This post is really personal to me. Y’know why? Cause this recipe was given to me by my beloved aunt. She was like a cook diva, she was a fusion cook extraordinaire, she really knew what she was doing, and her cooking; gosh out of this world! I’ll miss her a lot! Okay, today post is about the celebration of chicken. Who doesn’t love chicken? If you are a chicken skeptic, there’s something wrong with you somewhere or somehow lol. Its the all time favorite protein source; this humble double legs creature is all about versatility. The list of chicken recipes go for ages, from chicken parmigiana, chicken pie, chicken rice, chicken cacciotore to chicken salad-we have never had enough of chicken, don’t ya think so?
This chicken rice is basically a Chinese dish, it has been introduced to Malaysia by, have a guess –> Chinese immigrants of course. It is a well celebrated dish that has captured the heart of many Malaysians and each of everyone of us has their own secret blend to make the PERFECT chicken rice of their own. This is my own rendition of chicken rice! Have a try!
To get started, you have to know what is chicken rice and what condiments go along with it. So chicken rice basically is a rice dish that is cooked using chicken broth (instead of plain salted water) and it is served with marinated fried chicken with 2 basic condiments which are soy sauce and chilli sauce (we called it “air lada” here, literally means chili water (which sounded super weird as for me lol). So let’s get cookin’!
Ingredients (I’ve divided them into batches so it’s easier to get grip with the whole process)
1st Batch (Chicken broth)
- A whole chicken, cut into 4 and clean ( seekor ayam, potong 4 dan bersihkan)
- 2 pieces of star anise (2 biji bunga lawang)
- 2 sticks of cinnamon (2 batang kayu manis)
- 2 pieces of cardamom (2 biji buah pelaga)
- A whole big onion, diced up (bawang besar dipotong kecil)
- 4 cloves of garlic, mashed into paste ( 4 ulas bawang putih ditumbuh halus)
- An inch of ginger (seinci halia)
- 2 celery (2 batang saderi) –> i’ts unconventional to put celery, but I’ve found it tastes a lot fresher to have celery in chicken broth. So, this is my own spin
- Green onion (daun bawang)
- Cilantro (daun ketumbar) –> this one is optional, but I’ve found it tastier to put this one, it tastes a lot more Chinese-sy haha
- Salt for seasoning (garam secukup rasa)
2nd Batch (Marinated chicken)
- Whole chicken that has been boiled to perfection in the chicken broth lol (ayam yang telah direbus SEMPURNA)
- Thin soy sauce (kicap cair)
- Few dashes of oyster sauce (sedikit sos tiram)
- A few drops of sesame seed oil — warning!! please be gentle with this oil, it’s potent! haha (beberapa titik minyak bijan)
- A tablespoon of brown sugar (sesudu besar gula perang)
3rd Batch (Chicken rice)
- 5 cups of rice – any kind that you wish, but better to choose the starchiest one hee (5 cawan beras)
- 200 grams of butter (200gram mentega) —> this is y secret ingredient!
- An inch of ginger (seinci halia)
- 3 cloves of garlic (3 ulas bawang putih)
- 2 shallots, diced up (2 bawang merah)
- One lemon grass, whacked to release its fragrance (sebatang serai dititik)
- 2 pandan leaves for fragrance (2 helai daun pandan untuk wangian)
- Chicken broth made earlier (air rebusan ayam yang telah dibuat awal)
4th Batch (Chili sauce/ air lada)
- 5 red chilies (5 biji cili merah)
- 4 cloves of garlic (4 ulas bawang putih)
- 2 inches of ginger (2 inci halia)
- A teaspoon of vinegar (1 sudu teh cuka)
- A teaspoon of sesame seed oil (1 sudu minyak bijan)
- 1/2 cup of chicken broth made earlier (1/2 cawan air rebusan ayam yang telah dibuat awal)
- Sugar and salt for seasonings (gula dan garam secukupnya)
5th Batch (Soy sauce)
- Thin soy sauce (kicap cair)
- 1 tablespoon of brown sugar (sesudu gula perang)
- Some of the chicken broth made earlier (sedikit air rebusan ayam)
- Have a pot put under medium heat and when the pot is hot enough put few splashes of cooking oil. Put the garlic, onion, ginger, celery, and all of the spices into the pot and saute until it becomes fragrant and the onion started to caramelize.
- After that, put the chicken into the pot and pour in water just enough to cover the whole chicken. Bring it to simmer
- Approximately 20-30 minutes later you can start remove the chicken (you don’t want to boil the chicken too long, the last thing you ever want is to have a dried chicken on your menu). Season the broth with salt accordingly
- Put the broth on a gentle low heat, so that you can keep the broth warm for later use
Marinating the Chicken, and Frying up the Pan
- After removing the chicken, you can start to marinate the chicken with the 2nd batch ingredient.
- Marinate the chicken for at least half an hour, best 1 to 2 hours
- When the chicken has been marinated, fire the stove on medium heat, put your frying pan with generous amount of oil for frying.
- Start frying the chicken with the skin on the bottom side (this will ensure a crusty delicious skin that we’ve been dreaming all day long). Another technique I’ve learnt; when you fry the chicken, pour some of the hot oil on top of the chicken, this will make a glistening crusty skin when you’ve finished frying them.
- Remember, NEVER fry the chicken too long, you just want crisp the skin up, knowing the fact that the chicken itself has been boiled earlier. So you don’t have to worry whether the chicken cooked thoroughly or not.
- Let it rest. (Fun fact – resting a meat after cooking is crucial, cause when you cut any kind of protein immediately after cooking, the natural juice will run down and you’ll end up having a dry piece of meat. So remember, let it rest!)
Preparing the Chicken Rice
- Heat up your rice cooker, and put in some butter. As the butter melted, throw in the ginger, lemon grass, shallots, garlic and pandan leaves into the pot. Saute the ingredients until fragrant.
- After that, put in the rice and mix well with the sauteed ingredients
- Pour in some of the chicken broth made earlier just enough to cover 2 inches above the rice.
- Cook until the rice softens
- Put in all of the 4th batch ingredients into your blender, blend until it produces super smooth sauce
- You can cook the sauce on gentle heat but I’d rather leave it raw
I really (like REALLY) recommend you guys to give this a try. It seems to be quite difficult (I can’t deny on that), but believe once you’ve tried, you’ll be dancing on your table (while munching, gosh it’s horrible!). Spread the looooovee