Tuesday, January 17, 2006

NICE RICE

Happy New Year!

After promising several friends to email them a chicken rice recipe which I managed to glean from an ex-colleague's mother, I reckon it's about time I keep my promise ;-p

This recipe is pretty easy to pull off - you only need a bit of patience and time. The ingredients are simple enough and can be adjusted accordingly to the quantity that you plan to cook.

HOW TO PREPARE CHICKEN

For a family of four, I usually opt for a 1.5-2kg free-range chicken.

Boil a whole pot of water - use a tall, deep pot that will let you immerse the whole chicken into it.

Once the water has boiled, turn off the heat and immerse the chicken into the pot of water. Ensure the water submerged the chicken completely. Let it poach in the 'water bath' with the pot covered - this usually takes about 1.5 to 2.5 hours, depending on the bird size. If the water has cooled down, it is ok to reheat the water but resist from letting it boil. Some recipes call for the addition of a knob of smashed ginger or a slice or two of 'dong gwai', a type of Chinese herb. Use what suits you best.

When the chicken is cooked, test its doneness by inserting a chopstick into the thigh area (where the meat is thickest). If the juices run clear then the chicken is most cooked. Otherwise I usually slice off both the drumsticks first and return the chicken into the water bath so that any raw parts will be cooked thoroughly.

The water that was used for cooking the chicken can be kept aside to be used as chicken broth to flavour and prepare chicken rice.

Chop up the chicken into desired portions once it has cooled down. Alternatively, some cooks prefer to run the chicken over cold or ice water before chopping it up. To serve, drizzle some sesame oil and soya sauce over the chicken.

HOW TO PREPARE CHICKEN RICE

Ingredients

uncooked rice, old ginger, Planta margarine, sesame oil, minced garlic & pandanus leaves

Peel and smashed old ginger. Wash and clean rice, draining off water.
Saute smashed ginger and minced garlic with Planta margarine and sesame oil until aromatic. Add in washed rice and stir-fry over high heat until rice turns translucent. Scoop into rice cooker and pour in chicken broth - the amount required will be similar to the usual amount of liquid for cooking plain rice. Stir everything evenly and add in pandanus leaves. Let the rice to cook automatically in the electric rice cooker.

My family simply adores this simple, hearty dish. I hope you would too. Too bad I have no photos to upload - I will cook this again pretty soon so I'd be sure to capture some shots then.

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