A classic Singaporean dish of delicately poached chicken infused with ginger with rice cooked in chicken stock served with and fresh ginger, chilli and kecap manis sauces.
Bring a pot of water to the boil, the pot being large enough to fit the whole chicken. While the water is heating, rub chicken inside with rice wine and soy sauce. Roughly chop three pieces of ginger, garlic and one shallot and then blend in a food processor. Place mixture inside chicken.
When the water boils, turn heat off and place the chicken, remaining three pieces of ginger and shallot in the water. Leave the chicken to stand in the water for one hour. After the first five minutes of standing, lift up the chicken, drain the water from the stomach cavity and put chicken back in the pot. Repeat this process two or three times during the cooking period to make sure the chicken cooks inside as well as outside.
After 30 minutes, turn on the heat to bring the water back to almost boiling point, then turn heat off. The chicken, never being allowed to boil, will be very tender and juicy. At the end of the hour, remove chicken and rub with remaining soy sauce combined with sesame oil and salt, and then cut into bite-sized pieces.
For chicken stock, add extra chicken bones or pieces, three slices of ginger and two shallots to the water in which the chicken was cooked. Boil for one to two hours until stock has a strong chicken flavour. Discard chicken bones/pieces and strain the stock through a muslin cloth.
For chicken rice, wash the rice and drain well (the more water in the rice, the less chicken flavour! Some recommend drying the rice in a tea towel). In a wok, fry chicken fat until oil is released and then add the ginger and garlic and fry well.
Remove from heat and discard the chicken fat and skin. Add the rice and salt and stir fry briskly for about 1-2 minutes. Transfer rice into an electric rice cooker or pot. Add in chicken stock and pandan leaves. Follow normal instructions for cooking rice.
For chilli sauce, roughly chop chillies, garlic and ginger and then blend in a food processor. Add chicken stock, lime juice and salt to taste. Will keep in covered container in the refrigerator for a few days, but is best served fresh.
For ginger sauce, roughly chop ginger and garlic and then blend in a food processor. Add chicken stock, lime juice and salt to taste.
For chicken soup, ladle a small amount of hot strained stock into serving bowls. Add finely chopped shallot. If serving with cabbage, you will need to cook the cabbage in the stock for a short while before serving.
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