Thursday, March 19, 2009

Roast Chicken (Rice) 烧鸡饭

I have a lot of diners coming to this little cyber eatry searching for Chicken Rice 海南鸡饭. One of the diners asked if I have the recipe for the roasted version aka 烧鸡饭. I managed to asked my mother in law (she sold Chicken Rice before) how to make the roasted chicken.

And I have both good and bad news. The good news is I have the method on how it's done and the bad news is I don't have marinade and the stuffing ingredients. :P

In case you are not aware, our roasted chicken (rice) here (in Singapore) is not roasted, it's cooked with oil. You know, like deep frying. But wait a minute! Take a look at the skin (in the picture). It doesn't look fried but roasted. And the best part is the meat is moist like blanched chicken. So it's actually Fried Chicken that looks like Roasted Chicken and moist like Blanched Chicken. :P

This recipe is not complete. I'm still finding out and experimenting more on it. I'm sharing what I know so far.

  • For a start, the chicken is rubbed all over with salt, including the cavity.
  • Set the chicken aside.
  • Mix 6 tablespoon Light Soy Sauce, 5 tablespoon Maltose, 1 tablespoon Water and Juice of 1 Lime, together.
  • Bring the marinade mixture to a simmer.
  • Blanch the chicken with the marinade mixture by scooping the mixture with spoon and pour over the chicken.
  • Continue doing till the whole chicken coated with the marinade and is tinted light brown.
  • This chicken should be should be about 30% cooked on the outside.
  • Hang the chicken to air dry. I cheated by placing it in the refrigerator uncovered. :P
  • Prepare a pot of hot oil.
  • Place the whole chicken into the oil to cook it.
  • Remove when chicken is thoroughly cooked.
  • Hang to drip the chicken from excess oil.
  • Serve it with Chicken Rice, fresh cucumber or tomato and drizzle of a mixture of light soy sauce and sesame seed oil.
I didn't use that much oil which according to my mother-in-law, is a must to cook the chicken nicely. I took a much longer time, by 'bathing' the chicken like how I did when blanched it with the marinade mixture.

Accordingly to my mother-in-law, she only rub the cavity with salt. No herbs were used. However, most of the roasted chicken I have tasted were stuffed with some herbs. I'm still finding out what herbs were used. If anyone had any ideas, I would appreciate it if you could share it. :)

I'm looking forward to the day I could do the complete and proper local Singapore Roasted Chicken Rice. :D


  1. As I know, they used five spice powder and salt for the cavity.

  2. Elaine !!! Thanks for sharing this recipe !!! this looks absolutely absolutely delicious !!! I am so going to try this !!

  3. looks good and of professional standard hehe.

  4. Thanks everyone for your comments.

    Jessie, thanks for info. I'll will try it the next time I make this again.

  5. My husband and children are swedish and I tried this dish few weeks ago and my husband and children love it so much and today my 5 year old boy asking me if I could cook the same chicken rice. Here I am again in your blog trying to remember how to do it again. Thank you for the onderful recipe.

  6. wow! Thank you so much! I've been looking for this shao-ji recipe high and low! I so miss it!!!

  7. you're pretty close.. the air drying is a common technique in chinese cooking, it ensures the skin becomes crispy (its used especially for peking duck)

  8. Thank GOD for your sharing!! Am making it tonight for some guests and i cannot wait to see the end result. Thanks for giving me insight as to how ROASTED chicken rice is made.

  9. The recipe looks delicious. Have not tried it yet.

    Can I use chicken pieces instead of whole chicken?

  10. Ainy Törnquist, Glad to know your family enjoy this.

    Politicojock, Do try it.

    Anonymous, Bingo! I hit the nail! :)

    Anonymous, Hope you and your guest like it

    Anonymous, I would suggest you use at least half a chicken cos the skin will 'shrink' when you pour oil on it. Using chicken parts will be tricky.

  11. So do u use different chicken for the soup?

  12. Hannah, If you are referring to the soup that comes with the chicken rice, yes you can't use the same chicken since this is cooked in oil. You just need to get bones of 1 chicken to make it.

  13. How long are we suppose to fry the chicken?

  14. looks delicious, i want to try it out this weekend .. how much oil do you use for the whole chicken? and how long approximately til the inside of the chicken is cooked? or i just need to keep on poking it to check whether or not it's cooked :)

  15. hi...Can I know what is maltose? Can we find it in normal shopping centre?

  16. Anon, I hope you understand Chinese. It's 麦芽糖. It's sweet but not as sweet as sugar. Try looking at NTUC & Shop & Save.

  17. Anon, I have taken a pic of maltose and share it in my Facebook. Here's the link -

  18. hi, tried your recipe. turned out good. had a little trouble working the maltose because it was so hard and sticky. I didn't fry it though. cause i had a hot plate stove, frying (deep frying) doesnt't really do well since it can't get very hot. i grilled instead. but to keep the moisture, i used my friend's technique of brushing the marinade over every 3-5 minutes, preventing from drying up.

  19. I didn't know what is maltose.. But substitute it with 1 1/2 tablespoon of brown sugar.. Hahahaha did it today for breakfast.. Yummy.. :)))