Sunday, November 09, 2008

Congee Success

I admit it. I am obsessed with congee. Whenever I am at Hon's, I order it for lunch ~ there is something so comforting about the warm rice "porridge" loaded with fresh ginger and green onion. At the Hon's in Chinatown, they add tangerine peel as well. And I always get it with chicken added ~ I should really try branching out...
Anyway, I always suspected I was capable of making my own version of congee, but never sure where to start. I have been battling a cold and Nov 4th found me at home with a box of kleenex, the US election coverage and a vat of chicken congee ~ homemade.

I started the day before by removing the breast and thighs from my chicken and throwing the rest in a pot with dried mushroom, onion, garlic and ginger and water. I made a stock which I then used as the base for my congee; 8 cups of liquid to 1 cup of shortgrain rice. I also threw in julienned fresh ginger, dried chinese mushrooms and some dried orange rind.
After simmering for about an hour (it may have been more) my desired texture was reached. I added strips of raw chicken and simmered till they were cooked through.
The first bowl was pretty good that night but the best was saving for the next day and reheating it. The flavours had mellowed and developed and I ate nothing but congee that day. Well until the results poured in and I broke down and had a celebratory glass of wine.


kickpleat said...

i love congee too! i've always wanted to make my own but never knew where to start. this looks great!

Traveling Em said...

I can't believe you have the capacity to cook when you're home sick! I've been home the last two days and the most I've managed has been oatmeal! The congee looks perfect. Maybe I'll have the ability to make that for dinner. Oh, except I don't have any short grain rice and I'm not going out to the store, in the snow, for it!

Lory said...

I swear you must have Filipino or
Chinese blood in you!

Congee is a very popular comfort food for us Filipinos, esp. during the cold weather. I can have it every day for breakfast or snack. I also recently posted about it, with some tweaking using barley. But we usually start with sauteeing the ginger, garlic and meat then stir in rice before we put in water or chicken stock. Other variations in place of chicken meat is stripes of beef tripe. Or we use, in place of meat, slices of hard boiled egg, or century egg (a Chinese delicacy) or pork craklings, then topped with spring onions and/or toasted garlic bits (which you might find too strong). I like your mushroom idea, though. I just might try it!