Monday, April 3, 2017

Rice cooker Hainanese Chicken Rice 超容易电饭锅海南鸡饭

We had a long day at IKEA to get a new shelve today (but ended up with a lot of other things >.<), Big Guy and I were really exhausted so decided to stay home and have a simple dinner.

I thought of cooking a one-pot dish. But not noodles or spaghetti, I wanted something warm and with nice aroma. Instantly, Hainanese chicken rice came to my mind. Any typical Malaysian will understand why, it's a local cuisine you can find in almost any coffee shop / local eatery. :))

So we had this for dinner indeed. Took me less than an hour to get the dinner ready - including a blanch baby bak Choy and lady's fingers.

I've cooked chicken rice using the conventional method before, but this time I decided to take shortcut by using our Panasonic rice cooker, and they came out surprisingly delicious! 

The rice was so aromatic with a hint of Pandan, the chicken was tender and flavorful, and E kept saying, "thank you mommy for the wonderful dinner, this is too nice!" :D 

Preparation time: 30 min (include marinating)
Cooking time: 30 min
Serving for: 4 pax 

• 2 cup rice, washed
• 1 tablespoon cooking oil
• 4 clove garlic, chopped 
• 2 shallots, chopped
• 5-6 slices gingers (cut big slices)
• 2 Pandan leaves, tie into a knot 
• 1 teaspoon sesame oil 

For chicken marinate  
• 2 large whole chicken legs 
• 2 teaspoon salt
• 1 tablespoon ginger wine / rice wine
• a dash of pepper

The Making:
  1. Clean and marinate the chicken legs for at least 30 minutes. Make sure you rub the salt evenly, including under the skin.
  2. Wash the rice as how you usually do (I usually washed 2 rounds) and on the final round of washing, measure the right amount of water as indicated on the rice cooker, and keep the water aside (DO NOT cook the rice yet)
  3. Heat up cooking oil in a deep pan, sauté garlic, shallots and ginger slices till fragrance. Add the chicken leg, ginger wine, sesame oil and cook each side for about 3 minutes.
  4. Pour the water from step 2 into the pan. Close the lid and let it simmer for about 10 minutes on medium heat or until the chicken has cooked through. Make sure the entire chicken legs submerge under the broth.
  5. Add the chicken and broth into the rice, toss in the pandan knots, start cooking the rice in rice cooker as usual (make sure chicken legs are on top with the skin facing up, just like in the picture below).

  6. Once the rice is ready, dish out the chicken legs and chop into serving sizes (I debone the drumsticks so it's easier for little ones). Loosen the rice with a spatula but leave them in the rice cooker for another 5 minutes before dishing out.
  7. Serve the chicken with the fragrance rice, cucumber slices, and chili sauce of your choice. It's a joyful feeling to be able to enjoy savory chicken rice at the comfort of home. 
Hoi Fan-loh!
(Means "dinner is ready" in Cantonese ;-)

Useful Tips:
• the ginger wine / rice wine is optional but they do add to stronger flavor, suggest to omit that if you are serving for young toddlers.
• I do not use much salt in cooking (it's not recommended for young toddlers and certainly not suitable for elderly with risk of high blood pressure), hence adjust the quantity of salt as per your liking.
• you may add a stalk of leek when cooking the chicken rice for better flavor. I skipped this since I am using pandan leave.
• I added extra 1 teaspoon of bentong ginger powder into the rice before cooking, but that's really optional if you do not have it at home. The yellowness in the rice actually came from the ginger so don't worry, no coloring is used. ;-)

More tips!
A friend asked, the rice turns out too wet after cooking, what to do to rescue it?
Just use a spatula to loosen the rice, keep a lid open for short while (water will evaporate from the pot) then close the lid and cook for another few minutes. The rice will turn less moist.
• if you are using brown rice or multi grain rice, it generally takes longer to cook and may be harder to chew. What I usually do is to pre-soak the rice in water at least 30 minutes before cooking. This helps to softer the grains. However, if you are cooking the rice for the first time, try cooking plain rice first before attempting this recipe to get the right water consistency.

Hope this helps!