Make Matty Matheson's Hainan Chicken, the Ultimate Comfort Food
Photo by Farideh Sadeghin

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Make Matty Matheson's Hainan Chicken, the Ultimate Comfort Food

This recipe pretty much has it all, and will leave you never looking at chicken the same way again.

If you've ever been to Singapore or Malaysia, you know that Hainan chicken—aka Hainanese chicken rice— is the undisputed sovereign of comfort foods, a dish served everywhere from solitary hawker stalls to the most grandiose of restaurants. Why chow mein captured the American imagination as it did in the mid-twentieth century, and Hainanese chicken rice did not, is probably a result of the immigration patterns to this country and not based on the blatant merit of the dishes. As Matty Matheson knows, that is a wrong that can—and should—be righted. His easy recipe for this ultimate of Hainanese comfort foods will do just that.

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RECIPE: Hainan Chicken

As part of our Quickies column, Matheson told us that this is the go-to, post-new-baby recipe in his house because it is easy and delicious. But there's no need to go to great lengths—like having a baby of your own—before you make this unrivaled gem. Try it on a work night when you need something that will bring comfort (chicken and rice) without boredom (chiles, pickled ginger, Szechuan buttons, and anise hyssop).

This recipe pretty much has it all, and will leave you never looking at chicken the same way again.