Joe Jenne

Chicken Rice

The traditional recipe of Singapore's unofficial national dish. Use the most expensive chicken available.

  1. Wash the chicken, dry and scrub the skin with salt. Cut the fat deposits from inside the cavity of the chicken, near the tail. Add the chopped fat to a small pan with some oil to render at a low heat.

  2. Pound 5 cm of unpeeled ginger in a pestle and mortar, add to a large pot containing about 4 litres of water, along with a few sliced spring onions. Add plenty of salt and a couple stock cubes and bring to the boil.

  3. Set the heat low and add the chicken washing it all over with the water. There should be enough water in the pot so that the chicken is completely covered and doesn’t touch the bottom of the pot. Cook the chicken for 45 minutes, the water should not bubble.

  4. Carefully lift the chicken out of the pan, ensuring you don’t break the skin, and plunge into a large bowl of salted iced water. Set the broth aside standing the chicken in the iced water for at least 10 minutes, turning once, before draining to dry. This will stop the cooking and give the skin its delicious gelatinous texture. Rub the skin all over with sesame oil. NOTE: The chicken should be cooked very lightly, pink inside the bones and with a gelatinous skin, the meat must not be overcooked.

  5. Pound a few cloves of garlic and one diced onion to bruise and combine with the rendering fat. Add enough oil to make a total ratio of 1:6 with the rice being used and keep stirring until browned. Strain the oil and add to washed rice and cover with the chicken broth instead of water. After rice has cooked let it stand for 10 minutes with a lid.

  6. For the dressing, combine a tbsp of sesame oil with two tbsp of soy sauce and one cup of chicken broth. When the rice is ready, use a cleaver to slice and debone the chicken Chinese-style and pour the dressing over it. Scatter with the coriander sprigs, and serve with sliced cucumber, tomato and serve with the rice and sauces.