Enjoying Claypot Chicken Rice in Toronto's winter

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

I may have landed at one of Toronto's harshest winters in recent times, but the cold only served to motivate me to recreate some comfort dishes here. 

I have already said in my post on Claypot Chicken Rice that there is no reason why you cannot make a good version of this at home. It is perfect after a long cold winter day here in Toronto. Nice sand claypots are easily available at Chinatown, including wired ones. All the key ingredients can be bought here, including very good quality chicken, salted fish, Chinese sausages and superb spring onions. There is every reason to cook this here. 

From the stove to the table, it can be cooked within 45 minutes.

The wonderful clay pot smells permeate the home and your family will get hungry and anticipate the meal. Open the clay pot cover on the table and the the steam and aroma rises to greet those at the table. The rice stays steaming hot as you scoop it into your bowls. With some bottom-scrapping of the crust, the pot is good down to the last morsel.

Sand Claypot
Can you make a good version of this in a city like Toronto? Of course.

I go through the steps again:
  1. Marinate the chicken (sesame oil, oyster sauce, salt, LKK special sweet sauce, rose wine).
  2. Cook the rice in the pot using a 1:1 chicken stock:rice ratio on small fire 
  3. When the rice has absorbed the water (about 10-12 mins), add the chicken, Chinese sausage and slated fish. Continue cooking for 12-15 minutes. 
  4. Mid way, add some sauce (optional)
  5. When done, add some dark (thick) soy sauce, garnish with spring onions and serve. 
Free Range Chicken
Just get the basics done right and you can always variate from there. If you want to make this, please read my posted recipe carefully.

While about any pot will do, the cheap sand claypots will give you the best results. I bought two from a shop at Chinatown (Spadina) which is glazed on the inside. They worked fine.

We used free range chicken (I think the super mart was Food Basics) and had them cut into small pieces. The salted fish was bought from T&T Supermart. It is the wet type which needs to be refrigerated. It was very fragrant.  

The marinated chicken was succulent and the basmati rice was smokey and flavourful. There was a nice layer of crust at the bottom of the pots and the crispy rice enhanced the eating experience. 

In the cold winter of Toronto, it was wonderful to have our dinner off the pots. It tasted just as nice as the ones we did back home. 

Can good Claypot Chicken Rice be made here? Most definitely. 

"Wet" marinating the Chicken.
Salted Fish and Chinese Sausage
Adding Chicken after the rice is cooked for the first stage.
A satisfying dinner made in one of Toronto's harshest winter.  

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  1. This looks so good. When we were in China, I first had chicken stir fried rice with salted fish and loved it. Back home, I have wanted to make it but am not sure about what salted fish to buy. Could you tell me or if you have picture of package. I have seen some that is frozen and some that is dried. Is there any prep to do to it before using. Thanksk

  2. You can get either one. There is not need to prep it. Just cook it - pan-sear, deep fry or steamed etc

  3. I have Nova Scotia boneless salt cod in my fridge. Will that work? How about soaking?

  4. James - I have not use salted cod before. Salted fish is optional for this.

  5. James Wrightman, salt cod is different from the chinese salted fish in both texture & flavour. I am speaking from my experience of eating the pan fried Greek Bakaliaros (salt cod). Hope this helps.