Claypot Chicken with Basmati Rice (& additional notes)Monday, September 03, 2012
Since I discovered that one can make good Claypot Chicken Rice at home in real claypots with great results, I have cooked this many times. I have stopped using the rice cooker to make this
It needs only a few ingredients.
It is quick to make.
And it is relatively cheap.
It comes in handy for evenings when dinner was not planned in advance as there is always some chicken and lup cheong (Chinese sausages) around. I have frozen chicken in my fridge which I can quickly and easily defrost using my Sous Vide gadget (the microwave tends to cook some parts). Frozen chicken thaws quickly when submerged in hot water (Just remember not to leave it in there for too long to avoid spread of pathogens).
|Wounded bottoms but still holding up|
They are small enough to fit into all the stoves stations. The feed 2-3 pax comfortably and up to 4 if some diners have smaller appetites. I normally cook at least two and it gives me the option of keeping one warm while my family or guests get to the first. These are perfect claypots for me.
Bottoms up! :)
As for rice, the long Thai Jasmine rice will work well. It is also most twice the price of cheaper rice but unless you are on a tight budget, spend on good quality rice as this is the star of this dish, not the chicken. I tried Basmati rice recently (photo above & lead photo) and they turned out fluffy and with nicely separated grains. They also carry the sauce well, which means more flavours.
The rice:water ratio of 1:1.1 works perfectly most times. If you wash your rice beforehand, remember that some water is now in the rice and all you need now is to add 1 to 1 water ratio. Get this first stage right i.e rice perfectly cooked and the later stages will be a breeze. Using stock you make from chicken bones will be the best but if not, commercial liquid concentrates will work too. if you have no chicken stock in your home, going with just water will be fine too.
|Burnt Rice - this batch uses the Thai Jasmine Rice|
"Apparently, during the Japanese occupation,
burnt rice was a staple diet for many."
|Mui Heong Ham Yee|
Keeping the chicken moist is important. If it is dry, this is because it is overcooked. So, I have found that if you cut the chicken in smaller or flatter pieces, you don't even need to fry them beforehand. 10-15 minutes in the hot claypot (of this size w two cups of rice) will cook it just nice.
If you have yet to try cook this, give this a try. You will be surprised how easy it is and it should be a regular dish on your family dinner table.
|A potful of basmati rice..though you can see none of that here|