Saturday, May 9, 2015

Nasi Ayam (Chicken Rice)


Hainanese Chicken Rice makes a regular appearance on our dinner table almost every Sunday evening. We would make a big batch of it so that it will last for the next couple of dinners. It's easy, simple and the kids hardly complain about it (unless it stretches out to the third or forth time in a row, then there'd be the occasional whining "Chicken rice? Again....?"). And so, I decided to try out a different version of chicken rice which is more Malay style, with the addition of spices like cinnamon and star anise. The chicken is rubbed with kecap manis before roasting it in the oven, which gives the skin a touch of sweetness.

Nasi Ayam (Chicken Rice) Recipe

1.8 kg chicken marylands (drumstick and thigh) - reserve the chicken fat for the rice
1-2 tbsp margarine/butter

3 tbsp kecap manis (sweet soy sauce)
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

2 litres water
2 cloves garlic
2 slices ginger
500g chicken bones/wing tips
1 medium onion, quartered
1 large carrot, diced
Salt and pepper to taste
Coriander stems/roots
Coriander leaves for garnish


3 rice cups (approx 2 1/4 metric cups) of jasmine/basmati rice, rinsed
2 tbsp margarine/butter
2 pieces of chicken fat
3 cloves garlic, smashed
2 slices ginger
1 star anise
1 inch cinnamon stick
2 cloves
Chicken stock/broth
1 stalk lemongrass, bruised
1 pandan leaf
1/2 tsp salt or to taste

Chilli sauce:

3-4 red chillies, chopped
2 cloves garlic
1/2 inch ginger, grated
2-3 tsp white vinegar
2-3 tbsp chicken broth
Salt and sugar to taste

Chilli soy sauce:

Mix some kecap manis with chopped bird's eye chillies.


Marinate the chicken by rubbing the salt and pepper all over, followed by the kecap manis. Leave refrigerated for 2-4 hours.

Prepare the chicken broth next. Bring water to the boil in a large pot and add garlic, ginger, chicken bones and onions. Simmer for 1 hour. Add a pinch of salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat oven to 190C. Rub some margarine/butter over and under the chicken skin. and roast the chicken for 45-50 minutes until browned and cooked through. Remove and chop into pieces.

While chicken is roasting, cook the rice. Heat up some margarine in a pan and fry the chicken fat for 3-5 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, star anise, cinnamon and cloves to fry. Add in the rice and fry until rice is well coated with the mixture. Pour into rice cooker and add the chicken broth until it comes up to the mark on your rice cooker. Add lemongrass, pandan leaf and stir in salt to taste. Start the rice cooker, and once cooked, fluff up the rice with a fork.

To the remaining broth in the pot, add carrots and coriander stems/roots. Simmer for 10 minutes, adding salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into bowls and garnish with coriander leaves.

To prepare chilli sauce, blend everything in a blender and adjust seasoning to taste.

Serve rice with chopped chicken, cucumber and tomatoes, chilli sauce, chilli soy sauce and chicken broth.