Hainanese Chicken Rice Recipe

(No ratings)

Preparation Time20 mins
Cooking Time6 hours
Total Time6 hours 20 mins
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories490 Kcal25%
Fat9 g13%
Saturated Fat2 g10%
Carbohydrates62 g24%

Hainanese chicken rice is a delicious, healthy dish that has become a national dish of Singapore, despite its routes in Ancient Chinese cooking. There are many different ways to cook the chicken, but we’ve found this simple overnight poaching to be the best. The benefit of the slow, long cooking is that the meat stays super tender while you get all the benefit of a delicious bone broth from the cooking liquid too. Just make sure when you strain the chicken that you don’t throw away all that lovely poaching water – it has the most amazing flavour and is used in some of the other elements of this Hainanese chicken rice. If you have leftovers it makes a delicious noodle soup base.


  • 1.5kg whole free range chicken
  • 1tsp sea salt
  • 6 spring onions, roughly chopped
  • 1 thumb-sized piece ginger, roughly chopped

For the rice

  • 400g rice
  • 1tsbp olive oil
  • ½ thumb-sized piece ginger, grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed

For the chilli sauce

  • 4tbsp siracha
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • ½ thumb-sized piece ginger
  • 2 limes, juice and rind
  • 2tsp sugar
  • Chicken cooking liquid, as required

For the cucumber salad

  • 2 cucumbers, cored and chopped
  • 2 limes, juice and rind
  • 2tsp sugar
  • 1 bunch coriander, roughly chopped, to serve
  • 1 bunch spring onions, sliced long ways, to serve


  1. Preheat oven to 140, Gas Mark 1.
  2. Rub the chicken all over with salt, then rinse. In a pot large enough to hold the chicken, cover with water and add the spring onion and ginger. Bring the whole thing to a boil and simmer for fifteen minutes with a lid on.
  3. Transfer the covered pot to the preheated oven and leave to cook for 6 hours. Remove and plunge the chicken into iced water to tighten the skin. Reserve the cooking liquid
  4. For the rice heat the oil in a large pan. Fry the garlic and ginger for a minute, add the rice and stir through. Cover with 800ml of the chicken cooking liquid. Cover and leave on a low heat for 15 minutes, until cooked.
  5. For the sauce blitz all the ingredients together in a food processor until smooth. If a little too thick add some cooking liquid until it reaches the desired consistency.
  6. For the cucumber salad combine all the ingredients. Serve the chicken, sliced, with the rice, chilli sauce and cucumber.
Top Tip for making Hainanese Chicken Rice

You’ll have lots of cooking liquid leftover, but that’s no bad thing. Use it as the base for Asian-style noodle soups or cook more rice in it for a flavourful side dish.

Rosie Conroy is a food and drinks journalist with over a decade of experience working for big-name titles in both print and online. Formerly the Digital Food Editor of woman&home, Rosie went on to head up the team at SquareMeal, reviewing the best London restaurants and hunting out emerging culinary trends. With previous experience in food styling and recipe development, Rosie knows what to look for in a good piece of kitchenware and has extensive experience testing consumer goods—from kitchen electricalz and cooking accouterments through to new foodie treats.