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For me Hainan Chicken has a special place in my heart. When I notice that Nomiku has posted a sous vide version of the Hainan Chicken recipe on their blog, it’s a rush of fond memories and tradition. Catching up with my closest girlfriends over road trips to LA, Cinespia picnics, food baby comas in the car and trying to perfectly ration the holy trifecta of dark meat chicken, rice and sauce from Savoy Kitchen. No matter how many delicious options for eats in LA, we always end up back at Savoy Kitchen for Hainan Chicken.
Having never found anything like Savoy in the Bay Area I had high hopes for this recipe. Immediately looking at the recipe I already decided that in any place where it calls for water I want to use chicken broth to give it that extra savory flavoring. Instead of the garnish and sauces that were used in the original recipe at the Nomiku blog, I decide almost immediately that I want to eat this with the Momofuku ginger scallion sauce and sweet soy sauce that Savoy is known for. Since I was only making impromptu lunch for myself, I scaled down the recipe by 2/3 using Pepperplate so that I could eat this for 2 separate meals.
- 4 chicken thighs
- 2 2/3 shumbs of Ginger, cut into thin slices
- 2 2/3 stalks of Green Onion, finely chopped
- Kosher Salt to taste
- 2 cans (~4 cups) of low sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup Japanese rice
- 1.5 cups of chicken broth from the cook
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- Set up Nomiku water bath and turn temperature to 64ºC (147.2ºF).
- Gather all your ingredients and tools.
- Chop all the scallions and ginger.
- Clean chicken by rubbing with kosher salt and rinsing clean.
- Season chicken thighs with kosher salt to taste and place 2 chicken thighs with 2 cups of canned chicken broth in a freezer safe zip bag or vacuum seal bag
- Add equal amounts of green onion and ginger in each of the 2 bags. Seal using the water displacement method or a vacuum chamber.
- Sous vide for 2 hours.
- Clean and soak rice – set aside.
- Remove 1 bag of chicken from water bath and turn Nomiku down to 55ºC.
- Drain the chicken broth from the bath and reserve broth for cooking the rice.
- Re-seal and put chicken back into water bath to keep warm.
- Make rice according to the package but use broth in place of water.
- While the rice is cooking, make both the Momofuku sauce as well as the Sweet Soy sauce.
Momofuku Ginger Scallion Sauce
- 2 1/2 cups thinly sliced scallions (green and whites, from 1-2 large bunches)
- 1/2 cup finely minced fresh ginger
- 1/4 cup grapeseed or other neutral oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons usukuchi (light soy sauce)
- 3/4 teaspoon sherry vinegar (I didn’t have this so I used mirin – it was fine)
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
Mix together the scallions, ginger, oil, soy sauce, vinegar, and salt in a bowl. Taste and check for salt, adding more if needed.
Sweet Soy Sauce
- 1 tablespoon light (regular) soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
- 1 to 1/2 teaspoons unseasoned rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon Asian chili sauce, such as Sriracha
Mix all ingredients in a bowl until all sugar crystals are blended in.
Debone chicken and slice chicken into inch wide pieces. Drizzle some sesame oil on your chicken, spoon some of the momofuku sauce atop the rice and I served with some slices of blood orange. In my childhood oranges were the classic Chinese dessert. Present the sauces in a perfectly well balanced Ying Yang dish. Pun so intended.
The skin of the sous vide chicken was so tender, it melted in my mouth like pork fat. The chicken was tender, moist, and delicious paired with these sauces. This dish was super tasty, but was different from Savoy Kitchen. I am starting to think they put crack in their chicken, or maybe I just need to invite the girls over for Hainan Chicken and reminiscing, to get the flavor of the experience to be just right. ^_^