This is one of our National dishes. Something one has to learn how to make if one does not want to be deprived of the dish when living far far away. And like almost everything, once you get into the subject, you realise that it is not that difficult to deal with after all.
To start with, we'll need a fresh whole chicken (approx. 1.6kg, preferably free range) or 4 chicken thighs (upper and lower). Wash the chicken and rub salt all over it. If using a whole chicken, stuff it with :
The stock that is produced is now to be used for soup and for cooking the special rice that is to be served with the chicken. Wash and drain 2 cups of Thai Jasmine rice. Heat up 6-8 Tbsps of oil or chicken fat in a deep pan and brown a paste made of 4-6 slices of ginger and 5-6 cloves of garlic. Fry the rice in the fragrant oil for 2 minutes, then add in 400ml of the chicken stock, 1 Tbsp of light soy sauce and 1 Tsp of salt. Stir to mix well, put in 3-4 screw pine (pandan) leaves knotted together and then cover the pan. Add a stalk of bashed lemongrass if you wish. Cook over high heat for 5 minutes, then cook over the lowest heat for another 15 minutes. The rice should cook in its own steam and absorb all of the stock. It is fragrant and oily. Rake with a fork and serve hot.
Back to the chicken. Out of the cold water, remove the stuffing and cut the chicken up into pieces (thighs, wings, breasts...). Immediately brush them with some oil (a mix of 1 Tsp vegetable oil with 1 Tbsp of light Soya sauce and 1 Tbsp of sesame oil). Garnish with fresh coriander leaves, cucumber slices and serve with dipping sauces like dark soya sauce, chilli sauce (made of fresh red chillies, salt, water and lime juice blended together) and ginger sauce (chicken stock, chicken fat, salt, sugar, fresh ginger blended together). And of course the oily rice.
The stock can be served as soup with some carrots and cabbage, or in my case, I've ''improved'' it by cooking it (when the chicken has been removed and part of the stock used to make the rice) with 2 star anises, 1 cinnamon stick and 1-2 Tbsp of dark soya sauce, garnishing with fresh coriander leaves.