Hainanese Poached Chicken with Chicken Rice

Serves 4-6
Time 1 hour


For the chicken:

1.3 kg to 1.8 kg whole chicken (at room temperature)


For the stock:

½ tsp coriander seeds

3 cloves

2 star anise 

3 spring onions, chopped 2-inch pieces 

1 large carrot, peeled and chopped

1 brown onion

2 bunches coriander roots 

2-inch ginger, peeled 

¼ cup soy sauce

1 tbsp rice wine vinegar 

5 cloves garlic 


For the chicken rice:

2 cups jasmine rice, washed 

3 tbsp duck fat 

1-inch ginger, peeled microplaned 

3 cloves ginger, microplaned

Salt & pepper

4 cups chicken stock

25g butter, to serve


Chilli Sauce:

1 long green chilli, finely sliced

1 long red chilli, finely sliced 

1 bunch coriander, finely diced

3 spring onions, finely diced   

3 limes, juice

1 inch ginger, peeled and microplaned

2 cloves garlic, microplaned 

Salt & pepper

2 tbsp rice wine vinegar


Fill a large stockpot with water, just enough to submerge the chicken completely, add the stock ingredients, and bring it to a boil. Once boiling, slowly lower the chicken into the pot, legs down and head up. It’s ok if the breast is peeking out of the water a bit. The water will cool down and stop boiling when you add the chicken, so bring it up to a boil once again, and do not walk away from the pot.

Once the water boils again, lift the chicken out of the water very carefully. You can carefully hook two wooden spoons under the wings to lift the chicken up or use Richo’s method with a string. The goal is to empty any colder water that may be trapped inside the cavity. Once you’ve released that water, lower the chicken back into the pot, and bring it to a boil again. 

Turn the heat down and simmer. Cover the pot, and keep the heat around the lowest setting so the liquid continues to simmer slowly. Cook for about 35-40 minutes. Depending on the size of your chicken, it may take more or less time to cook it through.

When the chicken is almost done, melt the duck fat in a pot, then add the ginger and garlic and toast off. Add in the washed rice. Season with salt & pepper. Add in the chicken stock, bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer. Cook for 10-12 minutes, until the rice is cooked. Once finished, transfer to a bowl and add the butter on top to melt.

Poke a chopstick or skewer into the chicken thigh to check for doneness. If the juices run clear, it’s done. Carefully lift the chicken out of the pot and transfer it to a large bowl of ice water. Cool completely. 

While the chicken is cooling and the rice is cooking, make the chilli sauce by combining everything in a bowl. 

To serve, carve your chicken into pieces that you can easily grab with chopsticks. Serve with chilli sauce and chicken rice.