Hainanese Chicken and Rice

Cook time 2 hours
Servings 4


1 whole free-range chicken (about 1.8 kg)
1 big handful flaked salt
1 piece of ginger, slice lengthways into 6 pieces
4 cloves garlic, peeled
½ bunch spring onions, green tops removed
1 chilli, roughly sliced
3 coriander stalks, cleaned
1 star anise
2 tbs. Chinese cooking wine
1 tbs. light soy

Sesame oil, for basting

Ginger sauce
3 knobs ginger
1 clove garlic
1 tsp. light soy
3 tbs. vegetable oil
1 tbs. chicken stock

Chilli sauce
4 tbs. chilli sauce
1 clove garlic
Juice ½ lime
1 tbs. soy sauce
3 tbs. vegetable oil
1 cube palm sugar

1 tbs. vegetable oil
1 tsp. ginger, finely grated
1 clove garlic, finely grated
1 spring onion, finely sliced
2 cups jasmine rice, rinsed well
1½ cups chicken broth, strained from chicken stockpot
½ tsp. sesame oil

4 lettuce cups
4 cherry tomatoes, cut in 4
1 cucumber, sliced on an angle
8 coriander leaves
3 spring onions, white part finely sliced

Hainanese Chicken and Rice


To prepare the poached chicken, rub all over with a handful of salt. Now rinse with cold water and pat dry with lots of paper towelling.  Place 3 pieces of the ginger, garlic, half the spring onions and chilli into the chicken’s cavity.  Place into a large pot and fill with water (approx. 3-4 litres depending on the shape and size of pot). Add the remaining spring onions, coriander stalks, star anise, cooking wine and soy sauce. Place on a medium heat and allow to the stock to come to a simmer, ensuring it does not boil (at this stage place it on the lowest possible heat while it gently simmers). Cook gently with the lid on for 40 minutes. Now turn the heat off and allow the chicken to poach with the heat off for a further 30 minutes.  

While the chicken is poaching, prepare the sauces. For the ginger sauce, blend all ingredients in a small blender until finely chopped but not a fine puree. Place in a bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve.  

For the chilli sauce place all the ingredients into the small blender and blend until smooth. Also refrigerate until ready to use.

Once the chicken is cooked remove it from the fragrant broth and drain off well. Place on a platter and with a pastry brush lightly baste with the sesame oil. Cover tightly with cling film and allow to rest in a warm spot.

Using a fine sieve, strain the stock into a clean pot and bring to the boil.

To prepare the rice, in a medium pot, fry the ginger, garlic and shallot in the oil until soft. Add the washed rice and sesame oil and coat in the mixture. Add the broth and cook the rice using the absorption method.

Once the stock/soup has reduced by 1/3 it is ready to serve. Ladle into individual soup bowls. Also, cut the chicken and distribute onto 4 separate plates. Garnish each with a lettuce cup of tomato, cucumber, coriander and spring onions and serve with the rice and sauces.