Cheat’s Hainanese chicken rice











So what do you do when you’re favourite family meal takes hours of preparation and is just not achievable on weeknights? You develop a cheats version of course. Or more accurate, you run away to Australia for your sister’s wedding and leave your husband to fend for himself, and he will do it!

So recipe credit for this dish does go to my husband. When I left, I passed on a few of the recipes for Hainanese chicken rice that I’d used, including a version that used chicken maryland’s over the whole chook. Mr Firehouse took those recipes and put together the first version of the recipe you see below.

Hainanese chicken rice is a staple that hails from Malaysia and Singapore. So, if you’re looking for the best versions, head there. It’s white poached chicken, served at room temperate with a delicious chicken flavoured rice and broth. We usually eat ours with a chilli ginger and ginger and spring onion dipping sauce. We often has kecap manis, a sweet Asian soy sauce and cucumber to accompany this dish. The beauty is in the simplicity so I’d urge you to buy the best produce and ingredients you can afford. We made this once with supermarket, scrawny chicken legs and we were totally underwhelmed. In fact, I splurged on some amazing baby cucumbers this time around and it was totally worth it, cool fresh and crunch, even in the winter.


Steamed Chicken

  • 2 chicken marylands
  • 2 tbsp. coarse salt
  • 1 spring onion, roughly chopped
  • 3cm piece ginger, grated
  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp shao xing wine
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil

Chicken Stock

  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 5cm piece ginger, thickly sliced
  • 4 spring onions, green part only, roughly chopped


  • 2 tbsp peanut/vegetable oil
  • Skin from one chicken breast
  • Parson’s nose of chicken
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • 2cm piece ginger, grated (or ginger paste)
  • 1 cup rice

Ginger and spring onion dipping sauce

  • ½ cup peanut oil/vegetable oil
  • 3cm piece ginger, finely shredded
  • 2 spring onions, green part only, 3cm pieces, finely shredded

Chilli dipping sauce

  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 tablespoon reserved chicken poaching broth
  • 2 teaspoon sugar
  • 4 tablespoon sriracha chili sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1”  piece ginger
  • a generous pinch of salt, to taste

To serve

  • Cucumber
  • Deep fried shallots
  • Kecap manis, to serve


1. For steamed chicken, fill a steamer half way with water and bring to boil. Rub the chicken marylands all over with salt, removing dirt and grit from the skin. Rinse well.

Place a shallow bowl with the chicken pieces, on top of the rack. Combine remaining ingredients in a bowl to make a marinade. Place marinade over and around the chicken. Cover and cook over medium heat for 45 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Use a meat thermometer to ensure that the chicken is at 74-75 C at the thickest part of the thigh.   Reserve the liquid for a soup to serve. Chop the cooled chicken in 4-6 pieces through the bone using a cleaver.There may pink around the bone, this is because of the marrow at the bone and the way the chicken was cooked. If the internal temperature of the chicken is correct then you have no reason to be concerned about the meats ‘done-ness’. Always remember to judge readiness of meat by the temperature rather than appearance.

2.In a small saucepan combine the stock, ginger and spring onions and cook over low heat.

3. For the rice, heat peanut oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add skin and parsan’s nose, cook for 3-4 minutes, remove skin and parsan’s nose from the pan. Add garlic and ginger, cook for 2-3 minutes or until slightly golden. Stir through rice to coat in oil, and cook rice according to rice cooker instructions, using the chicken stock instead of water.

4. For ginger and spring onion dipping sauce, heat peanut oil in a small saucepan over medium heat, place remaining ingredients in a medium bowl and carefully pour over the oil.To make the chilli sauce: Blend your chilli sauce ingredients in a blender until smooth and bright red. Spoon into dipping dish, to serve.

5. To serve, place chicken on a plate. Spoon rice on the side of plate and arrange cucumber. Serve Kecap Manis in dipping dish next to the other two sauces. Pour remaining chicken stock into bowls and add reserved liquid from cooking chicken and top with spring onions.



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