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What Is Claypot Chicken Rice?

By Lee Johnson
Updated May 16, 2024
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Claypot chicken rice is an Asian dish in which rice and chicken are cooked together in a clay pot. The dish is especially popular in Malaysia, Hong Kong, and Singapore. The chicken is usually marinated in sesame oil and rice wine before being added to the rice, which is fried with garlic, ginger, shitake mushrooms, and other ingredients. The entire mixture is then cooked in a pot, traditionally made of clay, over a charcoal stove until its ready to serve.

Rice is a staple food in many Asian countries and is eaten with many different meals. It is a grain without a strong flavor, grown in paddy fields, and it is generally boiled or steamed to cook. Fried rice is often made with egg and a mixture of vegetables. In claypot chicken rice, the rice is fried alongside other ingredients, such as ginger, Chinese sausage, and chicken, so that it can absorb the flavors.

Many different parts of a chicken can be used for meat, but the most commonly eaten are the breasts, thighs and legs, and wings. The breasts are boneless cuts of meat, taken from the underside of the chicken, and the legs and wings are the chicken's limbs, which include a few bigger bones. For claypot chicken rice, usually either breast meat or thigh meat is recommended, but any cut of chicken meat would be suitable.

Before the meat is added to claypot chicken rice, it is marinated. Marinating is a vital process for this dish as it infuses more flavors in the chicken, which can be bland on its own. In claypot chicken rice, the chicken is soaked in rice wine — a Chinese alcohol brewed from rice — and sesame oil, which is a type of cooking oil infused with sesame seeds. Corn starch is used to thicken the mixture and better coat the chicken.

Traditionally, claypot chicken rice is cooked in a large pot made from clay, as the name suggests. This is usually done over a simple charcoal stove, and the dish can be served directly from the pot. The food at the bottom of the pot has a tendency to burn, so cooks generally check on the dish and stir it occasionally. Cooking in a clay pot over a charcoal stove isn't necessary for the dish, which can also be cooked over a hob or in the oven.

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