Lazy/Easy Whole Tender Chicken (Using Rice Cooker) (懒人嫩鸡)
September 24, 2022  Print
This lazy/easy whole chicken recipe is one of my easiest and also tastiest chicken recipes. It is versatile and complements both eastern and western tables. You can present it as a standalone dish, use it for pasta or noodle toppings, or mix it in a salad. The ingredients are few in number. You only need a whole chicken, a few green onions, some ginger, and a bit of salt. The resulting chicken is extremely juicy and filled with the chicken’s naturally fragrant flavors.
I meant to post this recipe a long time ago but for some reason I didn’t get around to it until now. You might wonder why the background is different from my usual setting. That’s because the pictures were actually shot in my previous kitchen!
In this post, I used a rice cooker to make the whole chicken, which I find it to be the “laziest” way to make this chicken. But you can prepare it in different cooking pots (such as an Instant Pot 2 or a Dutch oven 3 ) depending on what pots you have available in your kitchen (see notes for details). It really does not matter what tool you use to cook this recipe, the result should be equally fantastic.
I usually cut the chicken in half after it has cooled and serve half the chicken the same day. I store the other half in my refrigerator along with half the liquid for the next few days. Do not throw away the liquid. It is pure gold and filled with wonderful flavors.
I’m including two of the most common ways to make use of the resulting chicken. In the future, I will post more recipes using this Lazy Whole Tender Chicken as the foundation. No matter how you use the chicken, it should retain that juicy and tender meat that you crave.
There are many other ways to use the chicken. Off the top of my head, I can think of using it as a topping for salad and as a filling for spring rolls, tacos, and burritos. Feel free to experiment with this Lazy Whole Tender Chicken and let me know what works for you.
Tools: Rice Cooker
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: ~1 hour and 20 minutes (including cooling time)
- 1 small free range or organic young chicken (about 3-4 pounds or 1.4-1.8 kg) 1
- 2 to 3 green onions
- 1 2-inch piece of ginger
- Some kosher salt
- Cut off the Chicken’s wing tips and tail if any. Sprinkle kosher salt all over the outside and inside of the chicken.
- Cut the green onions and ginger into long thin pieces.
- Lay the ginger and scallion pieces at the bottom of the rice cooker, then lay the whole chicken on top. No oil or water is added. Close the rice cooker lid and press the “Regular/Sushi” (or the equivalent) button.
- Once the rice cooker is done cooking the chicken, open the lid (it takes approximately an hour or so). Take the chicken out to a plate and let it cool at room temperature. Pour the chicken juice into a small container. Once the chicken has cooled, use right away or store in a refrigerator for up to 1 week.
- Option 1: Cut the cooled whole tender chicken into chunks and lay them on a flat plate. Thinly slice some green onions and add to the chicken juice. Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a pan. When the oil is hot but not smoking, pour the oil onto the green onion topped juice and mix well. Add some salt to taste and mix well. Pour the juice over the chicken chunks and enjoy!
- Option 2: Shred the chicken into long strips with hand. Mix with some chicken juice and salt. Add it to porridge/congee.4 (The bones can be made separately into chicken soup)
- You can get these type of chicken from your local grocery or big box stores. I’ve gotten them from Costco, Trader Joe’s, and Aldi. In my experience, the chicken needs to be young and relatively small (ideally no more than 4 lb or 1.8 kg) to result in tender juicy meat. It also depends on the size of your rice cooker. My rice cooker can accommodate up to 5.5 cups of rice, which is barely large enough for a 4 lb chicken.
- With an Instant Pot, add 1 cup of water to the Instant Pot along with the green onions and ginger before laying the whole chicken on top. Press the “Poultry” button and use the default 15 minutes timer setting if the chicken is less than 4 pounds (~1.8 kg) or 20 minutes if the chicken is between 4 (~1.8 kg) and 5 pounds (~2.3 kg). Once it’s done cooking, you can either manually switch the valve to the “Venting” position to let out the steam or let the steam release naturally. Then follow the same step as in step 4 above.
- With a Dutch oven, add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil to the Dutch oven along with the green onions and ginger before laying the whole chicken on top. Cover the Dutch oven lid and set the heat to medium-high. When there is vapor escaping from the lid (or when the sound inside the Dutch oven becomes quite loud), lower the heat to medium. Continue cooking for 20-25 minutes. Do not uncover the lid during this time. Turn off the heat and open the lid. Then follow the same step as in step 4 above.
- For instruction to make rice porridge/congee, follow the steps 1 to 5 in my Shrimp Congee Using Instant Pot recipe.