Others may have their own personal preferences, but Rudy and I both agree that Kak’mbang’s chicken rice is really, really good. This was another recipe that simply must be preserved for generations to come, but again I’ve always had trouble catching her in action (she’s such a ninja in the kitchen; dishes just magically appear and you usually never get to see the entire cooking process).
Here it is, finally, in its entirety. The chicken broth pretty much forms the base of all the other components of this dish, so take your time with it and get it right. She used to finish cooking the chicken in the oven, but now the air fryer is a wonderful and much quicker alternative. I was also blown away to find out that she used lada keropok lekor in her chili salsa, so if you happened to have some extra tucked away in your fridge, don’t forget to use it. A must try!
Kak’mbang’s Chicken Rice
- 4 liters water
- Carcass of 1 chicken, or reserved chicken feet or necks
- 1 carrot, roughly chopped
- 2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
- 1 3-inch piece ginger, sliced
- 2 onions, cut into thick slices
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 6 whole chicken legs
- Pickled radishes, sliced (optional)
- 2 tablespoons chopped celery leaves
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 onion, sliced
- 1 2-inch piece ginger, crushed
- 2 pandan leaves, tied into a knot
- 5 rice cooker cups (3 3/4 cups) long grain basmathi rice
- 1/3 cup oyster sauce
- 4 tablespoons kicap manis
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 4 red chillies, roughly chopped
- 1 slice ginger
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 shallot
- Juice from 1 lime, about 2 tablespoons
- 2 tablespoons lada keropok lekor (optional)
- 1 cucumber, sliced
- 2 tomatoes, sliced
In a large stock pot over high heat, add 2 litres water, the chicken carcass or reserved chicken feet or necks, carrots, celery, ginger, onions, garlic, pickled radishes if using and salt, and bring to a boil. Add the chicken legs and return to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove the chicken legs from the broth, and set aside. Leave the broth simmering on the stove.
After removing the chicken legs from the broth, begin making the rice. In a rice cooker pot over medium high heat, heat the olive oil. Add the onions, ginger and pandan leaves and cook, stirring, until fragrant (the pandan leaves makes a world of a difference). Add the rice, and stir to combine. Add 10 rice cooker cups (about 7 1/2 cups) of broth, and give it another stir. Transfer the pot to the rice cooker to finish cooking the rice, stirring once after the liquid has evaporated, about 20 minutes.
While the rice cooks, marinade the chicken. In a large bowl, add the oyster sauce, kicap manis and sesame oil, and stir to combine. Add the chicken legs and toss until evenly coated. If you have the time, marinade the chicken for a few hours in the fridge. Shake off any excess marinade, and transfer the chicken to the air fryer basket in batches. Cook at 200 degrees C for 8 to 10 minutes, until skin is browned and crispy. Ladle about 1/3 cup of broth into the remaining marinade, and stir to form a nice dark sauce. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.
While the chicken cooks, make the chilli salsa. Add the chillies, ginger, garlic, shallot and 1/3 cup chicken broth into a blender, and blitz into a fine paste. Add the lime juice and lada keropok lekor if using, and stir until combined. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.
In the pot containing the chicken broth, add the remaining two litres of water. Adjust seasoning to taste. Sprinkle with the chopped celery leaves.
Cut the chicken into smaller pieces, and serve with the rice, broth, dark sauce, chilli salsa, sliced cucumbers and tomatoes.