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Delicious Hainanese flavoured chicken rice is a very popular dish among the Asian Chinese especially in Singapore and Malaysia.
🍗Hainanese chicken rice is a dish adapted from early Chinese immigrants originally from Hainan province in southern China. It is considered one of the national dishes of Singapore.
🍗Hainanese chicken rice is most commonly associated with Singaporean, Malaysian and Hainanese cuisines, although it is also popular in Thailand and Vietnam. It is based on a well-known Hainanese dish called Wenchang chicken (文昌雞), due to its adoption by the Hainanese overseas Chinese population in the Nanyang area (present-day Southeast Asia). Catherine Ling of CNN describes Hainanese chicken rice as one of the “40 Singapore foods we can’t live without”.
🍗It also listed at number 45 on World’s 50 most delicious foods complied by CNN Go in 2011. In Malaysia, as in Singapore, chicken rice is available in many Chinese coffee shops, restaurants and street hawker stalls, and also in chain restaurants such as The Chicken Rice Shop and OldTown White Coffee.
😃The chicken is prepared in accordance with traditional Hainanese methods, which involve poaching the entire chicken at sub-boiling temperatures. The resulting stock is skimmed off and some of the fat and liquid, along with ginger, garlic (and in the case of Singaporean and Malaysian chicken rice, pandan leaves) is used in the cooking of the rice, producing an oily, flavourful rice sometimes known as “oily rice”.
😃The Hainanese prefer using older, plumper birds to maximise the amount of oil extracted, thus creating a more flavourful dish. Over time, however, the dish began adopting elements of Cantonese cooking styles, such as using younger birds to produce more tender meats. In Singapore and Malaysian chicken rice, the bird is dipped in ice after cooking to produce a jelly-like skin finishing, commonly referred to as báijī (白雞; “white chicken”), while Thai khao man gai notably omits this step. Chicken prepared by braising – lǔjī (滷雞; “stock chicken”) – or roasting – shāojī (燒雞; “roasted chicken”) – may also be used.
😃In most countries, the dish is served with a dipping sauce of freshly minced red chilli and garlic, usually accompanied with dark soy sauce and freshly ground ginger. Fresh cucumber boiled in the chicken broth and light soy sauce with a dash of sesame oil are served with the chicken, which is usually served at room temperature. Many stalls, especially in Singapore or Malaysia, now offer deboned chicken.