Go Back
+ servings

Weeknight Hainanese Chicken Rice

Weeknight Hainanese Chicken Rice is an easy adaptation of the original that is perfect for any night of the week. This recipe is so healthy and so incredibly delicious that it may become a weekly occurrence in your home! It is in mine!!!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Asian
Keyword Asian Chicken recipe, easy weeknight meal, Hainan Chicken, Poached Chicken recipe, Weeknight Hainanese Chicken Rice
Servings 4 people


For the Poached Chicken

  • 2.5-3 pounds bone on, skin-on chicken breasts
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, skins removed and crushed
  • 5 inch piece of fresh ginger, sliced
  • 4 star anise, left whole
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil

For the Rice

  • 2 cups reserved chicken stock from cooking
  • 1 cup basmati or jasmine rice
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onions

For the Soy Dipping Sauce

  • 1/2 cup low sodium Tamari or soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1-2 tablespoons sriracha sauce add to your taste
  • 2 tablespoons reserved stock
  • 3 teaspoons brown sugar (or substitute honey)
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions
  • pinch salt to taste

For serving

  • 1 sliced cucumber
  • 1 bunch chopped cilantro
  • extra stock for making a soup if you wish


For the Chicken

  • In a large soup pot, add the stock, garlic, ginger, star anise, and bay leaves and bring to a boil. As the water heats up, salt the chicken breasts with about a teaspoon of salt. Once the stock boils, add the chicken and reduce the heat to simmer and cover the pan. Cook for 35-45 minutes or until the internal temperature on the chicken reaches 165 degrees. You will need a cooking thermometer to check this or if you don't have one cut through one of the breasts and make sure there is no visible pink.
  • Once the chicken is cooked through, remove from the stock and place the breasts in an ice bath to stop the cooking process. Reserve the stock. After the chicken has cooled, remove from the water and pat dry. Drizzle a couple of tablespoons of sesame oil over the chicken. Set aside.

To make the rice

  • Strain the solids from the stock and set aside.
  • In a medium-sized pot, add the strained stock and the rice. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Cover and cook for 20 minutes or so or until the liquid has evaporated and the rice is light and fluffy. Stir in the green onions. Set aside.

To make the Soy Dipping Sauce

  • In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, sugar, sriracha, reserved stock, hoisin, and green onions. Season with salt if needed. Set aside.

To serve Hainanese Chicken

  • Remove the bones from the chicken breasts and cut into even size pieces or shred off the bone. Serve with rice, sauce, cucumbers, cilantro, and stock if you desire.


If you have extra stock that you don't use for soup. Freeze it for the next batch. Just measure out the chicken stock to equal 8 cups on the next round! 
This dish is typically served at room temperature. I like to warm it up a bit and then add the cucumber and cilantro.