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Every culture has their version of chicken and rice. Dominican chicken and rice, Adobo chicken and rice, shit, do French people eat coq au vin with rice? They should. My favorite version has to be Hainan Chicken and Rice (“HCR”). People will disagree about what’s more important to HCR. Is it the flavor of the chicken rice? The tenderness of the chicken? Perhaps it’s as simple as the hot sauce? For me, the key is to use a free range chicken not just because the meat has a deeper cleaner flavor but because it makes the best stock for chicken rice. When done right, your chicken is tender with bouncy skin and carries the aroma of ginger and scallions. The rice should be slightly slick with oil and sharp with shallots, and the hot sauce? You can go in a number of directions. Maybe it’s a strong garlic and chili based sauce or perhaps a fermented soy bean flavor. I chose to do it with 3.5lb whole free range chicken, scallions, long green peppers, shallots, ginger, lime, white pepper, rice vinegar, sugar and rice wine to taste. Sharp, simple, acidic, and clean.
Photography: David Bowles/HYPEBEAST
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