Khao Mahn Gai
Rice Fat Chicken; AM’s Hainanese Chicken & Rice
This dish is also known as Hainanese Chicken & Rice. It’s deceivingly incredible. What might look like a bland colorless dish is actually full of technique and complex layers of flavor. I love that it takes the simplest of ingredients and uses every component to the max. Normally a steamed chicken where the drippings are used to cook the rice, and the bones are used to make a consommé, I find that the best vendors in Thailand are sold out before sunrise.
It’s a little labor-intensive but I think I created a quick fix hack for this recipe when you don’t have time to jump on a plane and head to Chinatown for a plate. There are two components to Khao Mahn Gai; All the chicken/rice goodness and the incredible sauce. I can’t tell you how beyond delicious this is and I can’t wait for you to try it. YUM.
Marinate the chicken with sesame oil and la light sprinkle of salt.
Place a little oil and the chicken skin into a room temperature-large sauté pan, 5 quart pot or dutch oven (make sure it has a lid for later).
Render the chicken skin on low heat and add garlic and onion, cooking until translucent.
Rinse the rice until the water is translucent and place strained rice into the pan.
Coat the grains entirely with the rendered chicken fat. Evenly place the chicken, skin side up, into the pan.
Pour chicken stock evenly and bring to a boil.
Once a rolling boil begins, reduce the heat to simmer and cover with a lid.
Cook the rice and chicken for 15-20 minutes until chicken is fully cooked and rice is tender. Keep in mind, rice should be slightly al dente since less liquid is used from a standard steamed rice recipe.
When the rice is cooked, remove the chicken and slice. With a fork, fluff the rice.
Plate sliced chicken on top of rice and garish cucumber and scallions on the side. Top with cilantro and a side ramekin of sauce and a small bowl of chicken broth.
Chicken Broth: Heat one quart of chicken stock with a pinch of fresh ginger and serve with thin sliced scallions.
The Sauce: Roughly blend garlic, ginger and cilantro and sugar into a rough paste. Add remaining ingredients and stir until fully incorporated. Add water (optional) to adjust to desired thickness.