It is the school holidays and I have a bunch of kids who are forever hungry. So, I decided to be adventurous and try cooking chicken rice like my ancestors did.
I bought the largest, muscular chicken I can find. It costs me a whopping RM12 when normal chicken costs half of that. Not the little bump whom we call the bishop’s nose? You may want to remove that little yellow thingie because it stinks of chicken smell. But I left it there for the ‘chicken fragrance’.
Remove all the fats from the chicken. They can be easily torn off. Put it in a hot pan with some garlic and ginger slices and fry till the fats turn into oil. Yeah, very unhealthy. But then, this is how real chicken rice is cooked. Keep the oil, separate the ginger and garlic.
Next, find a pot big enough for your chicken. Put the chicken inside. Fill with water till almost covered the chicken. Put in the ginger and garlic. Bring to boil.
Now, this is where my crazy Hainanese male colleague taught me. Boil the chicken. When the water is already boiling, take the chicken out and dip into cold water. Then return the chicken into the pot. When the water boil again (same pot of water which will be the stock later on), take the chicken out and dipped into cold water again. He told me that this must be repeated for SEVEN TIMES!
By the second dipping, I got tired of playing spa treatment with the chicken and trying to avoid getting splashed with boiling soup.
I had heard of this dipping in water and reasoned that it is done to cool the surface of the chicken so that they are not overcooked while the inner side (which remains hot with the dipping) cook just nice.
The result? I got a half cooked chicken! LOL. But very tasty chicken rice. And a nice pot of chicken soup with cabbage. I had carved out the portion we can eat in on sitting and re-boil the chicken in the soup. As for the rest of the half-cooked chicken, I am soaking it in Chinese rice wine and hope they turned into drunken chicken tomorrow. (kept in fridge and will steam them tomorrow)
I shall post the recipe in the next post. It is tiring cooking chicken rice the authentic Hainanese way, you know? I am going to chicken rice stalls for my chicken rice next time.