Singapore's pride and joy: chicken rice. Originating in Hainan, China as wenchang chicken – a bony free-range chicken boiled in pork bone and chicken bone stock, served with oily rice and garlic, ginger and salt dips – it came under the influence of Cantonese cooking techniques in Singapore approximately 60 years ago, and evolved into the beloved dish we know today.
It's a wonder that such a simple dish made up of only three main components – chicken, rice and chilli – can bring so much satisfaction. But such simplicity means higher stakes, as every part has to be done just right. The rice has to be fragrant with ginger and spices and not too dry nor mushy; the poached chicken must be tender and juicy, with a smooth skin; finally, the chilli-ginger sauce should be appropriately punchy.
There's a chicken rice stall at every hawker centre and on every street corner. It's safe to say that many do a decent rendition of the humble dish, and tastes will always differ when it comes to appointing the best in Singapore. Nevertheless, we've rounded up a few top-rated stalls as well as some venues that are doing chicken rice a little differently.
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