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Chinese Roast Chicken Rice Recipe: A Delicious and Easy Meal

Chinese roast chicken rice is a classic dish that is enjoyed throughout Asia and around the world. The dish is known for its fragrant rice cooked with chicken oil and a variety of aromatics like ginger and shallots. The roasted chicken is served with the rice and bean sprouts for a complete meal that is perfect for breakfast, brunch, or dinner.

A whole roasted chicken with crispy skin, served on a bed of fragrant, steamed jasmine rice, garnished with fresh green onions and a side of savory soy sauce

The dish has a rich history and origin that dates back to ancient China. The recipe has been passed down through generations and has evolved over time to become the delicious dish that it is today. The essential ingredients for the dish include a whole chicken, honey, maltose, five spice powder, ginger juice, light soy sauce, water, lime juice, and rice.

Preparing the chicken for the dish is an important step that involves marinating the chicken in a mixture of honey, maltose, five spice powder, ginger juice, light soy sauce, water, and lime juice. The chicken is then roasted in the oven until it is golden brown and cooked through. The rice is cooked separately with chicken oil and a variety of aromatics to create a fragrant and delicious side dish. Finally, the chicken is served with the rice and bean sprouts, along with a trio of condiments.

Key Takeaways

  • Chinese roast chicken rice is a classic dish that is enjoyed throughout Asia and around the world.
  • The dish has a rich history and origin that dates back to ancient China.
  • Preparing the chicken and cooking the rice are important steps in making this delicious dish.

History and Origin

A chef prepares Chinese roast chicken rice with aromatic spices and herbs in a bustling kitchen. Steam rises from the fragrant dish as it is plated for a hungry customer

If you're a fan of Asian cuisine, chances are you've heard of Hainanese chicken rice. This dish is a staple in Singapore and Malaysia and is often considered the national dish of Singapore. Hainanese chicken rice is a dish that has been around for over a century and has a fascinating history.

Cultural Significance

The dish is believed to have originated from Hainan, a tropical island located at the southern tip of China. Hainanese chicken rice is a dish adapted from early Chinese immigrants originally from Hainan province in southern China. It is based on a well-known Hainanese dish called Wenchang chicken, which is one of four important Hainan dishes dating to the Qing dynasty.

Hainanese chicken rice is a dish that is often associated with Chinese New Year celebrations. During this time, families gather together to enjoy a meal that is rich in tradition and culture. The dish is also popular in other parts of Asia, including Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia.

Regional Variations

There are many variations of Hainanese chicken rice, depending on the region where it is prepared. In Singapore, for example, the dish is often served with a spicy chilli sauce and ginger sauce. In Malaysia, the dish is often served with a sweet soy sauce and a side of soup.

Seafood can also be used in the recipe as a suggestion where applicable. For example, some variations of Hainanese chicken rice include seafood such as prawns or squid. If you're looking to add seafood to your Hainanese chicken rice recipe, consider using fresh prawns or squid.

Overall, Hainanese chicken rice is a dish that is steeped in tradition and culture. Whether you're celebrating Chinese New Year or simply looking for a delicious and satisfying meal, Hainanese chicken rice is a dish that is sure to please.

Essential Ingredients

A whole roasted chicken sits on a bed of fragrant, fluffy rice. Surrounding it are bowls of soy sauce, ginger, and garlic, along with a side of fresh greens

When it comes to making Chinese roast chicken rice, there are a few essential ingredients that you will need to have on hand. These ingredients are what give the dish its signature flavour and texture. In this section, we will take a closer look at some of these ingredients and how to select and use them.

Selecting the Chicken

The first and most important ingredient in Chinese roast chicken rice is, of course, the chicken. For the best results, it is important to choose a high-quality whole chicken. Look for a chicken that is fresh and free-range if possible. You will also want to remove the neck, innards from the chest cavity and feet.

Rice Varieties

There are many different types of rice that can be used in Chinese roast chicken rice. Jasmine rice is a popular choice, but you can also use other varieties such as basmati or long-grain rice. Whichever type of rice you choose, be sure to rinse it thoroughly before cooking to remove any excess starch.

Flavour Enhancers

To give your Chinese roast chicken rice its signature flavour, you will need to use a combination of flavour enhancers. These can include sesame oil, soy sauce, garlic, pepper, sugar, honey, ginger, and five spice powder. Light soy sauce is typically used for marinating the chicken, while dark soy sauce is used for colouring the rice.

You can also use chicken fat or butter to add richness and depth of flavour to the dish. Pandan leaf is another popular ingredient that can be used to add a fragrant aroma to the rice.

If you want to add seafood to your Chinese roast chicken rice, you can use prawns or shrimp. Simply add them to the marinade along with the chicken and cook them together. You can also serve the dish with steamed fish or a side of cucumber and spring onions for a refreshing contrast.

Preparing the Chicken

A whole chicken being seasoned with Chinese spices, then placed on a roasting rack over a bed of rice in a roasting pan

Preparing the chicken is the most important part of making Chinese roast chicken rice. Follow these simple steps to ensure that your chicken is juicy, flavourful, and evenly cooked.

Marinade and Seasoning

To make the marinade, mix together soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, sesame oil, white pepper, five-spice powder, and maltose. Rub the marinade all over the chicken, making sure to get it under the skin and in the cavity. Cover the chicken with plastic wrap and let it marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Roasting Techniques

Preheat your oven to 200°C. Remove the chicken from the marinade and place it on a roasting rack in a roasting pan. Roast the chicken for 20 minutes at 200°C, then reduce the temperature to 180°C and continue roasting for another 40-50 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 75°C.

