Easy Claypot Chicken Rice

Browsing through my saved recipes recently, I came across Claypot Chicken Rice on Rasa Malaysia. It brought back memories of my family’s claypot poised over a charcoal stove, slowly cooking stews, broths and savoury dinners. Smoke from the charcoal infused the food with a woodsy, smoky flavour. The claypot kept heat and moisture in long after the food was cooked. The pot was heavy, glazed on the inside, with a chip in the lip in one corner. I was sometimes tasked to fan the stove. Squatting by the stove outside the kitchen, I’m not sure how much fanning was going on, but there was a good deal of daydreaming.

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There was also a recipe for Claypot Chicken Rice Without Claypot. Well, that got my attention, since I have neither claypot nor charcoal stove! I decided to adapt it slightly, added Chinese chestnuts and omitted the salted fish and Chinese sausage. The latter two ingredients are traditional to the recipe, but may be more difficult to obtain and are more of an acquired taste. Chinese chestnuts can be roasted the same way as Western and European chestnuts, ie. with much time and patience, neither of which are my middle names. Me – I just go to the local Asian grocery store and buy ready-to-eat ones.  They taste as good and saves time. I also happen to enjoy the wholesome creaminess of chestnuts. Here is my version of an Easy Claypot Chicken Rice, conveniently made in a rice cooker.

Ingredients
2 cups rice (rinsed)
1 skinless chicken breast (cut into bite-sized cubes)
2 green onions  (white part chopped thinly, green part chopped into 1″ pieces and saved for garnish)
2″ ginger (cut into strips)
3 cloves garlic (sliced)
Handful dried Chinese mushrooms (soaked till soft and halved or quartered)
Handful cooked chestnuts

Easy Claypot Chicken Rice 20160619 DSC04424 (2)

Marinade for Chicken
2 Tbsp oyster sauce
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp dark soy sauce
¼ tsp chicken bouillon powder
¼ tsp corn starch
½ tsp sesame oil
¼ tsp pepper
¼ tsp sugar
1 Tbsp Shaoxing cooking wine (or rice wine)

Sauce for Rice
3 Tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp cooking oil
¼ tsp chicken bouillon powder

Instructions
1. Marinate the chicken and leave for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator. Easy Claypot Chicken Rice
2. Cook the rice with the sauce, as you normally would.
3. While the rice is cooking, heat some oil.  Add garlic, ginger and white part of green onions. Fry till fragrant.
4. Add chicken and mushrooms. Stir-fry till chicken is halfway cooked.
5. When most of the water has been nearly absorbed by the rice (you see bubbles on the surface of the rice), place partially cooked chicken and mushrooms onto the rice and complete cooking the rice.
6. Garnish with spring onions and cilantro.

Serves 4

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