Nai Cai Xie Hainan Free-Range Chicken

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This simplified recipe by chef Nai Cai Xie, at the Parisian restaurant Tse Yang, allows you to discover a dish from south-eastern China: a chicken with soft and tasty skin, usually served with white rice. On site, the chickens used are fed peanut bran and coconut. “In Hainan, Wenchang chicken is usually boiled just in salted water, specifies the chief. It is then served with some sort of sauce, which can vary from family or restaurant to restaurant, using crushed yellow peppers fermented with salt or ginger and garlic. “

For 4 to 6 people

Preparation 40 minutes


For the main course:

  • 1 large, whole free-range yellow chicken (about 1.7 kg), at room temperature
  • 20g fresh unpeeled ginger
  • 1 garlic
  • 1 onion
  • 1 spring onion
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 2 teaspoons of sugar
  • 1 homemade chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
  • coriander, for presentation
  • sliced ​​cucumber, for serving

For the ginger and garlic compote:

  • 2 tablespoons of grated fresh ginger
  • ½ teaspoon of salt flakes
  • 1 garlic, thinly sliced,
  • 1/4 cup of peanut oil

The compote: for the ginger and garlic sauce, crush the ginger, garlic and salt into a rough paste with a mortar. Heat the peanut oil in a small pan until it smokes, then pour the hot oil over the ginger mixture. Stir, then set aside until ready to serve.

The chicken : to start poaching the chicken, crush the unpeeled ginger in a mortar with a pestle and add it to a large saucepan containing about 4 liters of chicken broth, along with the onion and sesame oil.

Add salt and sugar and bring to a boil over high heat. Taste the water and adjust the amount of salt according to your preferences. Reduce the heat to very low and add the chicken to the pot. There should be enough water in the pot so that the chicken does not touch the bottom and its skin is not damaged.

Using a hook or ladle, gently lift the chicken from the pot, being careful not to break the skin, and place it in a large bowl or sink of salted ice water. Reserve the broth and let the chicken sit in the ice water for at least ten minutes, turning once. This will stop the cooking and give the skin its delicious gelatinous texture. Remove from the ice water and hang over a bowl or sink to drain thoroughly. Rub the skin all over with sesame oil. The chicken should be cooked very lightly, pink on the inside of the bones and with a gelatinous skin.

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