Make this simplified Hainanese Chicken Rice recipe at home using just the chicken legs. Dip the tender, juicy, and moist Hainan chicken into the sweet, spicy, savory, sour, and gingery sauces, and eat with a spoonful of fragrant “oily rice”.
Hainanese Chicken Rice has to be one of Jacky’s favorite comfort dishes. Well, at least he orders it EVERY time he sees it on the menu. He’s at fault for creating the urban legend among our family and friends that his favorite meat is chicken. Hahaha~
While we were dating, food consumed a huge part of our dates. We even went on a mini Hainanese Chicken Rice mission. LOL~ Yeah, a mission for us to find the place that serves the BEST Hainanese Chicken Rice.
So far, this tiny, hidden, and dine-in-the-alley-super-busy-and-crowded restaurant in Hong Kong still sits at the throne. Are there any favorites you know of? If so, please tell me!
This Singaporean classic comfort food is a light and simple one dish meal with a soup. It’s deliciously addictive and soooo satisfying to eat! Omm nom nom…
We’ve been experimenting with cooking Hainan chicken at home, and it does require a bit of work and space. So, we’ve decided to create a simplified (and cooks much faster!!) homemade version, using just the chicken legs over the whole chicken.
For restaurants who make Hainanese chicken rice, they get the privilege of poaching the chicken in a master stock where they reuse the same broth over and over for years (loaded with layers of thick flavorssss!!!). This is one of the keys to making fragrant and flavorful Hainan chicken. I bet they must treasure it like GOLD.
While we don’t have the luxury to maintain a master stock at home, we do make our own chicken stock with our Instant Pot Pressure Cooker. Ever since we’ve switched to using homemade chicken stock, our home cooking immediately got kicked up a notch.
For this recipe, you’ll be using a common poaching technique to poach the chicken at sub-boiling temperatures with the heat turned off. This way, the chicken becomes perfectly cooked with the meat being tender, moist, and flavorful. You MUST make sure the chicken isn’t undercooked!
As much as this classic dish is about the Hainanese chicken, the soul is the 3 sauces and the “oily rice”.
First, the Chicken Chilli Sauce, it’s boldly hot and sour.
Then, the Green Onion Ginger Sauce, its strong flavors truly elevate the taste of the chicken with a kick of ginger spice.
Lastly, the Sweet Soy Sauce happily marries the sweet and savory flavors.
For me, I like to dip all 3 sauces on each bite to achieve a balanced sweet, savory, spicy, and sour flavors. mmMMmm…
Hainanese Chicken Rice Recipe Tips
Please ensure that the chicken is fully cooked with a food thermometer (internal temperature is 165F or 75C). Also, make sure the color of the juice coming out of the chicken is clear, not reddish color.
Do NOT open the lid to check on the chicken while it’s still poaching!! If you find that the chicken is undercooked at the end, bring the stock to boil again and put the chicken back in, cover the lid, and turned off the heat to poach for another 5 to 10 minutes.
You may use the chicken stock made while cooking the chicken legs to cook the oily rice. However, if you have homemade stock, you can use that to speed up the cooking process. Also, make sure you don’t put too much oil while cooking the rice.
Don’t forget to scoop up the chicken stock to enjoy as a soothing and warm chicken soup!
There you go! Start cooking your own Hainanese Chicken Rice and tell us how did you do. 🙂
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- 2 – 4 whole chicken legs
- 3 stalks green onions, cut 2 inches long
- 1 shallot, roughly minced
- 4 cloves garlic, roughly minced
- 6 pieces ginger
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cups long grain rice
- 1¾ cup chicken stock from the chicken legs pot
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Sea salt to taste
- 2 drops sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
- ½ tablespoon chicken stock from the chicken legs pot
- 1 ½ tablespoon peanut oil
- 1 stalk green onions, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons ginger, minced
- Salt to taste
- 2 tablespoons hot sauce
- 2 tablespoons ginger
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 teaspoon chicken stock from the chicken legs pot
- Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
- First, add one tablespoon of olive oil, and stir fry garlic, shallot, and ginger for roughly 30 seconds. Then, add green onions and stir fry for another 30 seconds.
- Add 1 cup of chicken stock and roughly 2.5 liters of water or until 80% full. Cover the Dutch oven with lid and boil.
- Open the lid and add the chicken legs. When the water is brought to a boil again, cover the pot, turn off the heat, and cook for 35 minutes. DO NOT open the lid!
- Remove the chicken legs and make sure the color of the juice coming out of the chicken is clear.
- Please use a food thermometer to ensure the internal temperature is 165F (75C). This will confirm that it’s not undercooked.
- Put the chicken legs in running cold tap water, then set aside to dry and cool on a rack.
- Heat a large pan over medium heat.
- First, add one tablespoon of olive oil, and stir the garlic until fragrant. Then, add 2 cups of long grain rice, and stir until fragrant.
- Transfer the rice to a rice cooker, add 1 ¾ cup of chicken stock (made from cooking the chicken legs in the previous step), and press cook.
- When the rice is cooked, mix in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sea salt to taste.
- Heat 1 ½ tablespoon of peanut oil in a small saucepan over medium heat.
- Pour the hot oil onto the minced ginger, mix in the green onions, and add salt to taste (roughly ½ teaspoon of salt).
- Blend 2 tablespoons of hot sauce, ginger, garlic and lime juice in a blender. Then, mix well with 1 teaspoon of chicken stock.