Hainanese Chicken Rice Recipe
Steamed rice cooked with a mild chicken broth and chicken strips.
For chicken and broth
For chili sauce
For the Rice
Prepare chicken and broth
  1. Remove fat from cavity of chicken and reserve for rice. Rub the chicken with 1-teaspoon salt on the inside and on the outside.
  2. Bring water with remaining 2 teaspoons salt and ginger to a boil in a 6-8 quart pot wide enough to hold chicken. Put chicken, breast down, in water and return to a boil, covered. Simmer the chicken, partially covered, 20 minutes and remove from heat. Let the chicken stand in hot broth, covered and undisturbed, until just cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Let the broth drain from chicken cavity into pot and transfer chicken to a large bowl of ice and cold water and reserve broth for rice and soup. Let the chicken cool completely, turning it once. Drain chicken and pat dry with paper towels.
  4. Cut into serving pieces.
For the chili sauce
  1. Pulse the chili sauce ingredients to a coarse paste in mini food processor.
For the rice
  1. Cook reserved chicken fat in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring, until rendered, and then discard solids. Add vegetable oil if necessary to make 2 tablespoons fat.
  2. Wash rice under cold running water until water runs clear and drain well.
  3. Cook shallots in fat over moderate heat, stirring, until browned.
  4. Now add garlic and cook, stirring, for about 1 minute. Add rice and cook, stirring gently, about 1 minute.
  5. Add 3 cups reserved broth and bring to a boil. Boil until liquid on surface is evaporated and small bubbles appear from holes in rice, 3 to 4 minutes.
  6. Cover and cook over very low heat until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes more. Remove from heat and let stand, covered and undisturbed, 5 minutes. Fluff rice with a fork and cover.
Putting the chicken rice together
  1. Shave as many long ribbons as possible from cucumber with a vegetable peeler and chill ribbons in another bowl of ice and cold water 15 minutes. Drain well.
  2. Stir together soy sauce and sesame oil.
  3. Bring 6 cups reserved broth and watercress to a boil in a 3-quart saucepan and simmer 1 minute. Remove pan from heat and let stand until watercress is a shade darker, about 3 minutes.
  4. Drizzle soy-sesame mixture over chicken. Serve chicken with cucumber ribbons and individual bowls of rice, soup, and chili sauce.