SINGAPORE (THE NEW PAPER) - Chicken rice is a hearty choice when you need to feed a large group of guests at lunch or dinner.
You can easily prepare the garlic chilli sauce and spring onion-ginger sauce the day before or even a week ahead.
A large chicken can make generous portions for eight diners. One cup of uncooked rice should give you two to three servings, depending on how hungry your guests are (or how tasty your chicken rice turns out).
Here's a tip I got from a neighbour: Once you've cooked the chicken, cut up a radish and boil it in the stock. Garnish with some flat-leaf parsley, coriander or spring onion and you've got a robust clean-tasting soup to serve on the side.
1 large chicken
1 scant Tbs salt (for marinating the chicken)
4 litres of water
60g ginger, sliced thickly
6 stalks of spring onion
8 whole garlic cloves, unpeeled
6 pandan leaves, knotted
1 stalk flat-leaf parsley or coriander
1 cucumber, sliced
1. Wash and dry the chicken. Sprinkle and rub the salt all over the chicken, as well as inside the cavity.
2. Place the chicken in the fridge for 30 minutes.
3. When you are ready to cook, stuff the chicken cavity with 2 slices of ginger and 2 stalks of spring onion.
4. Fill a large pot with enough water to cover the chicken and bring to a boil.
5. Put the remaining ginger slices, garlic cloves, spring onion and pandan leaves into the pot. Add salt to the water. Boil for 10 minutes.
6. Holding the chicken by the neck, gently lower it into the pot of boiling water. Submerge the chicken up to the base of its neck and hold it there for one minute. Lift the chicken and allow water to drain from its cavity. Do this two more times.
7. Submerge the chicken fully in the water.
8. Cover and boil for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat. Leave the chicken in the covered pot for another 35 minutes, or 40 minutes if you prefer it to be more tender.
9. Prepare a basin of ice-cold water. Carefully remove the chicken from the pot and place it in the ice water bath until it cools down.
10. Once the chicken is cooled, cut it into pieces.
11. Drizzle on the seasoning sauce (see below) before serving. Garnish with flat-leaf parsley and serve with sliced cucumber on the side.
3 rice cups of rice, washed
3 rice cups of chicken stock
6 whole garlic cloves, unpeeled
5 pandan leaves, knotted
5 Tbs cooking oil
8 shallots, sliced
30g ginger, finely chopped or blended
½ tsp salt
1. Place the rice in a rice cooker or a pot.
2. Lightly smash the garlic cloves and add them to the rice.
3. Place the pandan leaves on the rice. Set aside.
4. Heat the cooking oil. Fry the shallots until they begin to brown. Remove 1 tablespoon of shallot oil and set aside for making the seasoning later. Add the ginger.
5. Fry for 2 to 3 minutes.
6. Transfer the fried shallot ginger mixture to the rice.
1 Tbs shallot oil
1 Tbs sesame oil
2 tsp light soya sauce
1 tsp Chinese rice wine (optional)
Mix all the ingredients together
SPRING ONION AND GINGER SAUCE
100g spring onion
100g young ginger
100ml cooking oil
2 Tbs sesame oil
1 tsp salt
12 red finger chillies
5 chilli padi
8 garlic cloves, peeled
100ml freshly squeezed lime juice
1½ tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
1. Place the red finger chilli, the chilli padi, garlic and lime juice in a blender.
2. Blend until smooth.
3. Add the sugar and season with salt.
Yields 6 to 8 servings.