Saturday, April 25, 2009

Hainanese chicken rice - the national dish of Singapore.

Gourmet version of Hainanese Chicken rice at the Garden restaurant at Sentosa Resort and Spa
My trip to Singapore began with a simple but mouth watering dish - Hainanese Chicken Rice. But it is an injustice to call Hainanese chicken rice a mere dish, it is more like a whole meal combo comprising of chicken, rice, soup and vegetables. Delicious, flavourful and satisfying in the way only the simplest slow cooked food can be!
Hainanese chicken rice the unchristened national dish of Singapore, is extremely popular. So popular is it, in fact that it is often served at international events and even the national carrier Singapore Airlines flights! Hainanese chicken rice is a dish of Chinese origin, so named due to its roots in Hainan cuisine and its adoption by Hainanese migrant populations of the Nanyang area. The version found in Singapore and neighbouring Malaysia combines elements of Hainanese and Cantonese cuisines.

The traditional version is made by boiling and entire chicken in a pork and chicken bone stock, reusing the broth over and over and only topping it up with water when required in keeping with the Chinese culinary preference for creating master stocks. The traditional stock was made using older, plumper birds so that the stock was enriched with more oil which added flavour.

Over time the dish has assimilated elements from Cantonese cooking traditions, such as using younger birds that yield relitively more tender meats. In the Singaporean version of Hainanese Chicken Singapore, the maintenance and long-term storage of master stocks is considered unfeasible, and meat is cooked by boiling in water flavoured with garlic and ginger. The resulting stock is used in the preparation of the accompanying rice and soup.

Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken rice stall.
In Singapore, Hainanese chicken rice is served at stalls and food courts all over the city. ,

The meal consists of pieces of white chicken slow cooked in a garlic and ginger infused stock on a bed of rice that has been ooked in he same stock after the cooked chicken has been taken out. The version we had at Tian Tian came with a spicy chilli dip and soya sauce so one could tweak one's serving to ones taste. There was also a bowl of chicken broth to wash it down with and we opted for a plateful of lovely greans poached in stock, topped with a sauce of thickend stock and fried shallots.

In Singapore, Hainanese chicken rice is served at stalls and food courts all over the city. ,Usually priced between, S$2-6, optional additions could also include hard boiled egg, chicken liver, firm tofu and or kalian as side dishes, at S$.50 to S$ 2. Variations of the dish include one of roasted chicken and another of Duck.
Posted by Picasa

No comments: