The link to the original recipe was given to me by a friend who we call Chibura Hakkai. This is a pseudonym and she has a proper name of course, but I'd have to ask her for permission before publishing it.
There has been some discussion as to whether this is actually Hainanese Chicken or a derivative of it. However, a little research tells me that the Vietnamese do make Hainan Chicken (Com Ga Hai Nam), so let's assume that Hoi An Chicken is just a different recipe.
Hoi An Chicken
Serves 4 (?)
1 Whole Chicken*
2 Cups Round Grain White Rice (I used Spanish round grain rice which is geared for making paella, which means it absorbs flavors and aroma well)
1 Red Onion
1 Clove Garlic (Minced)
0.2 g Saffron (in powder format)
*Don't buy a chicken so big that you don't have a pot big enough for it to fit in. So go for small, rather than big. You will also be sorry if there is too much chicken because how are you going to ever finish eating it?
Step 1: Buy a whole chicken and cover it with water and simmer it for 1.5 hours.
Step 2: While this is simmering, wash the rice for around 30 seconds, and set it aside. I'm assuming you know how to wash rice, but you need to get rid of the first batch of water quickly so that the rice doesn't absorb any unpleasant smells or flavors. Just keep using more water, drain and repeat. The water should be pretty clear when you're finished. It doesn't have to be crystal clear. Set aside.
Step 3: Make the sauces, if you can call them that. There are 2 sauces:
Sauce 1. Thinly slice a red onion and marinate this with 1 tsp brown sugar, 1 tsp fish sauce and 1 tsp lime juice.
Sauce 2. 1 tbsp brown sugar, 1 tbsp fish sauce and 1 tbsp lime juice, 1 green or red chili chopped up unseeded.
The sauces should be made and chilled in the refrigerator.
Step 4: When the chicken is cooked, remove it from the water and set aside. Let it drain a bit over the broth as you don't want to waste any of it.
Step 5: Measure as much broth as the rice. In this case you need 2 cups of broth. Add this to the rice in either your rice cooker or pot. Add 1 tsp sea salt.
Step 6: If you're cooking it in a pot, put the lid on and set your stove top to high heat and wait for steam. At the first signs of steam, lower the heat mark from 7 (maximum) to 3 (low heat). Set your timer to 17 minutes. Never remove the lid to see how the rice is doing as it will ruin it.
Step 7: When the timer rings, your rice will be ready. Remove the lid and place a towel or cloth in between the lid and pot to regulate moisture levels, among other things.
Step 8: Shred the chicken with your hands or in whatever way you want to. If you are one of those people excessively afraid of bacteria or just disgusted by people who touch food with their hands, then well....do it in another way. It's a free world.
Step 9: Serve this on a dinner plate with rice on one side and the shredded chicken on the other. The shredded chicken should be mixed with Sauce 1 and fresh mint leaves. Then lace the chicken with the other sauce as well.