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Cheats Chicken and Crispy Rice Soup

What happens when you combine the elements of Hainanese chicken rice with a delicious chicken broth? You get the best 20-minute comfort food! All the flavours of this classic dish, in a matter of minutes. 

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Few dishes can match the satisfaction and simplicity of this chicken and rice soup. It was my absolute favourite dish to order during my travels in Thailand. It’s so affordable, so simple, so delicious.

A Taste of Hainan Province

Hainanese chicken and rice takes its name from the Wenchang City in Hainan Province, where it originated. This region is renowned for its rich culinary traditions, blending influences from southern Chinese, Southeast Asian, and indigenous Hainanese cuisines.

My twist on Hainanese chicken and rice soup has consists of chicken poached in broth, served with fragrant fried rice, accompanied by condiments like scallion sauce and chilli crisp for added flavour and complexity.

The centerpiece of this quick chicken and rice soup is tender, succulent chicken, ideally skin-on chicken breast.
Instead of cooking your rice in the broth, for this recipe we fry it in fat from the chicken skin (or oil if you’re using skinless chicken) for a satisfying crunchy texture.

An Easy and Wholesome Meal Option

One of the most appealing aspects of this quick chicken and rice soup is its simplicity. With just a handful of ingredients, this dish offers a satisfying and nourishing meal that’s easy to prepare and perfect for any occasion. It can be enjoyed as a comforting home-cooked meal, a casual lunch option, or a crowd-pleasing dish for last minute gatherings. Its versatility makes it a go-to option for busy weeknights or lazy weekends when you crave something wholesome and delicious.

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Stock Concentrate vs Stock Powder or Cubes

Stock concentrate and stock powder or cubes are both popular options for adding depth and flavour to dishes, but they differ in several key aspects, including flavour intensity, convenience, and nutritional content. Since stock concentrate can be tightly sealed and refrigerated, it has an exellect shelf life.

Stock cubes or powder provide a balanced and consistent flavour profile, but the intensity may be milder compared to stock concentrate, and the flavours often rely on yeast extracts over any real chicken. Multiple cubes or tablespoons of powder may be required to achieve the desired flavour strength. Stock cubes are convenient for storage and portioning but like stock powder, they are exposed to some air, which may shorten it’s shelf life. 

In this simple dish, I highly advise you opt for the chicken stock from the refrigerated section of the supermarket, or in a pinch, a high-quality stock concentrate. 

Chicken and Rice Soup for the Soul

Chicken soup has long been cherished not only for its comforting warmth but also for its numerous health and nutritional benefits. Packed with vitamins, minerals, and essential nutrients, chicken soup is known to boost immune function, promote hydration, and support overall well-being. 

The combination of chicken, herbs, and spices provides a rich source of protein, vitamins, and antioxidants, all of which contribute to a healthy diet and immune system. Additionally, the warm broth of chicken soup helps soothe sore throats, alleviate congestion, and ease digestive discomfort, making it a go-to remedy for colds, flu, and other ailments. 

Whether enjoyed as a nourishing meal or a healing elixir, chicken soup remains a timeless and beloved staple for promoting health and vitality.

In addition, the chilli crisp and scallion sauce will help open the sinuses, so eat up!

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Loved this twist on Hainan chicken and rice soup?

If you try this recipe, let me know how it goes! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag your photo #theculinarycartel on Instagram so I can see what you come up with. I’ve got a few other soups that I’ve reimagined for delicious comfort in every spoon:

Ultimate Tom Yum Noodle Soup

Herby Greek Lemon and Chicken Soup

Marry Me Tortellini Soup

Frequently Asked Questions

Is this recipe gluten-free?

Yes! This recipe is gluten-free and dairy-free!   as

Why should I use skin-on chicken?

You can use skinless chicken for this recipe. The glistening fried skin of the skin-on chicken offers an extra punch of texture and flavour. 

I don’t have stock concentrated. Can I used powdered stock or stock cubes?

Absolutely! Stock concentrate is an easy, hassle-free way to achieve rich, robust flavours to your broth. But you can also use powdered stock or stock cubes if that’s all you have on hand.

 

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Cheats Chicken & Rice Soup


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  • Author: Jess

Description

What happens when you combine the elements of Hainanese chicken rice with a delicious chicken broth? You get the best 20-minute comfort food! All the flavours of this classic dish, in a matter of minutes.


Ingredients

Ingredients:

  • 2 Chicken Breasts, roughly 450-500g total (ideally skin on)

  • 1 1/2 cups cooked rice (long grain, jasmin, brown all work well)

  • 600ml chicken broth, home made or from concentrate

Scallion Sauce:

  • 3 spring onions

  • 1 x 2.5 cm knob ginger, peeled and grated

  • 4 Tbsp Neutral Oil

Other:

  • Oil and salt as needed

  • Chili crisp for serving


Instructions

  1. Scrub the ginger, peel with the edge of a teaspoon, and trim. Grate the ginger into a small bowl.
  2. Wash and thinly slice the spring onions. Add the sliced spring onions to the bowl with the ginger, and set any spring onion and ginger offcuts aside for the broth later.
  3. Make scallion sauce by heating the 4 tbsp of oil over high heat. Once you can see wisps of smoke, pour the hot oil over the spring onions and ginger, stir, add a pinch of salt and set aside. Once cool taste for seasoning adding more salt if necessary.
  4. In the same frying pan used for scallion sauce oil, add some fat trimmed from your chicken breasts. If using skinless breasts, simply use oil later for the rice (chicken fat adds the traditional flavor though in this case). Render fat for 2 minutes on medium heat.
  5. While the fat renders make the broth. In a saucepan, add your chicken broth, spring onion trimmings, and any ginger off-cuts. Bring to a boil. Add chicken breasts, then turn off heat and poach for 15-20 minutes. Adjust time if chicken breasts are larger than 450g. The internal temperature of your chicken breast should read 149°F (65°C).
  6. While chicken cooks, add cooked rice to the frying pan, along with the fat if using, pressing the rice into an even layer for maximum crisp. Cook on medium-high, allowing it to settle and crisp on the bottom until dark golden before turning. Cook for about 10-12 minutes until you have a mix of golden and crisp and soft rice, then remove from the heat.
  7. Remove chicken from the broth, and let it rest. Remove the spring onion and ginger offcuts then season the broth to taste.
  8. Plate up by dividing the crispy rice between 2 bowls. Slice the chicken breast and add it to the bowls. Pour strained broth over the rice and chicken. Spoon over scallion sauce and chili crisp.
  9. Serve immediately.
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