Chicken rice normally consists of a set meal of chicken soup, rice cooked with chicken stock, lettuce, cucumber and tomato salad, a condiment of soy sauce and chilies and finally the chicken itself, either roasted, fried, steamed or barbecued.
It is a hearty meal in itself and a favorite among most people in Malaysia. It originally comes from China. We have heard of the famous Hainanese chicken rice, a delicate preparation of chicken, perfectly steamed and subtly flavored with ginger and other herbs.
As with most food in Malaysia, the original chicken rice has been modified into many forms to suit the local taste. The Malays normally make it by boiling the chicken whole and later coat it with honey and sweet soy sauce and deep fried it to make the chicken has a nice brown color throughout. The stock used for boiling the chicken is reserved and later used to make chicken rice.
The Chinese have many ways to do the chicken, it is all up to you to decide what you would like to have. They come deep fried with herbs, barbecued, steamed, boiled and also roasted. Sometimes with honey and also sesame seed. Everybody has their own favorite chicken rice stall. It is also pretty cheap, considering the value, as a plate costs only around RM4.00 (US$1.10).
There is also a franchised Chicken Rice Shop in Malaysia. As with all fast food restaurants, it is more pricey than the normal hawker's chicken rice. However, the shop serves a lot more choice in terms of chicken and also side dishes. It is good to splurge and indulge once in a while.
Ayamas (the company the provides the fresh chicken to Kentucky Fried Chicken in Malaysia) also has take-away chicken rice at their outlets. Interestingly, the chicken sold at Ayamas are the ones which failed to meet the standard in terms of size for KFC. Do not worry, the chicken still tastes the same.
The soup is also prepared in many ways. Some soup is mild and look like a clear soup and some soup is heavily spiced and cloudy. I learned a few tips on how to make a clear soup. First, you only bruise the knob of ginger being used in the stock. Then, drop a few pieces of rock sugar into the soup. I love chicken soup very much. It is just what you need when you are not well and have a bitter taste in your mouth.
To make a healthier dish, the recipe below use steaming method. How to make chicken soup is not included in the recipe as it will be included in an e-book which will be published later.
Chicken Rice with Steamed Ginger Chicken
Cooking utensil required: double tier steamer.
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