Thursday, April 30, 2009

Heidelberg Chicken Rice

Somehow, the mere mention of the words "flu outbreak" have caused me to sniffle. I think I have a sore throat. I'm coming down with a bad case of hypochondria and I need some good chicken-based comfort food. I have frozen chicken breasts, and I want to wallow in my hypochondria.

In a quiet corner of my kitchen, if you look closely, you can find a rice cooker. Rice cookers are one of the few inventions where the low-tech versions are the superior varieties. The programs for various different kinds of rice apparently confuse rice cookers. The beauty in the rice cooker lies in the fact that you turn it on, walk away and a small, inobtrusive click tells you that rice, or dinner, is done. They do all the thinking for you. I think they use some sort of low-tech scale to weigh everything, or maybe there are little rice nomes inside, ready to try rice when they think it's done. Either way, it's super easy. You can even throw frozen chicken in there, and it will come out cooked.

Heidelberg Chicken Rice
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp minced ginger
1 Tbsp neutral oil
2 frozen chicken breasts
2/3c white rice
2 cups water (or according to rice package directions)

Make a paste out of the garlic, ginger, oil and salt. Put paste & remaining ingredients in rice cooker. Turn rice cooker on, walk away. Wait for rice cooker to switch from "cook" to "warm". Fish out chicken breasts, slice. Serve with rice and dipping sauces.

Aparently, if you want real Hainan Chicken Rice, you have to go to Singapore. The immigrants from the Chinese island of Hainan "brought" this dish with them, as much as Italian immigrants "brought" spaghetti & meatballs with them to the US. This is what I've been told. As much as I'd love to go to Singapore, I don't have any vacation days left (yes, I know that it's only May). Also, real chicken rice involves poaching an entire chicken and reusing the stock next time. The chicken itself is cold, and broth is served with the meal. Real Hainan chicken rice is great, but like so many street foods, not reproducable in a regular domestic kitchen (although, I could always devote my kitchen to chicken rice - it's a thought worth entertaining).


Cathy said...

lol at the husband is kind of like that too. As for the rice cooker - he uses it more than me...for the life of me I cannot get my water to rice ratio right in it - but I can make rice in a pot perfectly!

taste traveller said...

I once started a small fire while trying to make rice. I love my rice cooker (and so does my insurance company!)

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