Hainanese Chicken Rice is a dish that originated from the beautiful Hainan Island of Southern China.
Also commonly known as Chicken Rice it's a great dish that feeds the entire family with lots of meat from the whole chicken, plus a generous amount of delicious soup stock.
Did you know? Chicken rice is very popular in Southeast Asia, and it's actually Singapore's national dish! Usually the recipes call for chilling the chicken in a bath of ice water after cooking, but I prefer to do the skin tightening in the beginning so the chicken can be served HOT.
When cooking chicken rice, I recommend splurging and buying an organic chicken if you can. I've used regular chickens before too, but the organic chickens give you a really nice clean tasting soup (less gamey). Tip: Don't throw the soup stock away. Remove the ginger, garlic, and strain the fat (if desired). I like to freeze the stock for my next batch of chicken rice. If you cook your rice in the soup stock (instead of water), the flavors and fat from the soup make the rice plump and tasty. Check out my blog post for tips & tricks on how to store & save the soup stock.
Water for Boiling the Chicken: I'm using an 8 qt. stainless steel pot from Calphalon. I find that filling this pot about 65% full with filtered water will allow for enough room to fully cover the chicken when it's immersed for boiling. Adjust the water and salt accordingly depending on your pot size. (Note: If you're in the market for a new stock pot, I recommend the one I have. It comes with a pasta & steamer basket + it has a glass lid so you can see your food's cooking progress without having to lift the lid.)