Saturday, 11 February 2012

Chicken: an excellent foundation

I could have sworn I've posted about Hainanese chicken rice before but I CANNOT find the post!

What I would have said, in the previous post, is that while I am a fan of the smooth, gently-flavoured poached chicken and rice, Paul is not so much a chicken rice lover, because he feels that any chicken meal that doesn't involve crispy skin is a waste of time. I would also have mentioned that, although it is not traditional, I really like sambal belacan with my chicken rice, because the place I used to get it in Sydney always served sambal belacan with it.


Then I saw a post on another blog that showed me the way forward. It was Eat-Tori's chicken soup with chicken crackling and I thought Eureka! If I skinned the chicken before poaching it, I could make chicken cracklings to add crunch to my chicken rice. I followed this recipe for the chicken rice and ginger sauce, but added more water and aromatics because I had plans for the leftovers. I cut the skin into large pieces, and baked them at quite a high temperature for a few minutes in a dry pan until they curled up into crisp shards of crackling.


Some of the leftover broth and the remaining chicken from that meal became a chicken and mushroom risotto. I don't usually serve risotto as a side dish, but as I also had plans for the leftover risotto, I sautéed some chicken thighs and placed them on top.


THEN the rest of the risotto became arancini. I moulded the cold, sticky rice into balls, around a cube of cheese, rolled them in flour, then egg and breadcrumbs and shallow-fried them until golden. I was hoping for a suppli al telefono-effect, but while the cheese (I used cheddar) softened, it didn't go into the long strands that mozzarella does. Also, there were a couple of points where I skimped on the egg and breadcrumbs, and those bits didn't hold together at all, spewing newly-molten risotto into the pan. Useful tip: be thorough.


The last of the chicken broth became a pot of minestrone. Carrots, onions, borlotti beans, some smoked Polish sausage, canned tomatoes, macaroni and shredded cabbage joined the broth in a big, cuddly potful that lasted us a couple of days. I'm sending this delicious, warming soup to Deb for the Souper (Soup, Salad and Sammy) Sunday round-up. Do join us!
SouperSundays




9 comments:

leaf (the indolent cook) said...

So hopefully Paul has come around to the idea of Hainanese chicken rice with your version that includes crispy skin! :)

Simona said...

Beautiful post, Alicia. I like how the various recipes are linked so that parts of one go into the next. Indeed, you need mozzarella for suppli' al telefono. My mother made them a few times a year, always with leftover risotto. The soup looks particularly comforting.

Foodycat said...

Leafy - he did like the crispy skin version!

Simona - next time I will plan ahead and get some mozzarella in. They were really delicious! Definitely to be made again.

azelia said...

I can relate in turning one chicken into many dishes! :)

C said...

They all sound and look delicious. I always mean to plan my meals so that one day's leftovers feed into the next day's meal but I can never quite manage it - very impressed!

Deb in Hawaii said...

So many great dishes from that chicken. ;-) The soup looks delicious and perfectly warming. Thanks for sharing it with Souper Sundays.

Joanne said...

Wow, you really got a TON of use out of one chicken! I've never had haianese chicken rice before but it sounds super flavorful and like something I'd love!

Gemma said...

I poached a chicken last night and tonight we'll be cooking some pasta in the stock and eating it with the leftover meat and veg. So good. I need to make that chicken rice though - we tried it for the first time in Portland last year and are still talking about it.

grace said...

i like red meat--i consider myself a huge fan. that said, however, i think chicken is my favorite vehicle for experimentation, and i like what you've done here! now i have some great ideas to try. :)

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