During my six months as an exchange student in Europe, I pride myself for being the only person in town who knew how to cook Hainanese chicken rice. Though it definitely helped that I was the only Singaporean in town. The general impression with this dish is that is too oily and unhealthy. In fact, I loved chicken rice a lot as a kid and that resulted in me being a really fat kid. So as I grew older and become more health conscious , I avoided eating chicken rice and it wasn’t till I went for exchange that I re-encountered wonderful dish. With a few tweaks, I managed to create a whole new healthy version of one of our symbolic dishes. The same taste with half the guilt !
Do note that you will need to boil the chicken a day in advance in order to allow the oil to coagulate for removal.
1 chicken thigh
2 cloves garlic ( minced )
1/2 cup quinoa ( rinsed )
2 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon olive oil
1) Salt the chicken thigh generously and allow it to marinate for around 20 minutes.
2) Place the chicken thigh in a pot and add enough water to cover it. Cover the pot and bring the water to boil. Allow it to simmer at medium low heat for 20 minutes.
3) Remove the chicken thigh and allow both the soup and chicken to cool before placing it in the fridge. I usually do this the night before to allow the oil in the soup to coagulate.
4) Remove the pieces of oil which have coagulated on the surface of the soup.
5) In a heated pan, add the olive oil, garlic and quinoa. After two minutes, add in the soy sauce and sesame oil. Ensure that the quinoa is evenly coated with soy sauce and sesame oil.
6) Add in one cup of chicken soup into the quinoa. Allow it to cook for around twenty minutes.
7) Debone the chicken thigh and slice the meat. Ensure that the slices are not too thin.
8) Place the cooked quinoa in a serving plate with the cold chicken.
9) Say welcome to Singapore to your tastebuds!