Kitchen by TILAH

Chicken Rice (Nasi Ayam)



Hi Cooks!

Yesterday, I cooked chicken rice for the family.  First things first though, I must stress the fact that there are not going to be as much pictures and step by step photos. Imagine trying to cook, and take pictures of your cooking process at every step and having to keep running in and out of the kitchen in angst to solve petty boyish issues and quarrels. I must have been (at the very least, I would like to shamelessly imagine that I am ;p) the "Whitney Houston" of this block I am living in.  That belting (oh my god, or was it screeching?) (cough cough), my neighbours must have heard throughout my years living here as the mother of my boys, must have sent them running for their ear-plugs every weekend.

It was intended that my cooking yesterday was going to be a completely detailed in explanation and imaging process but, sad to say that I am still too early to be so ambitious at this stage of my life.  Nevertheless, the fact that I could actually managed to squeeze some time and start typing out this blog is an achievement for me. Mothers of young boys out there would understand the torture joys mothers of boys active boys frantic and playful boys go through. So instead of having a proper chicken rice cooking version, this is the "frustrated loving mother about to go crazy" version of chicken rice.

Anyway, these are the ingredients that I used.  The ingredients are in proportion to the quantity that I am cooking for.  Served for my family of 4 adults and 3 children and enough for two meal times.  So if you are cooking a lesser quantity, you will have to reduce the proportions of the ingredients and I have made the proportions even so that it is easier for you to divide the proportions according to the quantity that you are cooking.

INGREDIENTS:

14 cloves of garlic                                         )
Ginger (as much as the amount of garlic) ) blended or ground into a paste and divided

*divide the above into
abt 2 tablespoons for soup
abt 4 tablespoons for chilli sauce
abt 4 tablespoons for chicken marinade

For RICE

6 cups of Basmati Rice (soaked for half an hour, rinsed and drained)
9 cups of water (for every 1 cup of basmati rice, you will have to add 1 and a half cups of water)
12 cloves of garlic - minced
Ginger (as much as the amount of garlic) - minced
4 pieces of pandan leaves also known as screwpine leaves
2 pcs of Knorr chicken cubes
1 tablespoon of sesame oil
Vegetable Oil - as needed (we should add in a little bit more oil when cooking chicken rice)
salt to taste

For CHICKEN MARINADE

2 whole chicken - in my case, my chickens were cut into 12 portions each which makes 24 pcs.
(the best is not cut the chicken at all but just remove the innards and whatever, if you want to do it the right way, unless you are just like me, then, the busy mom's way is to cut the chicken first) 

When cleaning chicken, I always rinse them and then get a good handful of coarse salt and rub it all over the chicken or chicken pieces and leave it aside for a good five to ten minutes before rinsing thoroughly after. Your chicken will smell as good as a chicken with deodorant. Haha!

6 tablespoon of light soya sauce
6 tablespoon of Lee Kum Kee chicken marinade sauce
1 tablespoon of sesame oil
6 teaspoon/sachets of brown sugar
6 tablespoon of water
1 tablespoon of lime juice
4 tablespoon of garlic ginger paste - as divided above - squeezed and juiced through a muslin cloth and the juice collected would be the proper way to do it. For me though, it is always the chop-chop way which is, I'll use it as it is because I am more busy being a referee or mediator or therapist, during most of my cooking time.

For CHILLI SAUCE

2 tablespoon of vegetable oil
4 tablespoon of fresh chilli paste - I used the ready made Sinlong Brand Chilli Paste
4 tablespoon of garlic ginger paste - as divided above
2 tablespoon of sesame oil
1/2 of Knorr Chicken cube
2 tablespoon of light soya sauce
1 tablespoon of sugar
4 tablespoon of lime juice
1 bowl of water or more depending on the consistency that you prefer
salt to your taste

For SOUP

1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
2 tablespoon of garlic ginger paste - as divided above
1/2 of Knorr Chicken cube
4 bowls of water
a handful of chopped celery
a handful of chopped spring onion
a handful of fried shallots






And now, the METHOD:-


1.  Combine all the ingredients for the chicken marinade and place it on fire.  This is to melt the brown sugar and to properly combine the marinade.  Once the mixture has started to boil, turn fire to low.  If you are using a whole chicken, this is when you will ladle the sauce over your chicken skin to blanch until it turned slightly brown.  Stop when you have obtained an equal amount of tan on all sides of the chicken.  The right method would be to hang the chicken to dry to cool off the skin so that when you deep fry the chicken later, the skin will not break and will remain intact on the chicken.  You can also cut the process short and do a chop-chop step which is to put aside the whole  chicken in the fridge to cool off.  


