What is Hainanese Chicken Rice? Glad you asked. Put simply, a dish adapted from early Chinese immigrants from Hainan Island, off the southern coast of China, known indigenously as Wenchang chicken. The Hainanese use a particular fowl that is bony and fibrous, and serve the chicken with oily rice. The chicken is steeped in boiling water or blanched until it is fully cooked before soaking in cold water to ensure the meat remains tender.
In a local twist, the chicken can also be roasted or braised in soy sauce for a different taste.
Grassland’s sommerlad Heritage chicken is perfect for this dish, because it’s the closest bird to an Asian Jungle fowl available to Australia, in taste, texture, and behaviour.
This recipe, adapted and adjusted by Eliot Roberts, uses the Sommerlad; the depth of flavour and long, strong nutritious bones that give this dish an alignment with the original that simply cannot be replicated by a standard broiler.
Hainanese Sommerlad Chicken Rice
Cooktime: 1 hr approx
All photos and recipe text courtesy of Eliot Roberts, used with permission.