Hainan Chicken Healthy & Easy Recipe

Hainan Chicken Ingredient

  • Full chicken
  • Rice
  • Ginger
  • Spring Onion
  • Garlic
  • Bayleaf (dried aromatic leaf of laurel)
  • Spicy pepper (Sichuan pepper for example)
  • Coriander
  • Seasonal Vegetables, such as cucumber
  • Cooking wine
  • Light Soy sauce (I never found the dark one useful, other than adding color only)
  • Oyster sauce
  • Sesame oil
  • Sugar

I can be rather lazy when it comes to cooking, and I can be quite picky with my food – not a great combination in fact. However, sometimes laziness can inspire us to make shortcuts in our lives, and I believe lots of our daily conveniences are invented thanks to our laziness. When I was living and working in China, there was no need to set foot into the chicken, and as a matter of fact, I never did. Here in Europe, take outs are so much more expensive, so I started to explore the world of cooking, and started to really liking it! Now it is Easter holiday, and if you want to try a new recipe, I proudly present you a simple yet very tasty version of Hainan chicken.

My kitchen is not exactly presentable, so I did not take too many pictures, but I am confident that you will understand this recipe quite easily!

Step 1. Wash & Soak Rice

  • Rinse 3 times will be sufficient
  • Soak rice in water for 30 min
  • Do this step first for better time management!

Step 2. Boil Water & Prep Chicken

  • As the rice soaks, you need to take out a pot big enough to immerse the entire chicken. Boil enough water inside that can submerge the full chicken;
  • Cut up 2-3 slices of ginger, 1 spring onion

Step 3. Make Chicken

  • Add the ginger slices and spring onion in the water
  • Add a bit of cooking wine
  • Add the chicken into the boiling water
  • Set a timer for 15 min (for bigger chicken add 1 min or 2)
  • Adjust the heat to medium-low
  • After the boiling, leave the chicken as is for another 10 min
  • Keep the lid closed over the pot the entire time
  • After the 25 min is up, transfer the chicken to another container, use cold water to soak the entire chicken until chill – this step makes the chicken tender, add ice if necessary
  • After chilled, dry it, and can apply some sesame oil over the skin for taste – I do not like the skin very much, so I skip this part

Step 4. Prep Sauce & Vegetable

  • Sauce
    • Cut up ginger, spring onion, spicy pepper, garlic and coriander into small pieces and place in the same bowl;
    • Add soy sauce, some oyster sauce (not key ingredient), a few drops of sesame oil, and a pinch of brown sugar (more or less cover all the previous cut ingredient) and mix
  • Prepare cucumber slices and leave on the side

Step 5. Prep Rice

  • Drain the water that has been soaking the rice completely
  • Heat some oil in a pan/wok, add garlic (large pieces) and 2 bayleaves when the oil is hot, stir until you can smell the garlic’s fragrance, then add the soaked rice
  • Stir fry for a min or 2, until the rice starts to look a little golden
  • Turn off fire and transfer the rice into rice cooker – I suppose you can continue cooking in this pan/wok if you do not have a rice cooker
  • Add several spoons of the chicken broth to submerge the rice and cook until ready

Step 6. Ready to Eat

  • Cut the chicken, add some vegetables and rice on the side
  • Dip sauce when eating

Bon appetite! This seemingly long recipe is in fact quite easy to manage, the result is also great! Before setting off to eat however, I would like to point out that the Hainan chicken has nothing to do with the province Hainan, in case the name fooled you 😉 Enjoy your meal, keep on with the healthy life!

Enjoy this recipe? Have comments? I am one little message away!


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