As a former British colony, Hong Kong cafes or Cha Chaan Tengs have adapted many western ingredients such as cheese, milk, spaghetti, and tomato sauce. That's really how many iconic Hong Kong dishes were born. (Remember that Spaghetti Bolognese I made a while back?) Well today, I'm sending your way another popular dish (made with own my twist) that's fairly common in the Hong Kongese diet. I've been wanting to make a Hong Kong style "baked rice" with cream sauce for a long time but couldn't get pass the idea that I'd have to use cream soup that comes in a can. Until, earlier this week, I discovered how to make it from scratch and decided that it is time to tackle what I though was complicated but turned out to be untrue!
I grew up eating what people of Hong Kong often refer to it as "baked rice" (焗飯) which is kind of like a casserole or a gratin. See, the rice doesn't actually get cooked in the oven like you think it would judging by the name. Lost in translation perhaps?? What it really consists of are simple: meat or seafood on a bed of rice or spaghetti, topped with either tomato sauce or cream sauce, and a layer of cheese on top. You pop it in the oven until the cheese has melted to golden brown. Not feeling plain white rice? Many places would let you substitute it with a simple egg fried rice. And that's what a Hong Kong style "baked rice" is all about!
On one hand, the baked pork chop with rice (焗豬扒飯) is probably the most well-known in the baked rice arena which my friend over at The Missing Lokness had posted a recipe if you're ever interested in making an iconic Hong Kong dish. While the baked pork chop with rice is made with tomatoes and tomato sauce, I'll be sharing with you another kind of baked rice dish today that is made with a cream sauce!
Say hello to this Chicken and Broccoli Baked Rice. Perfect to make for dinner for two! Remember earlier I said the cream sauce is actually really easy to make? Well, get some chicken stock, heavy cream, a dab of butter mixed with flour, and a little white wine in a sauce pan! And don't forget a dash of salt and pep!
Baked rice with cream sauce in Hong Kong is often served with a seafood medley but considering that seafood is not always available to everyone, I thought using chicken and broccoli would be the perfect substitute! And the best part about this dish? It can be versatile so you can ditch the rice and go with pasta if you like!
So go cream that sauce and melt some cheese for dinner!
Chicken and Broccoli Baked Rice Hong Kong Style
Prep time: 25 mins Cook time: 10 mins Total time: 35 mins
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 2 cups broccoli florets
- ½ lb chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces
- ½ tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 2 cups of cooked white rice
- 6 tbsp shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 tbsp dried basil
- ½ cup chicken stock
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ¼ white wine
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter, soften
- 1½ tbsp flour
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 450°F.
- In a sauce pan, add chicken stock, heavy cream, and white wine. Cook on medium heat until it starts to boil then turn the heat on low.
- Heat another sauce pan with 3 cups of water (for blanching the broccoli in the next steps).
- Mix butter and flour together to form a paste. Stir it into the sauce until the big lumps have melted. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Leave sauce cooking on low for 10 minutes while it reduces and thickens.
- Blanch the broccoli for a few minutes, then drain.
- In a heated skillet, add olive oil and minced garlic. Cook until fragrant, about 10 seconds. Add chicken and cook for 4 minutes, then toss in broccoli and cook for another 6 minutes.
- To assemble each of the two dishes, brush the melted butter on the bottom of the gratin dish, add 1 cup of rice, half of the chicken and broccoli, 4 tbsp of cream sauce, and 3 tbsp of shredded mozzarella cheese.
- Put both gratin dishes on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, until cheese has melted and turn golden brown.
- Garnish with a sprinkle of dried basil on top.