Thursday, 24 April 2014

Claypot Chicken Rice

Claypot Chicken Rice is one of Malaysia's favourite hawker dishes. It's cooked in little claypots over a roaring fire, and has a lovely crusty bottom with succulent tender chicken pieces that steam with the rice. Mouthwateringly delicious.

The recipe I picked for Jesse and I to cook is from The Food Canon. After the success I had with the Char Siew recipe from the website, it's the first place I looked for Claypot Chicken Rice.

We took our time cooking this dish, stopping in between the cooking process to have a cuppa and snack on pineapple. We were richly rewarded in the end with a fabulous dish that sated our hunger. We rounded-off the meal with our Portuguese Custard Tarts and more tea.

Adapted from The Food Canon

Preparing the Meat
About half a Chicken (800g - 1kg)
2 tablespoons Light Soya Sauce
2 tablespoons Oyster Sauce
2 tablespoons Chinese Wine
1 teaspoon Sugar
200ml Water

Cut-off and set aside the back bone, feet and less desirable parts for the stock. Cut the Chicken into small pieces, bone-in and skin-on. In a bowl add the rest of the ingredients and leave the Chicken to marinate for an hour.

Preparing the chicken stock
Add the pieces for the stock into a small saucepan with about 3 cups of water. Leave to simmer for about an hour.

Cooking the Rice
2 cups of Thai Jasmine Fragrant Rice
2 cups of Chicken Stock, strained

Add the Rice into the claypot. Add an equal amount of Stock into the pot. Be careful to keep to the 1:1 rice:liquid ratio. Cover and cook the pot on low flame for 10 minutes or until the Rice is cooked, i.e. the liquid has been absorbed and the Rice is fluffy.

Cooking the Meat
2 pieces of Chinese Waxed Sausages, sliced thinly (optional)
A little Salted Fish (optional)

As the Rice is cooking, slice the Waxed Sausages. When the Rice is cooked, open the lid of the pot and put the marinated Chicken pieces on top of the Rice. Stick to one single layer to ensure even cooking. Add the sliced Sausages on top and little pieces of Salted Fish into the pot. Cover and cook for another 15 minutes.

Preparing the sauce and garnishing the pot
Spring Onions
2 Red Chillies (optional)
1 tablespoon Dark Soya Sauce

For the Sauce
1 teaspoon Sesame Oil
1 tablespoon Light Soya Sauce
1 tablespoon Oyster Sauce
1 tablespoon Chinese Wine
1 teaspoon Sugar
1 teaspoon Salt
A little White Pepper Powder

Mix the sauce ingredients in a bowl. About 2 minutes before the pot of Rice is cooked, drizzle in the Sauce. Chop the Spring Onions and slice the Red Chillies. At the 25th minute mark, it should be done. Depending on the strength of fire and type of pot, the timing may vary, but it is easy to see to check whether the meat is cooked.

Just before you serve it at the dining table, drizzle in the Dark Soya Sauce, add the chopped Spring Onions and cut Red Chillies. When eating, give the Rice a stir first and scrape some of the crusted Rice at the bottom. Serve with with a dipping sauce of cut Chilies in Light Soya Sauce.

Portuguese Custard Tarts

So, the lovely Jesse visited and we had a lovely time cooking together. The menu of the night was Claypot Chicken Rice and Portuguese Custard Tarts. Both turned out absolutely scrumptious. Granted, there were times we weren't sure our dinner was going to turn out well, yet it did!

We had a delicious salty-sweet-savoury dinner, followed by these luscious golden tarts.

Adapted from Simon Rimmer

Butter, for greasing
3 Egg Yolks
125g Caster Sugar
30g Cornflour
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
175ml Full Cream Milk
225ml Thickened Cream

Plain Flour and Icing Sugar, for dusting

Preheat the oven at 150 Celsius. Grease the wells of a 12-hole large cupcake tray with Butter.

In a pan, heat the Egg Yolks, Caster Sugar and Cornflour over a low to medium heat, whisking continuously until thickened and well combined.

Add the Vanilla Extract, then add Full Cream Milk and Thickened Cream, in a thin stream, whisking continuously, until the mixture is thick, smooth and well combined.

Continue to stir the custard mixture until it comes to the boil, then remove from the heat and cover the surface with cling film to prevent a skin from forming.

Roll out the Puff Pastry onto a clean work surface and lightly dust with Plain Flour and Icing Sugar. Cut the Puff Pastry in half and place one sheet on top of the other. Roll the Puff Pastry sheets up like a Swiss Roll and cut the roll into twelve slices.

Lay each of the rolled pastry slices flat onto the work surface and roll out into 10am discs using a rolling pin.

Press a pastry disc into each of the wells of the prepared cupcake tray. Divide the cooled custard equally among the pastry cases.

Transfer the tray to the oven and bake tarts for 18 - 20 minutes, or until the custard has set and is pale golden-brown in colour and the pastry is crisp and golden-brown. Allow to cool in the tray before removing for storage.