Recently, I’ve been experimenting with one-pot dishes. Here’s a simple claypot chicken rice recipe passed down by my Chinese grandmother. I add slightly more water to the boiled rice so that the kids can chew them easily.
I loved eating this claypot chicken rice when I was a child and Hubby loves the fragrant and delicately flavoured rice too. And the kids? BOTH of them loved it, including the fussy eater.
I love it because I can just stir-fry it quickly, dump everything into the rice cooker and voila! A delicious home-cooked meal for everyone in less than half an hour
- 1 chicken – cut into medium-sized pieces (since the kids are eating, I try to use free-range or kampung chicken. If not, I’ll just use 3-4 drumsticks)
- garlic or shallots – 3 to 4 cloves, chopped
- mixed frozen vegetables – peas, carrots, corn OR French beans cut into 1-2 cm length
- dried Chinese mushrooms – 6-8 pcs soaked in hot water for a few minutes. Throw away the water and slice the mushrooms into thin strips.
- ginger (optional) – 1-2 slices of ginger
Marinade (DO THIS FIRST):
1. Stab the chicken pieces with a fork. If you’re angry with Hubby, the repairman, TNB, Maxis or your “favourite” politician that day, this is *great* therapy By the way, we only want fork-sized holes in the chicken, ok? Not bullet-sized holes.
2. Drizzle thick soy sauce, oyster sauce, light soya sauce and just a bit of pepper (not too much or the kids will hate it!). Add a tiny pinch of salt.
3. Massage the chicken if you like a la Jamie Oliver but I prefer not to touch the chicken so I use the fork to mix the sauces evenly. Leave aside for about 20-30 minutes.
1. Measure the rice that your family needs. Wash and get it ready as usual in the rice cooker. As I usually cook rice with about 1 inch of water, I add an additional 1/2 inch for a softer rice. Do not turn it on yet.
2. Fry some shallots or garlic to a light brown shade. Add the marinated chicken and stir-fry it slightly on a medium-to-high fire to seal in the juices and half-cook it.
3. Toss in the mushrooms and mixed vegetables. Mix everything evenly. Add about 2-3 tablespoons of water if needed. Add a *small* pinch of salt if needed but I don’t since I’m feeding the rice to the kids. The photo below shows the mixture BEFORE everything is mixed.
4. Once the mixed vegetables and chicken pieces are well blended and a slight fragrant smell wafts up, you can turn off the fire and gently ladle everything onto the washed rice.
5. Try to place everything evenly over the rice instead of dumping it in one huge mess Then, cover the rice cooker and turn it on.
6. When the claypot chicken rice is ready, let it stand for about 10 minutes before you “fork” through it using a pair of chopsticks. This way, the rice will be light and fluffy as follows:
Try it and see, ok? The little girl opens her mouth wide yelling, “Mum-mum-mum!!!” after each mouthful.
The boy says, “Mummy, I like your rice. I always like your rice.”
And the Hubby says, “Any more left?”