Monday, February 28, 2005

Claypot Chicken Rice ala Spots Style

So there I was in front of my computer, my eyes dazzling and my mind oozing over the many colourful and attractive (food) pornographic photos. It was friday night and I was musing over whether we should head out for dinner or stay in for dinner. I was in fact very much in my "dont-want-to-do-anything-yet-I-feel-I-should-do-something" mood. You know that guilty feeling that haunts you when you are not doing anything?

Now, there were photos that tempted me to head out and then there were also photos that were tempting me to stay home and get myself busy in the kitchen. The weight of guilt on my shoulder became heavier and heavier. A decision has to be made. Soon. Before we had to resort to eating fast food.

In the end, we stayed in after the health-freak inside me kindly reminded me the horrible fast food dinner we had last night and had a wonderful nolstagic meal at home all thanks to the super easy Claypot Chicken Rice recipes from my little cyberspot.

I had been wanting to try out the claypot chicken rice recipe ever since I first spotted it. But our kitchen pantry and fridge had been in a poor state for a while. We did not have the three main ingredients at all: lap cheong (chinese preserved sausage) , chicken (or as a matter of fact, meat of any kind. No seafood either) and chinese dried mushroom. That's why we jumped at the chance to stock up on our Asian pantry when we saw many Asian supermarkets were having 10% sales off everything. I even got myself a pack of Japanese rice mochi (A$9)!

♥ tabeshimashita @ pinkcocoa's kitchen on 25 Feb 2005
Claypot Chicken Rice
♥ Claypot Chicken Rice
Traditionally claypot chicken rice is of course cooked in a claypot (duh!). We do not own a claypot. In fact, our kitchen still lacks a lot of kitchen tools and utensils. Credits given to the super tiny storage space we have in the tiny kitchen of our tiny apartment. *sigh*

I was (still am) very delighted to see a rice cooker version for claypot chicken rice. The one-pot dish is prepared in a couple of very simple (and dummy-proof) steps:

1. Chop and marinate meat
2. Wash Rice. Cook rice in rice cooker.
3. While waiting for rice to cook, slice lapcheong etc.
4. Five minutes before rice finish cooking, chuck everything inside the rice cooker.
5. Wait 15 minutes and dinner is ready.

Definitely one of the best recipes for students abroad! *yay* You rock, spots!

♥ Variations I made:
* I used my Taiwanese Tatung electric cooker instead of the usual steam rice cooker. It allows for indirect heating so I actually let my rice cooked double the normal time by placing more water than usual on the outer pot. With this, we managed to get tiny bits of crunchy charred bits sticking to my stainless steel pot. Absolutely wonderful.
** I added a handful of dried shrimps to the rice before cooking.
*** No lettuce so I added some other greens. When the rice was done, I chuck in some snow peas and carrots into the cooker and let them cook in the remnant heat.

Claypot Chicken
♥ Soy Chicken with black & white rice
The chicken was wonderfully succulent and tender. It was not wet like when you steam the chicken nor was it too dry. It had the tendency of braised chicken, minus the oil! We also like how some rice is white while some rice is very very dark.

Lap Cheong & Chinese Mushrooms
♥ Chinese Lap Cheong and Chinese Mushroom with black & white rice.
As I am typing this, I have the urge to name the rice "oreo rice"! Not so sure why but the black and white description makes me think of oreo cookies!

I love the lapcheong so much! (I did not have the chicken) ShinChan likes the lapcheong which was to my surprise. He did mention that he wasn't a fan of cantonese lapcheong (what's with Taiwanese not liking lapcheong? Mum also doesn't like it). With this dish he found the lapcheong surprisingly nice and not oily. Ha! Seems like I finally convinced him Cantonese lapcheong is just as good as Taiwanese sausage!

ShinChan: pinkie honey~ Oishiiiiiii.
pinkcocoa: Really? You sure or not?
(worried about lapcheong but thought even better if he didn't like it cos I get to eat them all. hahaha!)
ShinChan: *chomp* ya *chomp* nice wah. dont worry.
ShinChan: pinkie honey~ The lapcheong also berri nice.
pinkcocoa: oh really ah?
(a little disappointed but a little surprised and happy....?)
ShinChan: pinkie honey~ So nice the flavour that rice.
ShinChan: yummmm.
(chomp. chomp. chomp)
pinkcocoa: ShinChan darling ar. Why you not eating the chicken? Why you eating just lapcheong?
ShinChan: Aiya. I forgot the chicken. Lapcheong too nice wah.
pinkcocoa: o_O|||

Please excuse the use of improper English there. I am training ShinChan with a little bit of our broken English there.

We will definitely see more of this dish on our dinner table from now on given its super simple methods. I could just place everything in the rice cooker and then go take a shower before dinner. Great huh?