I was inspired by two videos on YouTube. The first is about this Singaporean chef who makes an amazing soy chicken. Watching that video, it made me want to cook chicken. Then I also saw a sous vide chicken recipe from Chef Steps. And I thought how wonderful it would be make a chicken rice based on that sous vide chicken. But as always, I don’t like spending too much time on cooking. And I don’t like using a million ingredients to make a dish. Also, I don’t want to stink up my house in winter. So, I started experimenting and here is my adapted recipe on chicken rice.

Time to prepare: 1 hour total but actual time spent on cooking is about 35 minutes

The chicken rice has a few major components:

  1. Chicken
  2. Rice
  3. Sauce
  4. Vege
  5. Soup

Here are all the ingredients you will need:

  • Boneless chicken thighs with skin (ask for this at your local butcher)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Ginger powder
  • Fried garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Rice
  • Lee Kum Kee chicken bouillon powder
  • Mama Oriental Style Instant Rice Vermicelli
  • Soupable green leafs that you have in your fridge
  • Mayo
  • Dijon mustard
  • Sriracha sauce
  • Cucumber
  • Optional: Sesame oil, lemon, grape tomatoes, Korean spicy pickles

Chicken (Prep time: 20 minutes)

Traditional method of preparing chicken for chicken rice waste so much of the chicken taste by boiling it away. The sous vide method keeps those without wasting any essential taste to water. (I know. I know. People use that for cooking rice. But that takes extra time for cooking and the rice taste wonderfully greasy. But let me tackle that later on.)

  1. Flatten the chicken. You can even hammer it from the skin side a couple of times. But you don’t have to.
  2. Put a single chicken thigh in a vacuum bag or ziploc bag. Repeat for as many thighs as you plan to cook. Sprinkle the following on the chicken inside each bag: Salt, pepper and ginger powder. After that throw in some fried garlic in each as well. Put a tablespoon of olive oil in each bag too. (You can put in a drop of sesame oil in for good measure as well if you like.)
  3. Cook the chicken using sous vide at 145°F for 45 minutes. (Make rice and sauce now, while you wait.)
  4. Once the chicken is ready, take it out of the bags and put them in a nonstick pan on medium heat skin-side down for 2-4 minutes (or until they are nice golden color.)
  5. Cut them like traditional chicken rice serving style.

And this is what it should look like when cut. It looks a little uncooked if you are not familiar with sous vide. But it’s perfectly safe to eat. And it taste amazing. It has a crispy skin and wonderful tender/juicy meat.

Rice (Prep time: 3 minutes)

This part is super easy. Follow your rice cooker’s instruction on cooking normal rice. For every cup of water you have to use, put in a teaspoon of chicken stock powder. Throw in some fried garlic for good measure and put in a generous amount of olive oil. This will replicate the chicken grease we all love but a little healthier and you save time. Mix it well before you cook it. And when the water is almost gone stir the rice well again.

Soup (Prep time: 3 minutes)

Boil water. Take the flavor packs out of Mama Oriental Style Instant Rice Vermicelli and put them in the water. Wash and throw any soupable green leafs that you found in your fridge. Done.

Sauce (Prep time: 1 minute)

Get a bowl and put the following in the described proportions and mix them well:

  • Mayo (3 part)
  • Dijon mustard (2 part)
  • Sriracha sauce (1 part)

Squeeze a little lemon on it if you like. Or you can just get a traditional sauce from a Chinese grocery store.

Vege (Prep time: 3 minutes)

Traditional vege in chicken rice I grew up on is cucumbers and cilantro. I love cucumbers. So cut the top of the cucumber. Rub the cut part and the body of cucumber for a few seconds. I have no logical reason for doing it. But I was told that it reduces the bitterness of the cucumber when I was very young. And I have been doing it all my life. Also, some people don’t like the skin. In which case, peel before you slice. Then, slice.

Wash and throw some colorful veges on. Korean spicy pickles go amazingly well with chicken rice. Bring them out if you have some.

Plate & Serve (Prep time: 5 minutes)

Plating is very important for chicken rice. It has to look like it came out of a hawker kitchen. I know I am being particular. It doesn’t have any objective difference on taste. But it’s a thing.

Put rice in a small bowl and put the rice on the plate. Something green goes on top of the rice. Cut chicken and veges goes on the side beautifully. The sauce has to be in a tiny little bowl. A bowl of soup on the side. The colors on the plate must have an interesting and enticing balance of red, green, white and gold.

Try it and see if you like my flavorful and texture-rich chicken rice.

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