Hi Everyone! Its Marissa from Maiyummy back again on Amcarmen’s Kitchen and it’s a pleasure for me to introduce the second and last dish for my week. Tonight’s dish is one that is known to finally endeavour the Vietnamese community through hardship and war, but 25 years ago, it was a dish invented with the idea to save locals through famine.
From generation to generation, we cannot forget this dish as it commonly appears in Vietnamese gatherings and memorial days. The dish is called Cơm Gà (Vietnamese Chicken Rice), originally based in the Quang Nam province where I grew up. Chicken is the cheapest and most available food resource in Vietnam, and therefore it is widely popular and used in many typical Vietnamese dishes.
PREP TIME 20 MINS| COOKING TIME 45 MINS| SERVES 4
For the chicken rice
2 cups jasmine rice, uncooked
2 pcs chicken whole legs (or a whole chicken)
2-3 red bird’s eye chillies, sliced
2 medium brown onions, halved and then sliced
1 lemon, halved
1 medium tomato, sliced
1 stalk spring onion, sliced thinly
1 thumb-sized ginger, peeled and julienned (reserve the peels)
3 tbsp chicken powder
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp white vinegar
Ground sea salt and black pepper
For the heart/liver sauce
100g chicken heart, washed and cleaned
100g chicken liver, washed and cleaned
2-3 garlic cloves garlic, crushed
3 tbsp chicken stock (from the broth)
1 & 1/2 tbsp white sugar
1 tbsp chicken powder
Ground sea salt
Prepare the chicken: Add the chicken whole legs to a large pot of water together with about 2 tablespoons of chicken powder and the reserved peeled ginger skins. Boil the chicken for about 40 minutes or until it is cooked all the way through. Remove the chicken from the broth and set aside to cool down. Once cool, shred the chicken into small pieces. Return the bones to the broth and add about half of the onions. Keep it at a low simmer.
Prepare the rice: Wash and rinse 2 cups of uncooked jasmine rice and then add to a rice cooker together with a tablespoon of chicken powder, julienned ginger, and about 2 & 1/2 cups of the chicken broth. Let it cook in the rice cooker until done (about 20 minutes).
Prepare the chicken salad mixture: In a small bowl, add the white vinegar together with a few ice cubes and the remaining onions. Mix around and set aside for about 15-20 minutes for it to pickle.
In a medium-sized bowl, add 2-3 tablespoons of chicken broth, about a tablespoon of ground black pepper, half a tablespoon of chicken powder, one red bird’s eye chilli, and juice of half a lemon. Mix around to combine. Then add the shredded chicken, pickled onions, and spring onions and combine all the ingredients together. Add some fish sauce if the chicken salad tastes a bit bland.
Prepare the liver sauce: Heat about a tablespoon of peanut oil in a small saucepan over medium-high. Sauté the garlic for about 2 minutes or until fragrant and golden brown. Then add in the chicken heart and liver and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the chicken broth, chicken powder, and sugar, and let it cook for a further 5 minutes. Season with salt when it’s ready.
Plate up: Place the chicken salad on top of the rice with the chicken heart and liver to the side. Then pour the heart/liver sauce on top of chicken salad, and serve with a side of the chicken soup and chilli sauce of your choice.
Hopefully this brought back a most authentic Vietnamese experience from where I am from, both culturally and through the experience of food. Thank you and have a lovely week 🙂
Guess who’s back? Back again? That’s right, I’m back from the dead (as some may say) and here with another post! I do apologise for not posting over the past few weeks. I just finished my first semester of my 4th year and it feels so good to have completed everything! I finished on Tuesday morning and practically celebrated the whole day – from a barbecue, to 22 Jump Street, and finally ending the night/early the next morning at a bar/club. I didn’t really get back into my cooking until this morning after having gone grocery shopping to fill up my empty fridge. It felt so good to see a shelf full of fresh fruit and vegetables, and meat.
