Friday, January 28, 2011

Malaysian Chicken and Rice - I am in love

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As usual I was scrounging around for something to make for dinner. I didn't want to go out in the frozen tundra. Ok, yes it did stop snowing but there is a LOT of snow out there. Look.

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I am just a wimpy Californian at heart. Shhhh, don't tell the neighbors. I pretend that I am "Element Woman". I can handle Sun, Snow and Wind! I don my boots and gloves and shovel as I sing "Ohhhh EEEEE Ohhhh"

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So luckily for us we have enough food in the 2 refrigerators and 3 freezers to last us a year. There is a whole lamb, 1/2 a venison, and assorted other "stuff". I pulled out my old standby the chicken. I decided that I wanted to learn how to break down a chicken once and for all. I got out my knife.

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Shut up...I know what you are thinking. Dr Food needs to get me a boning knife BADLY! I have begged and pleaded and to no avail. Ok, I am lying but I have to justify the knife in the above picture. Actually it is an amazing knife for other stuff. It is a Lamson and Goodnow which is the oldest knife maker in the U.S. It just isn't the best chicken cutter in the U.S. So, I didn't want to give Dr. Food the credit of following his suggestion to use this:


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{insert big sigh here} buthewasright. No, I won't say it louder. The big Global hatchet did the job.

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Next secret up my sleeve is fish sauce. I do not know how something that smells so bad can make things taste SO good. I know I know Umami. Still it smells like fertilizer. Uh, ignore the diet soda in the background. Of COURSE *I* don't drink that crap. It is for guests. Well, sometimes I do mix it in a drink here and there, but the alcohol takes care of all the UNNATURAL stuff in it.

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Why am I showing you rice? It is because this was another secret weapon of this recipe that made me swoon. It gets crunchy in this dish. Ya know the stuff that is on the bottom of Dol Sot Bi Bim Bap? If you don't know what that is look it up on the WEB.

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All joking aside, this is one of the best chicken dishes that I have had in a long time. It is really a wonderfully complex tasting dish with very few ingredients. It is called Malaysian Chicken and Rice and I got the recipe from "Fine Cooking" You really need to try it.

Malaysian Chicken and Rice
Fine Cooking by Zak Pelaccio

5 Tbs. fish sauce
3 medium cloves garlic, finely minced
1 (1-1/2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely minced
1 (3-lb.) chicken
Sea salt
2 cups jasmine rice
3 Tbs. grapeseed oil
1 cup lower-salt chicken broth
4 Thai bird or 2 jalapeƱo chiles, thinly sliced crosswise
4 medium scallions, light-green and white parts thinly sliced crosswise; green tops sliced into 1-1/2-inch-long slivers and submerged in cold water until serving
2 Tbs. unseasoned rice vinegar

1. Combine 2 Tbs. of the fish sauce with the garlic and ginger in a small bowl.

2. Put the chicken on a cutting board. Using a sharp cleaver or chef’s knife, disjoint the chicken into drumstick, thigh, wing, and split-breast pieces. Chop each breast half crosswise into 4 pieces (you’ll end up with 8 chicken breast pieces plus 2 wings, 2 thighs, and 2 drumsticks). Put the chicken in a large bowl and rub with 2 tsp. sea salt and the fish sauce mixture. Cover and refrigerate.

3. Line a rimmed baking sheet with a dishtowel and set it aside.

4. Put the rice in a large sieve, submerge the sieve in a large bowl of cold water and swish the rice with your fingers until the water turns milky. Lift the sieve out of the water, discard the water, and fill the bowl with fresh cold water. Repeat until the water is clear when the rice is swished, 2 to 3 more times. Shake as much water from the rice as possible and then turn it out onto the towel-lined pan. Spread the rice in an even layer and set it aside to dry completely, 30 minutes to 1 hour.

5. Heat an 8-quart Dutch oven or other heavy-duty pot over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the oil and the rice, spreading it out into an even layer. Let the rice sit for 1 minute, stir, and let it sit for another minute. Repeat until the rice is somewhat translucent, 2 to 3 more times. Add the chicken broth and 1 cup water. Increase the heat to high and bring the liquid to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and cook for exactly 12 minutes.

6. Meanwhile, put the chiles in a small bowl and cover with the remaining 3 Tbs. fish sauce; set aside. Put the thinly sliced scallions in a small bowl and cover with the rice vinegar; set aside.

7. Arrange the drumsticks, thighs, and wings in a single layer on top of the rice. Cover the pot and cook for 10 minutes; then quickly add the breast pieces to the pot. Cover and cook until the chicken pieces are firm and spring back when lightly pressed, 40 to 45 minutes longer. Turn off the heat and bring the pot to the table.

8. Remove the scallion greens from the water, pat with a paper towel to dry, and put them in a small bowl. Uncover the chicken and rice and serve directly from the pot—be sure to serve each person some of the crusty, golden-brown rice from the bottom of the pot. Garnish with the scallion tops and serve with the chile-fish sauce and the scallion vinegar on the side.

Printable Version

12 comments:

  1. First of all the snow looks gorgeous in that picture. Although my daughter would have ruined the perfectly layered snow by now:) I love this idea for chicken and rice. You always see the typical mushroom soup and cheddar cheese. This looks lite and refreshing.

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  2. Mmm...love Malaysian chicken rice...great food any time. There are 2 types..steamed chicken or baked chicken. We had a very nice chilli sauce to dip the chicken and also a very nice season sauce to pour over the chicken and rice. Then we also have a small bowl of soup to go with it. I need to cook it, too. But yours look delicious. Well Done!

    Wow...the snow there! The recent blizzards here in UK brought so much snow that it broke our side gate! :(

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  3. This is one of my favourite dish. I just love chiken rice...in Thailand we have chicken rice, too...serve with hot soup and black bean ginger sauce :)

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  4. I love Asian flavors and you had my mouth watering over this one.

    More importantly, I covet your knives. Seriously covet.

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  5. That IS a lot of snow! I love, love Malaysian chicken and rice. I'm knife hunting now, too, so great to see what you use!

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  6. That does look good!!! But do me a favor and please get a boning knife!!! You will love it.

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  7. I don't have a boning knife either. And I unrepentedly buy chicken pieces. :) But this looks fabulous. I love all SE Asian food ~to the extent that I now even (gasp!) like the smell of fish sauce.

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  8. <not a chili fan...but, Everything you suggest is Great, so will be adventurous and give it a try. :)

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  9. You made me miss my hometown Penang Rice chicken :-P
    I just learnt a new method by using rice cooker to steam the chicken so much easier. Have not tried to use fish sauce into this dish before, might try and see difference of the taste.
    Agree you need to get a bigger knife, good luck on your knife hunting.Thanks for sharing.

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  10. You made me miss my hometown Penang Rice chicken :-P
    I just learnt a new method by using rice cooker to steam the chicken so much easier. Have not tried to use fish sauce into this dish before, might try and see difference of the taste.
    Agree you need to get a bigger knife, good luck on your knife hunting.Thanks for sharing.

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  11. Mmm...love Malaysian chicken rice...great food any time. There are 2 types..steamed chicken or baked chicken. We had a very nice chilli sauce to dip the chicken and also a very nice season sauce to pour over the chicken and rice. Then we also have a small bowl of soup to go with it. I need to cook it, too. But yours look delicious. Well Done!

    Wow...the snow there! The recent blizzards here in UK brought so much snow that it broke our side gate! :(

    ReplyDelete