise that it’s worth it!

How to make Juicy Hainanese Chicken

Here’s how I do it:

First, select a chicken of 1-1.5kg. Make sure it’s not too large so it tastes better. I try to buy my chickens fresh from a local farm whenever possible. Sometimes we also butcher our own native chicken. Next, using a cleaver or sharp knife, chop the chicken into sections – you can cut it into 8 pieces or leave it in halves. This allows the heat to penetrate the chicken more effectively during cooking. Most in the Hainanese videos on Youtube shows a whole chicken being cooked but I prefer mine to be cut up. Sometimes it also happens that the breast are already cooked while the other parts are still not cooked so this allows me to take out the parts that are already cooked. 

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season generously with salt all over. Let it sit for 30 minutes to an hour to allow the salt to permeate the meat. Then, fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil. Once boiling, lower the heat to medium and gently lower the chicken pieces into the pot. Cook for 10-15 minutes until the chicken is just cooked through – it should no longer be pink inside and the juices should run clear. Be careful not to overcook! Turn off the heat and leave it on the stove for 15 minutes more.

Meanwhile, prepare your garlic, shallots and ginger. Mince 2-3 cloves of garlic, a few shallot bulbs and a 1-inch knob of ginger. Heat 2 tablespoons of sesame oil in a pan over medium heat and saute the garlic, shallots and ginger until fragrant. This creates the flavor base for your chicken. Remove from heat and set aside.

Once the chicken is cooked, carefully remove it from the pot using tongs and place in the pan with the aromatics. Gently coat the chicken with the fragrant oil mixture. The chicken is now ready to serve! Place it on a large plate and set it aside.

Now let’s cook the rice. Wash your rice then saute it on our remaining aromatics on the pan. Transfer to the rice cooker. Use the correct amount of chicken stock to cook rice instead of chicken. Enjoy with steamed rice, cucumbers and a homemade chili sauce for Hainanese chicken rice!

If you want something spicy with a blast of freshness use this Hainanese Chicken Chili Sauce below.

No-Fail Hainanese Chicken Rice: A Moist and Flavorful Recipe You Can't Mess Up 1

Hainanese chicken chili sauce:

  • 10 Red Chillies (any large red chili -Taiwan chili will do)
  • 10 Siling Labuyo Chillies
  • a thumb of Ginger
  • 1 whole peeled Garlic
  • 1 tsp Salt, or to taste
  • 1 tbsp Sugar, or to taste
  • 4 tbsps calamansi Juice
  • 1 tsp Vinegar
  • 2 cups Chicken Stock (or chicken cubes mixed in 2 cups hot water)

Steps: Just blend them all together.

If you’ve never tried cooking Hainanese chicken before, I hope this step by step recipe and method inspires you to give it a try. Again, for best results, be sure to check the chicken often while simmering and don’t overcook – better to undercook slightly than have dry meat. Remember that practice makes perfect, so don’t get discouraged!

Let me know if you have any other questions. You can also find more recipes and cooking tips on my blog Relax Lang Mom. Be sure to sign up for my mailing list below to be the first to get new post notifications and exclusive subscriber recipes.

Thanks as always for reading! Wishing you all a wonderful week.

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