Sous Vide Hainan Chicken Rice

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Hainan chicken rice is a gloriously subtle dish. At the core, it is simply gently poached chicken served with rice that has been cooked in the liquid. Each piece of chicken is cooked just to the point of doneness. The tender grains of rice are enriched with the rendered chicken fat, leaving them glistening and sweet. Poaching the chicken in the Anova Sous Vide Precision Cooker takes all of the guesswork out of the equation. You’ll know the meat is perfectly cooked every time while creating a dense, flavorful stock at the same time. I like to purchase a whole chicken and butcher it at home; this way, I can cook the breasts with the wings on, which adds extra gelatin and fat to the broth. Kecap manis is a thick, sweet soy sauce and can be found in Asian grocery stores, along with the chile bean sauce and Shaoxing. If you can’t find these ingredients, serve the chicken with a mixture of soy sauce and rice vinegar.
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Ingredients for 2

  • 1 whole bone-in, skin-on chicken breast, wings attached if possible

  • Kosher salt

  • 1 (3-inch) piece fresh ginger, sliced into thin rounds

  • 4 scallions, roughly chopped

  • 2 tablespoons kecap manis

  • 2 teaspoons Chinese chile bean sauce

  • 2 teaspoons Shaoxing (Chinese rice wine)

  • 1 teaspoon unseasoned rice vinegar

  • 2 ¼ cups short grain white rice

  • Fresh cilantro, for serving


  • Step 1

    Set the Anova Sous Vide Precision Cooker to 146ºF (63.3ºC).

  • Step 2

    Generously season the chicken breast with salt and place it in a large zipper lock bag with the ginger and scallions. Cover with 2 cups water and seal using the water immersion technique.

  • Step 3

    Place the bag in the water bath and set the timer for 3 hours.

  • Step 4

    While the chicken is cooking, prepare the sauce: Combine the kecap manis, chile bean sauce, Shaoxing, and rice vinegar in a small bowl. Set aside.

    • Finishing Steps

    • Step 0

      When the timer goes off, remove the bag from the water bath. Use tongs to carefully remove the chicken breast from the bag and transfer it to a cutting board. Cover to keep warm while preparing the rice.

    • Step 1

      Strain the broth through a fine mesh strainer into a large bowl with a spout. Discard ginger and scallions. Measure the broth. To properly cook the rice, you will need 2 3/4 cups plus 2 teaspoons broth. Add additional water if necessary.

    • Step 2

      Place the rice in the fine mesh strainer. Rinse under cool running water until the water running off the strainer is no longer cloudy. Drain the rice well and transfer to a large saucepan with the chicken broth.

    • Step 3

      Cover the pot and bring the mixture to a rapid boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook at a rapid simmer for 7 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and steam for 10 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and let sit, covered, for 5 minutes. Season with salt to taste.

    • Step 4

      To serve, remove the wings from the chicken breast and cut the chicken from the breast bone, leaving the skin intact. Slice each chicken breast into large medallions. Serve the chicken next to the rice, with the sauce and cilantro on the side.

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146 F / 63.3 C Recipe Temp
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