Foodie

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Hainanese Chicken Rice


This hainanese chicken rice meal was eaten awhile ago and everytime i sat to write about it, my mind was blank and finger's frozen, fingers are on the keyboard but they were not moving.  It could be the cold that froze the fingers and i think the mind too. The fingers must have been saying - come on, i am ready but no text???????.  Hope i am thinking better this morning. 


Oh, i am supposed to write about Hainanese Chicken Rice - should i write about Hainanese, i think not cos this is a food blog and i am sure all would want to know about the chicken or the rice.  What so special about having a chicken meal nowadays, it is served practically daily but not so when i was growing up.  We only have chicken during festivals and a whole chicken would have to shared amongst our family of 3 adults and 7 children and festivals only come around 2 - 3 months apart.  The day of the festival, in the early morning, my mom would go to the wet market to get the chicken.  The chickens then were still very much alive and were housed in large bamboo baskets.  Mom had a friend, his name is Ah Kau(cantonese for dog or the number nine - we finally found out that he was the ninth in his family)who owned the chicken stall, as soon my  mom arrived, he would look into the baskets, looking for the fattest and most beautiful hen - no cockerel/rooster for the festivals.  He would reach for one and the first thing Uncle Ah Kau did was to feel the breast and commented that this was fat and meaty.  The next thing he would brush the feathers at the butt apart and showed to mom, i don't know what they were looking at but she nodded and seemed to agree with him.  I have now found out what they were looking at, the butt of course.  They were looking to see if the hen laid eggs before and that will show that it is too matured and the meat will not be as tender if it were to be prepared the one and only way/recipe - white steamed/poached.  We might not be given the priviledge of looking at the butt now in the supermarket but make sure that the chicken is 4 lbs/2 kg, then you can be assured of producing a very velvety, meaty chicken for Hainanese Chicken Rice.


This chicken rice meal we had for dinner was sponsored by my dear friend Ting Ting, who have a chicken coop enough to house more than 20 chickens.  She had reared them from chicks and now there are pullets, hens and roosters.  It is the roosters that get to be our dinners cos Ting Ting does not want to have anymore unpleasant complaints from her neighbor, she told her sons Hunter and August to observe the roosters and as soon as they start to crow, the rooster will be Ting Ting's dinner or her friends.


Below is good read and good to know:

Chick: A hatchling


Capon: A castrated male used for meat. (How much could that yield?) Yeem Kai

Pullet: A female chicken under one year old.

Hen: A female chicken over one year of age

Rooster: A male chicken over one year of age


I will not write about the rice now of which the preparation is also very important cos i am into something which i promise you will be a good thing.  Look for the good thing in my coming posts, pray that i don't get writer's block.

Ingredients:

Chicken - more than 4 lbs (if you are lucky, Ting Ting's rooster will crow)
Jasmine Rice
Sides - cucumber and tomatoes
Sauces - chopped garlic, special homemade chilly sauce, oyster sauce with fragrant oil or black sauce.

Method:

The way to prepare and recipe is here

Serves

13 comments:

Mary said...

This sounds wonderful, Lily. I really liked the breakdown of the different types of chicken. I'm going to try this once the holidays are over.

Tricia said...

Lily,

You did it again! Looks (I'm sure taste, too) absolutely delicious!

This is one of my all time dish!

Lyndsey said...

Once your fingers started moving you told quite a story! Now I don't know if I can duplicate this recipe without Ting Ting's rooster, or the special homemade chilly sauce, but it seems to be worth a try! Loved this post:)

lilyng said...

lyndsey

you can make pretty good pak chit kai with fresh supermarket chickens. the frozen ones are ok but the bone marrow will be still red. I usually debone and do not serve the meat near the bones, the go back into the pressure to make good soups.

Quinn said...

Lily, is that apple you serve alongside the chicken rice???

Cami said...

Arata de milioane! Foarte frumoasa prezentare! o zi buna! Cami

lilyng said...

quinn

yes, i did not have cucumber and tomatoes and the chicken rice picture will not look good without some color. My grandchildren actually loved the sliced apples with their rice.

Ube said...

Love Hainanese Chicken and Rice with chili-rice vinegar dipping sauce. The Thais add some mashed salted yellow beans in their dipping sauce which is also excellent but I cannot find the bottled beans in the Asian grocery shelves. When my finances are up to par, I go to Chinatown and get fresh butchered chicken there. Talking about texture and flavor nothing beats fresh dressed chicken. Like they say beggars cannot be choosy so frozen chicken is fine with me. I am eagerly awaiting your next post good thing.

Spoon It On said...

This is one of my favourite dishes and this looks delicious!

Lizzie Slothouber said...

mmm maybe I'm blind but one of the best bits of the Hainan Chicken rice dish is the special chilly sauce...

it's got garlic, ginger and chillie and haiyah.. dunno what else...

is there a link on this site for it please? pretty please?

I loved reading the background bits (Ting Tings Rooster makes me smile) so much more.. never lose that Lily .. Kung Hei lei... fabulous job again ...

I could remember the smells and tastes of the best Hainan Chicken rice I had in GeorgeTown in Penang... old Chinese style food outlet with them old rickity (now antique) chairs ... loud shouting out to each other of the food orders.... wei, kah fan aahhhh ... kei hung yoke ....

hugs .. Lizzie Slothouber
Perth, Western Australia ...

lilyng said...

Lizzie Slothouber

the recipe for the chilly sauce is here http://lilyng2000.blogspot.com/2005/05/perfect-steeped-white-chicken.html.

if you can get 'kat chai' - then use it instead of lime juice - it will bring you back home the instance you taste your chilly sauce.

Yeanie said...

I love the deep fried chicken that you get from the hainanese chicken rice stall. Do you have the recipe for that?

lilyng said...

yeanie

i too love that fried crispy skin chicken. The preparation to achieve the crispy skin is tedious. it is like the roast duck except that roast duck is roasted in the oven and this chicken is deep fried.

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