Today’s recipe is something close to my heart, or should I say tummy? I remember growing up with Thien Thien Chicken Rice just a couple of blocks away from where I spent my early 7 years of life, and still continued to go back and forth there up until today. $3.20 chicken rice? Don’t mind if I do! Hainanese Chicken Rice here in Sydney is almost 3x (sometimes even 4x) more expensive and honestly not as delicious as chicken rice back home – but I can’t do anything about it. When I crave it, I just have to have it. I recently had some at Kreta Ayer in Kingsford with some friends and we were a bit disappointed. The chicken was well cooked, rice was mediocre, and the sauces, disappointed. Chilli sauce from a bottle? No spring onion and ginger oil? No soup to go with the dish? This must be a joke.
After that disappointment, my friend and fellow housemate, Marissa, and I decided that when we were both free from assignments and exams, that we would make our very own Hainanese Chicken Rice, and that’s exactly what we did for today. I was in charge of cooking the chicken and rice, while Marissa took care of the sauces and carving of the chicken.
PREP TIME 10 MINS| COOKING TIME 1 HOUR| SERVES 6-8
For the chicken
1 whole chicken (ours was 1.6kg)
5-6 thick slices of ginger
3 stalks of spring onion, cut into 1″ sections (both green and white parts)
1 pandan leaf, washed and halved
2 tsp chicken stock powder
1 tsp sesame oil
Salt for cleaning and seasoning the chicken
For the rice
3 cups uncooked long-grain rice, washed and drained
3 cups reserved chicken poaching broth
2 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 pandan leaf, washed and halved
2 tsp grated ginger
1/2 tsp sesame oil
For the chilli sauce
6 red birds-eye chillies
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 tbsp reserved chicken poaching broth
2 tbsp grated ginger
1 tsp white sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp lemon juice
For the spring onion and ginger oil
4 stalks spring onion, sliced thinly
3 tbsp peanut oil
2 tbsp grated ginger
1/2 tsp salt
For the dressing and garnishes
1 tomato, sliced
1 lebanese cucumber, peeled and sliced
Sliced spring onions
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp chicken poaching broth
1 tbsp sesame oil
Rub a small handful of salt all over the chicken, getting rid of any loose skin and dirt. Rinse chicken well, inside and outside, and season with a generous amount of salt. Stuff the chicken with the ginger slices, green onions and pandas leaves. Place the chicken in a large stockpot and fill with cold water to cover the chicken. Bring the pot to a boil over high heat, then immediately turn the heat to low to keep it to a simmer. Cook for about 30 minutes more (less if you’re using a smaller chicken).
When the chicken is cooked through, turn the heat off and remove the pot from the burner. Immediately lift and transfer the chicken into a bath of ice water to cool. Discard the stuffing. The quick cooling will stop the cooking process, keeping the meat soft and tender, and giving the skin a lovely firm texture. The quality of the chicken skin is important in this dish! It’s all about the skin texture. DO NOT DISCARD THE CHICKEN POACHING BROTH.
While the chicken is cooking, prepare the sauces and dressing. For the chilli sauce, combine chillies, ginger, garlic, sugar and salt in a mortar and pound to a paste. Add the lemon juice and chicken poaching broth, and pound again. Set aside.
For the spring onion and ginger oil, add the spring onions, ginger and salt to a heatproof mortar and pound lightly with the pestle. Heat the oil in a small frying pan until smoking and pour onto the mixture. Once the sizzling stops, combine lightly with the pestle and leave to infuse for a few minutes.
For the dressing, mix the sesame oil and soy sauce with the chicken poaching broth.
For the rice, heat cooking oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. When hot, add the ginger and the garlic and fry until your kitchen smells like heaven. Be careful not to burn the aromatics! Add in your drained rice and pandan leaves, and stir to coat, cook for 2 minutes. Add the sesame oil, mix well. Add the reserved poaching broth and bring to a boil. Immediately turn the heat down to low, cover the pot and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit (with lid still on) for 5-10 minutes more.
While the rice is cooking, remove the chicken from the ice bath and carve to serve.
If you have any remaining chicken stock after that, you can season it and add a few onion slices. This can be served as a light soup to accompany the meal. We added some slices of hairy melon to our soup.