If you’d ask me to pick one dish you can eat for the rest of your life what would it be?
Without a doubt, it is Asian style roast chicken rice!
Just by mentioning it makes me salivate. What’s wrong with me ha?
Before moving to Melbourne, it’s rare to find roast chicken rice on restaurant menus in regional towns. So, whenever the craving hits, I will make this hoisin sauce and five-spice grilled chicken to appease my cravings. This is by no means an authentic version of the dish. Obviously.
I came up with this recipe drawing from my favourite elements of the real roast chicken rice: the savouriness from the soy, the sweetness, the very subtle nuttiness from sesame oil and the fragrance of coriander and cucumber. Oh, last but not least, a generous helping of gravy to go with the rice. So please do not skip on making the gravy. I remember my special request for the roast chicken rice order was extra gravy sauce. Oh sooo good! I can’t wait to make this again!
4 servings of cooked rice (equivalent of 1 1/2 cups of raw rice)
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C / 356 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking tray with aluminium foil followed by baking paper for ease of cleaning and we will be using the drippings for the gravy later on.
To prepare the marinade, we add salt, five spice powder, white pepper, sesame oil, light soy sauce, hoisin sauce, grated garlic and cooking oil in a bowl. Stir¬¬ until well combined. Note – it may seem like a lot of salt but don’t worry as the chicken loses the marinade as it grills so they won’t be too salty.
Add marinade to chicken thighs and mix until well combined. Marinade the chicken for an hour or overnight if the time permits. I actually grill them in the oven without marinating and they taste fine.
Bake the chicken thighs in the preheated oven for 25 minutes or until they became fully cooked and you can see nice subtle charring on the chicken. While waiting for the chicken to be cooked, slice the cucumber and coriander.
After the chicken thighs are cooked, transfer the cooked chicken onto a plate and keep warm by covering an aluminium foil over them.
To prepare the gravy, add a Tablespoon of hoisin sauce, ½ cup water, 1 tsp of ground white pepper, a drop of sesame oil and the drippings into a microwave proof jug. Mix well and heat up the gravy in the microwave for a minute or until well heated through. Note - time may vary according to the brand of microwave.
To serve, first slice the chicken thighs (I use a pair of scissors to do the slicing). To assemble the dish, add rice, followed by sliced chicken thighs, cucumber, coriander and ladle a small amount of gravy over the rice. Serve immediately with Sriracha sauce on and enjoy.