2.  If you are using chicken pieces, once the marinade starts to boil, off the fire.  Leave it aside till it cools.  Then add your chicken pieces and properly combined the marinade with the chicken pieces. Set aside in the fridge.  Of course with this method, your fried chicken will not look as glamorous as the complexion of the whole chicken which will look more like a roasted chicken but oh well, whatever goes for the busy mom! Right?


3.  Take a small pot.  Add in oil.  On fire.  


4.  Once oil is hot, add in the garlic ginger paste and saute till fragrant.   


5.   Add in the fresh chilli paste and continue sauteing until oil separates or your can see oil collecting at the sides of the pot or pan. 


6.  Once oil separates, add in the half of the Knorr Chicken cube.  Continue sauteing for another minute. 


7.   Add in water, the light soya sauce, the sugar, lime juice and sesame oil.  Give a stir and let boil.


8.   Once the chilli sauce has boiled, lower the fire and give a little taste to see if you need to add in more salt or sugar to season it to your taste buds before you off the fire. Do  note that the chilli sauce has to be slightly sourish and more saltish for it to really give that spice and flavour when eaten with the chicken rice.  If you have too little salt or lime juice in the sauce, the flavour of the rice will overpower your chilli sauce and it will taste bland. 


9.   Take a small pot.  On fire and add in oil.  Once your oil is heated up, add in the garlic ginger paste and saute until oil separates.  Add in water and the 1/2 Knorr Chicken cube and let boil.  Season accordingly to your taste with salt.


10.  Once the soup has boiled for half to one minute, lower the fire and add in the fried shallots.  Give a stir so that the fried onions will flavour the soup.


11.  Add in the chopped spring onion and celery.  Give a stir and off fire.  Set aside.


12.  Take your pot to cook the rice or your rice cooker pot and place it on the stove.  Add in vegetable oil.


13.  Once the oil is hot enough, add in the minced garlic and ginger.  Saute till fragrant or till the ingredients looked slightly yellowed, bring down fire to low and add in the pandan leaves and your rice.  It is important not to saute your garlic and ginger for  too long or your chicken rice will turn yellow instead of white.


14.  Once the rice are added in, you may increase the fire slightly and stir the rice for about a minute to make sure that the ingredients are properly combined.  Then add in water, the chicken cubes and sesame oil and stir to combine. Once the mix have heated up, you can give a little taste to see if you need to add in more salt as chicken rice must have enough of its seasonings.  

15.  If you are using a rice cooker, you can now move your pot back into the rice cooker and cook it as per normal. Do not wait until the mixture boils because then it will affect the cooking time of your rice cooker as the pot is already at boiling temperature when you move it into the rice cooker.   
  
16.  If you are using a normal pot over stove or clay pot like me, just wait until the rice mix bubbles and little water is left on the surface of the rice. Turn the fire to lowest and place the pot cover on the rice pot and leave it until your rice cooks.


17.  After about ten to fifteen minutes, you can take off the cover and check to see if your rice is cooked.  Fluff the rice with a fork.  If the rice are cooked evenly, then off the fire and  replace the lid until ready for serving. 


18.  Last but not least, don't forget to deep fry the marinated chicken.  Take the chicken pieces out from the fridge. Start folding them all over each other to properly combine the marinade and then place them in a colander to let all the marinade drip and drain from the chicken because we don't want the marinade to caramelize in the oil and then your fried chicken will not look good.  It is also important that when you are frying the chicken, the oil is really hot and remains above your chicken pieces so that the chicken can cook evenly and get all tanned and sexy in a synchronized way.  Imagine the amount of oil you would need if you are frying a whole chicken in.  This is also another reason why I prefer my chicken cut into pieces. To save on oil use.


19.  When all is said and done, of course, it is time for "makan" (or "meal" in English).  When you have three hungry boys to look out for at home, you have no time to source for the perfect or matching tableware to flaunt on your blog. Open up the cabinet and just whatever goes.  Chop-chop is the best.

20.  I always serve Chicken Rice with sliced cucumber, cherry tomatoes and iceberg lettuce on the sides.  This time round, I also prepared Fried Kailan with Oyster Sauce and Fish Cake Slices.

So that is it for my blog entry this time.  Till the next post, Happy Kitchen-ing!!

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