Recipe: Hainanese Chicken Rice (Instant Pot)

Well, slap us silly because we were so darn happy. This realllllly overjoyed our bellies. 
I've always wanted a multi-cooker because I didn't want to pile up the appliances in our limited cooking space here at home. Well, limited counter space. So when I started receiving alerts that Prime Day was coming, I immediately tagged the Instant Pot on my watchlist. When Prime Day finally came, "Add to Cart" wasn't the option. It was "Buy Now". I had it the next day. 😎 I specifically wanted the model with the air fryer and sous vide functions included. That way, I didn't need to buy other appliances. And so far... I've made 3 batches of fried chicken and haven't bought any take-outs yet. What a great investment!

In my excitement to use all the functions, I searched for what else I could cook. Soups, stews, and rice were a given. Search the interwebs and a whole slew of recipes will pop up. I did make a beef stew and surprisingly, it only look me an hour to get it fork-tender. 

I wanted to make something else. Enter the Hainanese Chicken Rice. To think I wasn't even looking for recipe ideas when I came across this. It was an ad I saw while scrolling through Facebook. And of course, my mind went straight to the shiny new appliance sitting on the counter. Yehehesss!!! I already had everything in my fridge and pantry so all I had to do was get my butt up and start! 

Many, many thanks to the Singaporeans and Malaysians for this glorious addition to the culinary world. Yes - they're both claiming this as their own. But since this is considered as Singapore's national dish, I'll have to give props for this genius. Thank you, Singapore!!! Fist bump! 👊

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Hainanese Chicken Rice (Instant Pot)
This can definitely feed around 5-6 people. You can increase the rice to 4 cups to feed 6. 

You'll need your Instant Pot (or a pot and rice cooker - see below for that option), the wire rack insert, a couple of bowls, a knife, chopping board, a pair of tongs, and a multi-cup measuring cup (like the Pyrex glass one). 

Ingredients
For the Hainanese Chicken
2 cups water
5 cloves garlic
5-8 chicken quarters OR boneless chicken thighs
salt
3 ounces ginger slices
3-4 green onions, sliced in large sections

For the Chicken Rice
3 cups washed jasmine rice
3 cups liquid (use the reserved broth)

For the Condiments
a knob of ginger, grated
3-4 green onions, minced/sliced thinly
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp vegetable oil

2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp reserved chicken broth
2 tsp oyster sauce

an English cucumber, sliced thinly on the diagonal

cilantro leaves, for garnishing (optional)

Procedure:
1. Salt the chicken and rub on the skin. Use the rack and place inside the main pot. Pour the water and layer the chicken and vegetables. 
 

2. On pressure cooker mode, set it on high for 15 minutes. Do a quick release when it's done.
3. Transfer chicken to a bowl with really cold water (or ice water). Once cooled, debone (if using quarters) and slice. 

4. Remove the rack and discard the remaining green onions, garlic, and ginger slices.Transfer the broth to a measuring cup and set aside. Skim the fat off (if there's a lot).

5. To cook the rice, using the same inner pot, transfer the washed rice here. Set your Instant Pot to low pressure cooker for 4 mins. Do a natural release. Fluff the rice when it's done. 
 
6. To make the condiments:
a. Ginger Sauce - Mix the green onion and equal parts ginger in a bowl; this should make around ¼ cup total and add ½ tsp salt. Heat up some vegetable oil and pour over the ginger mixture. Mix and set aside.
 
b. Cucumbers - Slice some cucumbers. Layer sliced chicken on top.

c. Soy Glaze and Sauce - Mix the 2 tbsp soy sauce, 2 tbsp sesame oil, 2 tbsp reserve broth. Brush on the sliced chicken. For the rest of the sauce, add 2 tsp oyster sauce to serve with each serving.
7. Optional: garnish with cilantro or thinly sliced green onions

8. ENJOY!!!!
 

In case you don't have an Instant Pot, you can use a POT AND RICE COOKER
  1. 1. Layer chicken and vegetables in a pot and cover with water. Simmer on low for 1 hour. Discard the vegetables, put the chicken in an ice bath, and reserve the stock liquid. Debone and slice chicken once cooled.
  2. 2. Using the same pot or a rice cooker, measure your rice and liquid and cook until done (around 15-20 mins). 

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*Some also serve this with a chili sauce. I didn't bother because my husband's allergic to spice. 

**Yes, you can use boneless chicken parts when making this. But, the broth won't be as flavourful. You get the full chicken stock flavour from the chicken bones and obviously, you don't want to lose that. Just for convenience that you won't have to debone it, you can use boneless options. But in case you still want that full flavour, pop in a chicken carcass (you can buy these from the grocery too, how convenient) to make a really flavourful stock. 

***I love that ginger sauce. Every time I eat out in a restaurant, I always ask for extra. Especially if we buy for take-out, I grab a few more portions of this. Then I realized.... it's so easy to make this. You can definitely amp up the measurements and make a full jar for yourself! 

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