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Hainan-Style Chicken and Rice Recipe

Matty Matheson shows us the simple and flavorful dish that you'll want to make every night of the week.
Hainan-Style Chicken and Rice Recipe

Servings: 4
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes


1 (3-4 pound|1 kilogram 361 gram-1 kilogram 814 gram) chicken
13 cups|3 liters 76 ml chicken stock
2 cups|473 ml white rice
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
kosher salt, to taste
1 large cucumber, roughly chopped into 1-inch pieces
¼ cup|60 ml olive oil, plus more for serving
2 tablespoons anise hyssop, thinly sliced
3 Szechuan buttons, chopped (optional)
2 small chilies, thinly sliced
¼ cup cilantro (tender stems and leaves), minced
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
½ cup|114 grams pickled ginger, minced, plus ¼ cup juice
½ bunch scallions, thinly sliced
sesame seeds
edible flowers (optional)


  1. Place the chicken in a large stockpot and cover with the chicken stock. Bring to a simmer and cook until the chicken is cooked through and tender, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove the chicken from the stock and allow to cool slightly before breaking the chicken down into 6 pieces (2 whole legs, 2 breasts, and 2 wings). Strain the stock and set aside.
  2. Combine the rice with 2 cups|473 ml of the reserved chicken stock, the butter, and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook until the rice is tender, 20 minutes. Keep the rice warm.
  3. Meanwhile in a medium bowl, mix the cucumber with the anise hyssop, szechuan buttons (if using), the chilies, and cilantro. Season with salt and toss with the lime juice and 2 tablespoons olive oil.
  4. In a small bowl, mix the ginger with its juice, the scallions, the remaining olive oil, and salt.
  5. To serve, spoon some rice into a bowl and top with some chicken broth and a leg. Slice some chicken breast and chuck that on top, too, along with some cucumber salad and the scallion and ginger mixture. Drizzle with a little bit of olive oil and garnish with some sesame seeds and edible flowers, if using.

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