This dish can be cooked in a conventional oven, but it works well in a camp oven.
I place the camp oven on a grate well above the fire, over a good bed of coals, and put a small shovel-full of coals on top.
There’s a bit of guesswork: the fire has to be hot enough to gently simmer the rice but not cook it too quickly, and the chicken has to be cooked when the rice is ready.
If using on a gas stovetop or camping stove use a tight lid to keep moisture in the pan so the rice cooks evenly – use foil or baking paper to cover the top of the pan before putting on the lid.
To prevent the top of the chicken from drying out, put baking paper over the top of the chicken and press lightly down; make sure it covers the inside of the pan. This dish is big enough to feed 4 to 6.
750g to 1kg chicken thigh fillets – no bones or skin (I work on 200g to 250g per person)
- 1/3 cup hoisin sauce
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 1 tblspn sesame oil
- 2 tspns grated ginger (or use jar or tube variety)
- 2 tspns garlic – crushed (or use jar or tube variety)
- 2 cups long grain rice (basmati is good)
- 1 x 400ml coconut milk
- 350ml chicken stock (salt-reduced is better)
- 1 cup peas (either frozen, or reconstituted dehydrated peas)
- Extra hoisin sauce
- 2 or 3 spring onions – finely chopped
- handful fresh coriander leaves – chopped (optional)
- Cut chicken into large pieces (for each thigh cut into three).
- Put all marinade ingredients in a large, plastic zip-lock bag and mix together.
- Add chicken pieces and zip the bag (expelling most of the air). Give the bag and ingredients a good ‘squish’ to make sure chicken and marinade are well mixed.
- Marinade for 24 hours or, at very least, 30 mins.
- When ready to cook, run the rice under cold water until it runs clear. Only do this if you have plenty of water to spare.
- Place rice into camp oven or large pan.
- Add coconut milk and stock and stir well.
- Add peas and stir to mix through. Spread rice evenly over base of pan.
- Remove chicken pieces from marinade and lay evenly over top of rice.
- Cover camp oven tightly with foil, then place lid on and cook (as described above) for 30 to 35 mins.
- Remove and set aside for 10 mins before serving to allow the rice to absorb all liquid.
- Serve with a drizzle of hoisin sauce over the chicken. Sprinkle chopped spring onions and coriander over top of chicken.
- OVEN: If baking at home in the oven, preheat the oven to 200°C and use a reasonable size baking/casserole dish with a lid. Basically, follow the instructions above.
- Rinsing long-grain white rice before cooking removes excess starch, helping it cook more evenly and be less sticky. However, some rice, such as Arborio, is prized for its starchiness in risotto and is never rinsed.
- Burned a pot of rice? No worries! Put a piece of white bread on top of the rice for 5 to 10 mins to draw out that horrible burnt flavour.