Today I was invited over to my friend’s house to learn to make Hainan Chicken, from her friend who is Chinese/Vietnamese. The key to having the best tasting chicken, according to my friend, is to buy a free-roaming one. I soon found out that this lady ordered from a free-roaming chicken farm, and that the birds were delivered to her house this morning ALIVE. She then killed and feathered them, to use for our meal today! Here I am with the chicken. I was amazed at the large feet.
After cleaning it thoroughly, the friend, cut off the feet, and tucked them inside the body (to give it a good flavor), she bent back the wings and placed the whole chicken inside the pot to boil. After the chicken had cooked and became tender, we removed it from the pot and let cool. Use chicken broth with equal parts rice and cook rice in an asian rice cooker. For example 4 cups rice to 4 cups chicken broth, and 1-2 tsp. salt.
Chinese use every part of the bird! The gizzards and heart were chopped and stir-fried with the green vegetable side dish. A group photo, the lady next to me is the cook. We are grating fresh ginger for the dipping sauce.
Recipe for the Sauce:
Vietnamese Dipping Sauce to serve with Chicken or eat over the rice
2 TBL freshly grated ginger with juice
2-3 fresh garlic cloves, minced
1 small fresh red chili pepper, thinly sliced
2 tsp. sugar
2-3 TBL lemon
2-3 TBL Vietnamese fish sauce
Below our finished product, with some fresh cucumbers, fruit and chicken broth soup. Notice the plates of chicken, Asians simply cut the whole chicken, bones and all and place on a serving dish. Then they proceed to eat the chicken, sucking and spitting out the bones. (My contribution to the meal — in the top left hand corner — a plate of chocolate chip cookies.