My recent trip to Singapore brought back so many great memories of living there when I was very young, and almost all of them involve the smell and taste of very good food. I have been obsessed with chicken rice since I got back and have been searching for a good recipe. This one is a bit of a mishmash of lots of different ones, as I have tried to simplify it for a weekday meal by using boneless chicken rather than cooking a whole one. The one thing I haven't compromised on is fresh stock - you can use ready made stock but I never think it tastes the same.
1 kg of chicken wings (for stock)
500 grams of chicken breast or tenderloin
1 cup of rice (uncooked)
2 inches of ginger, crushed
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon of olive oil
4 teaspoons of sesame oil
rice wine vinegar
chopped red chillies
Place chicken wings in a large pot, fill with water, bring to boil and then lower heat and cook for 1.5-2 hours. This can be done the day before or ahead of time and makes a really nice stock, and you should end up with at least 4 cups of it. When it is done, remove the chicken wings and strain it into another pan. When the chicken wings cool, the meat should fall of the bone and you can use this meat either for the chicken rice or save it for something else (I saved it and used tenderloin for the chicken rice).
Place the raw tenderloins or breast in the strained stock, bring back to a boil for one minute, then turn off the heat and leave covered for 10 minutes or so until the chicken is just poached. Remove chicken, it should be only just cooked, and set aside covered with foil.
To make the rice, heat a teaspoon of olive oil and 2 teaspoons of sesame oil and fry an inch of ginger and a clove of garlic, both finely crushed. Don’t let it burn… stir quickly then add a cup of raw rice (rinsed) and stir again until it is coated with the oil. Pour in 2 cups of the chicken stock, bring to a boil then turn down and cook on low heat for 10 minutes. Keep tightly covered on the stove for a further 10 minutes until it is fully done.
To make the soup, heat the remaining stock and season with a couple more teaspoons of sesame oil, a splash of rice wine vinegar, a splash of soy sauce, and salt and white pepper to taste.
To make the ginger sauce, crush the remaining inch of ginger, place in a small bowl, add a tablespoon of soup, some sesame oil, half a teaspoon of sugar and salt to taste. For the other condiments, use sambal and chopped red chillies mixed with spring onions and soy sauce.
To assemble the meal, finely slice the poached chicken, serve a portion of rice on a plate and lay the chicken on top. Serve with a small bowl of soup and all the condiments. You can also steam some chinese greens for a minute or so, splashing some soy sauce and sesame oil and salt and pepper on top as you serve it.