Trussing for Even Cooking

Trussing the chicken is an important step in ensuring that it cooks evenly. Use kitchen twine to tie the legs together and tuck the wings under the body. This will help the chicken cook evenly and prevent the breast from drying out.

If you want to add seafood to your Chinese roast chicken rice, consider using prawns or scallops. Marinate them in the same marinade as the chicken and roast them separately for a few minutes until they are cooked through. Serve them alongside the chicken and rice for a delicious surf and turf meal.

By following these simple steps, you'll be able to make a delicious Chinese roast chicken rice that is sure to impress your family and friends.

Cooking the Rice

A pot of rice simmers on the stove as a whole roast chicken sizzles in the oven, filling the kitchen with savory aromas

Using Chicken Stock

To make the perfect Chinese roast chicken rice, you need to use chicken stock to cook the rice. Chicken stock is essential to add flavour to the rice and make it more fragrant. You can either use homemade chicken stock or store-bought ones. If you are using store-bought chicken stock, make sure to choose a good quality one that is low in sodium and doesn't contain any additives.

Achieving Fragrant Rice

To achieve fragrant rice, you can add chicken fats to the rice cooker before cooking the rice. Chicken fats are a by-product of roasting the chicken and can be used to add flavour to the rice. You can also add aromatics like ginger and shallots to the rice cooker to make the rice more fragrant.

To cook the rice, first, rinse the rice thoroughly and drain the excess water. Then, add the rice to the rice cooker along with the chicken fats, ginger, and shallots. Fry the ingredients until fragrant before adding chicken stock to the cooker. Cook the rice until it is fluffy and tender.

If you want to add seafood to the recipe, you can use prawns or squid. Simply add them to the rice cooker along with the rice and other ingredients. The seafood will absorb the flavours of the chicken stock and aromatics, making the dish even more delicious.

Overall, cooking Chinese roast chicken rice is a simple recipe that anyone can master. By using chicken stock and chicken fats, you can achieve fragrant and flavourful rice that pairs perfectly with roast chicken.

Serving and Condiments

A plate of Chinese roast chicken with rice, surrounded by small bowls of soy sauce, chili oil, and sliced green onions

Once you have prepared your delicious Chinese roasted chicken rice, it's time to serve it up and add some condiments to enhance the flavour. Here are some suggestions for serving and condiments:

Chilli and Ginger Sauces

Chilli and ginger sauces are a must-have when it comes to Chinese roasted chicken rice. These sauces add an extra kick of flavour and spice to your dish. You can either make your own or buy them from the store. To make your own chilli sauce, you can mix together red chillies, minced garlic, ginger garlic sauce, brown sugar, white vinegar and lime juice. For the ginger sauce, mix together grated ginger, rice vinegar, lime juice and brown sugar.

Garnishing and Presentation

Garnishing and presentation are important when it comes to Chinese roasted chicken rice. You can garnish your dish with sliced cucumber, red chillies and lime wedges. This not only adds a pop of colour to your dish but also adds some freshness. When it comes to presentation, you can serve your roasted chicken rice in a bowl or on a plate. You can also add some fried rice on the side to make it a complete meal.

If you are feeling adventurous, you can even add some seafood to your roasted chicken rice. Shrimp or prawns would be a great addition to this dish. Simply cook the seafood separately and add it to your dish before serving. This will add some extra protein and flavour to your meal.

Overall, serving and condiments are an important part of Chinese roasted chicken rice. With the right sauces and garnishes, you can take your dish to the next level.

Frequently Asked Questions

A sizzling hot plate of Chinese roast chicken rice with a side of steamed vegetables and a savory soy-based sauce drizzled over the top

What's the secret to a crispy-skinned roast chicken?

The key to getting crispy skin on your roast chicken is to dry out the skin before cooking. This can be done by leaving the chicken uncovered in the fridge overnight or by patting it dry with a paper towel before roasting. Another tip is to brush the chicken with oil or butter before roasting to help crisp up the skin.

Can you suggest any tips for making a healthier version of Chinese chicken rice?

To make a healthier version of Chinese chicken rice, you can use brown rice instead of white rice. Brown rice is a whole grain and contains more nutrients and fibre than white rice. You can also use skinless chicken breast instead of chicken with skin, and use less oil when cooking.

Why is Hainanese chicken rice considered particularly delicious?

Hainanese chicken rice is considered particularly delicious because of its unique cooking method. The chicken is poached in a broth made with ginger, garlic, and other aromatics, which infuses the meat with flavour and keeps it moist. The rice is cooked in the same broth, which gives it a rich, savoury flavour.

What ingredients can I add to my chicken and rice dish to keep it moist?

To keep your chicken and rice dish moist, you can add some chicken broth or stock to the rice as it cooks. You can also add some vegetables, such as carrots or celery, which will release moisture as they cook. If you want to add seafood to your dish, you can use prawns or squid, which will add moisture and flavour.

What are the key spices for an authentic Malaysian roasted chicken rice flavour?

The key spices for an authentic Malaysian roasted chicken rice flavour are ginger, garlic, and five-spice powder. These spices are used in the poaching broth for the chicken and in the rice. Other optional spices include star anise and cinnamon.

How do I achieve the perfect balance of flavours in a Chinese roast chicken rice dish?

To achieve the perfect balance of flavours in a Chinese roast chicken rice dish, you need to pay attention to the seasoning. The chicken should be seasoned with salt and pepper before roasting, and the rice should be cooked in a broth made with ginger, garlic, and other aromatics. You can adjust the seasoning to your taste by adding more salt or soy sauce. If you want to add some heat, you can add some chopped chillies or chilli sauce.

Remember, cooking is all about experimenting and finding what works best for you. Don't be afraid to try new things and make adjustments to suit your taste.