Hainanese Chicken Rice was one of my favorite dishes growing up – it still is one of my favorites. It is Singapore’s national dish and rated #45 on CNN’s list of World’s Best Foods. Interesting fact – originating from Hainan, China – this wasn’t made popular until the mid-1800’s when the Chinese immigrants introduced this dish to Singapore.
The star of this 3 part dish is the lightly flavored chicken. It’s best to use free-range, organic chicken to get that tender, juicy texture and amazing pure chicken flavor.
My secret ingredient to make this dish extra fragrant is the use of pandan leaves.
Huh? What in the world is that?! These leaves come from a tropical plant and is widely used in many Southeast and South Asian dishes – savory to sweet. It gives this dish that extra hint of flavor, and also its fragrance. My mom *loves* the flavor these leaves gives – if she could, she would probably add it to everything. The aromatics these leaves gives along with the ginger and garlic being fried brings back childhood memories of my dad’s cooking.
Since I don’t live in Asia, I buy mine frozen at my local Asian grocery store.
Here’s my rendition of this plate full of yumminess!