So Chicken Congee seems to be the new thing in the foodie world at the moment. After seeing mellie's post about making chicken congee and then reading the original recipe here, I figured if I could shell out $6 for a bowl, I may as well try and make my own.
Growing up, I was not the biggest fan of congee at all. Whenever I was sick in bed, the smell of steaming plain congee would come wafting up the stairs and I would inevitably be brought a large bowl. Eaten plain, it is nothing more than literally boiled rice porridge and doesn't have much flavour at all. My grandma's favourite garnish was flossed pork, which added to it a nice sweet meaty flavour. My mum, on the other hand, loved congee with a passion and whenever we went out for a traditional breakfast at our local wet market hawker stalls, she would inevitably work on a bowl of congee with sliced pork and century egg whilst my dad and I chowed down on plates of steamed rice rolls with soy sauce and sesame seeds. Thus when my mum heard of my newest cooking endevour, she started laughing down the phone, then proceeded to call my grandma, who commented that I was "finally becoming a real Chinese person" and perhaps given that I had started to cook Chinese food, maybe I could find a nice Chinese boy instead of the gwai lo that I am currently dating. Ha. (My grandma is, however, slightly mollified by the fact that A is studying medicine, which is apparently something that works very well in his favour. The Chinese are crazy (actually - just my grandma is).
My newfound love for congee was triggered by the cold winter that has thankfully been chased away by the warm shining sun, and was also spurred on by the wonderful sliced duck and lettuce congee I had a few weeks ago at Supper Inn. Yongtze's recipe was easy enough to follow, but I substituted with whatever I had, meaning I used chicken thigh fillets and minced ginger instead of chicken breast and the traditional sliced garlic. Also, I had unfortunately run out of soy sauce. However, I can tell you all that it still tasted delicious. Congee is one of those recipes, like pasta, where you can pretty much chuck anything into it and it will generally turn out OK. It's easy and warming and comforting and easy to store in the fridge to be heated up in the microwave when you get home after a long day. Plus, it can traditionally be eaten at any time of the day. I think I'll have some for brekky tomorrow morning!
(modified from Yongtze's recipe)
1 cup Jasmine rice
1 tbsp vegetable oil
10 cups water and/or chicken stock (I used a mixture of both)
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 chicken thigh fillet
1. Wash and drain the rice in a pot. Add 1 tsp salt and 1 tbsp vegetable oil, mix well and allow to sit for 10 minutes.
2. Add water/stock to the rice. Bring it to a boil. Turn down the heat to medium low, stirring occasionally. Simmer for 20 minutes.
3. Marinate the chicken with sesame oil and minced garlic.
4. Add the chicken to the congee. Cook for 5 - 10 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked. Take the chicken out and set aside to cool.
5. Season the congee with salt and cook for another 30 minutes or so.
6. Shred the cooked chicken and throw into the pot. Cook for another 5 - 10 minutes until the congee reaches your preferred consistency.