Poached Chicken Rice Recipe

Why would chicken rice taste good without the chicken fats? That’s why I call my version a generic Poached Chicken Rice Recipe instead of Hainanese Chicken Rice Recipe because I have deviated from the traditional way of making oily rice. But overall, the taste of my chicken is still pretty authentic.

There is an excellent Hainanese Chicken Rice stall at the food centre near us where we can enjoy a plate of plump, juicy chicken anytime we want. So for the home-made version, I decide to create a healthier and wholesome meal for the family.

Poached Chicken Rice Recipe

Poached Chicken Rice Recipe

Ingredients (serves 3-4)

For the chicken:
1 whole chicken approx. 1.4kg, with head, neck & fats removed
coarse salt
1 tsp fine salt
8 slices ginger of approx. 0.5cm thick
3 stalks spring onion, cut into 2″ length
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp light soy sauce

For the soup:
2 carrots, unpeeled and cut into chunks
2 stalks spring onion, cut into 2″ length
1 bulb garlic, unpeeled, cut in half
cabbage (optional)
white radish (optional)
salt to taste, if required

For the rice:
3 cups uncooked Thai fragrant rice
2 1/2 cups chicken broth (from poaching the chicken)
1 heaped tbsp minced garlic
6 slices ginger, peeled
4 stalks pandan leaves (tied into knots)
1/2 tsp salt

For the chilli sauce:
4 red chillies
1 heaped tsp minced garlic
1 thumb-size ginger, roughly chopped
juice of 8 calamansis
5 tbsp chicken broth
2 tsp sugar
salt to taste


For the chicken:
1. Pluck off any visible hairs or feathers from the chicken with a pair of tweezers. Wash the chicken and rinse. Rub the chicken with a generous amount of coarse salt to exfoliate the skin and get rid of any surface dirt. Rinse again.
2. Fill a large soup pot with water (enough to submerge the whole chicken), add carrots, garlic and spring onions.


3. Rub the chicken cavity with fine salt and fill with ginger slices and spring onions. Place chicken into the soup pot. Bring the water to a boil then reduce heat to its lowest and simmer the chicken for approx. 30 minutes. Turn off heat and let chicken stand in covered pot for another 10 minutes.
4. Prepare a deep basin with ice and water. Remove chicken from pot and plunge it into the ice cold bath for 10 minutes. Reserve chicken broth.
5. Mix sesame oil and light soy sauce. Remove chicken from cold bath, pat dry and then rub the mixture all over the chicken skin and set aside. This will give the chicken skin a nice glowy glaze.

1. If you’re using a much bigger chicken or aren’t sure if the chicken is cooked inside out, just poke a chopstick into the chicken leg area and if juices run clear, then the chicken is thoroughly cooked. Otherwise, let it simmer for another 10 minutes or so.
2. Please make sure the water is not bubbling excessively when poaching the chicken, otherwise the chicken bones will turn dark and the skin will tear off just like when you’re boiling chicken soup.

For the soup:
1. Add vegetables like cabbage or white radish if you like. Boil till the vegetables are tender and then season with a little salt.

For the rice:
1. Heat a little oil in pan. Saute garlic and ginger till fragrant. Add rice & salt and stir well.
2. Transfer rice mixture to a rice cooker. Add chicken broth & pandan leaves and cook as per normal.

For the chilli sauce:
1. Blend together all ingredients and adjust the taste (with more sugar or salt) to your preference.


Ta-daa! And here you are, poached chicken with rice cooked in chicken broth! Feast with no guilt, to your heart’s content. If you like your chicken more moist with a little sauce, you can mix some chicken broth with sesame oil and light soy sauce and then drizzle over the chicken before serving. Enjoying the chicken with the chilli sauce is a must. Absolutely yummy.

Bon appetit!

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