Cut the chicken thighs into bite-sized pieces and marinate with the marinade ingredients for 20 mins.
Soak the Chinese sausages in hot water for 5 mins, then remove the sausage casing and cut diagonally into thin slices.
Shred the preserved radish and soak it for 5 mins to remove excess salt, then squeeze dry.
Cut the salted fish into tiny pieces. Cut the spring onions into small pieces.
Wash and drain the rice.
Place the rice and water in a large claypot, and add the 3/4 tsp of salt. Give the rice a stir and bring to boil over medium high heat.
When the rice starts to boil (about 6 minutes), add in the chicken, shredded radish, salted fish and Chinese sausages on top of the rice. Do not stir. Instead, try to spread out the ingredient in just one layer.
Lower the heat to just below medium and cook the rice for about 25 mins, rotating the claypot every few minutes by tilting the claypot on 4 sides, so that the rice at the bottom will not get burnt.
Gently stir just the ingredients in the pot but not the rice, making sure they are thoroughly cooked.
Lower the heat and turn the pot straight up, then add in the Chye Sim and cook for another 5 mins. By now you will smell the smokey aroma coming out from the pot.
When the rice is cooked, bring the whole pot to the dining table. Open the lid, add in sesame oil, garlic oil and dark soya sauce and mix with the chicken.
Scoop out the vegetable and the chicken mixture on the plate.
Add a little more dark soya sauce to the rice and stir using a pair of chopstick. Garnish with spring onions and serve while it is hot.
Get a claypot with two handles rather than one if you are buying a new claypot. I made that mistake with my last pot - I have difficulty to lifting the pot with one hand because it is very heavy. So two handles would be more ideal!
Fill the claypot with water and soak for a few days before using if your claypot is new. Otherwise it will crack while cooking.
Use 1/2 cups of water less than the rice amount. This is because the chicken also releases juices as it cooks to compensate for reduction in water. If you use the same amount of water as the rice, the rice will become too soggy after it is cooked.
Stand by the stove during the whole process to rotate the claypot every 2-3 mins on all the four sides and on the bottom of the pot. This will enable the smoke in the pot to cook the chicken from all directions, and also prevent the rice at the bottom from getting burnt. The outcome you are aiming for is to get the bottom layer of rice to be crusty and crispy, but not burnt.
Wear a pair of kitchen gloves to handle the hot pot.
Fry the chicken and ingredients to about 30% doneness before adding them to the rice to speed up the cooking process. You will need to practice several times in order to control the fire well.
Tilt the claypot on its side. It enables the smoke inside the pot to cook the chicken thus giving it a smokey flavour.