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Hainanese Chicken and Rice

Adapted from a recipe by Mark Bittman
Serves 4-6

1-1/2 to 2kg (3 to 4 pounds) whole chicken
3 tablespoons of grated garlic
1 big knob of ginger, grated finely
1/4 cup peanut oil or canola oil
2 cups white (jasmine) rice
2 tablespoons dark sesame oil
Ginger-Scallion sauce (recipe to follow)
Chopped fresh scallion or cilantro leaves for garnish

Trim the chicken of excess fat and cut into 4 pieces. Place about 10cm (4 inches) of water in a large pot over high heat.

Sprinkle salt on both sides of the chicken pieces and rub them with half of the garlic and ginger mixture. When the water boils, place the chicken in the pot. The water should just cover the chicken; add more water if necessary.

Bring back to the boil, cover, reduce the heat to medium, and cook for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the chicken remain in the pot for 1 hour, covered. The meat should be opaque all the way through; if not, return to pot to a boil and cover again for another 5 - 10 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pot and set aside.

Put the oil in a separate pot over medium heat. When hot, add the remaining garlic and ginger, stirring occasionally, until the garlic and ginger are softened. Add the rice and stir, then add 4 cups of the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Simmer the rice on low for approximately 20 minutes. Taste and add salt, if necessary.

Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces (optional) and rub with sesame oil.

Drizzle on some of the ginger-scallion sauce and serve over the rice. You can also serve the stock with some scallion in a small bowl on the side.

Ginger Scallion Sauce

1/4 cup minced (or grated) fresh ginger
1/2 cup chopped scallion
1 or 2 clove garlic, grated
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup peanut oil or canola oil

Mix the ginger, scallion, garlic and salt together in a heatproof bowl. Put the oil in a small saucepan or skillet over high heat until smoking. Carefully pour the hot oil over the ginger scallion mixture (Note: it will sizzle a lot). Mix well and serve or refrigerate for up to 3 days.