Congee is a hearty porridge made with rice and broth - a much overlooked soup, and a comfort food of a lot of Asian people. This recipe is flavorful, light, and goes down real easy when you are feeling a little out of the weather.
INGREDIENTS (for 4 servings):
- 1/8 cup uncooked jasmine rice
- 1 (2.5 pound) whole chicken
- 3 (2 inch) pieces fresh ginger root
- 1 stalk lemon grass, chopped
- 1 tablespoon salt, or to taste
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1/8 cup chopped fresh chives
- ground black pepper to taste
- 1 lime, cut into 8 wedges
Place chicken in a stock pot. Pour in enough water to cover chicken. Add ginger, lemon grass, and salt; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and gently simmer for 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours.
Strain broth, and return broth to stock pot. Let chicken cool, then remove bones and skin, and tear into bite-size pieces; set aside.
Stir rice into broth, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. If necessary, adjust with water or additional salt. The congee is done, but can be left to cook an additional 45 minutes for better consistency.
Ladle congee into bowls, and top with chicken, cilantro, chives, and pepper. Squeeze lime juice to taste.
The best cooking method for the broth is to have enough heat to cook the chicken, without having any sort of bubbling what so ever. This takes about 1 hour to 1 1/2 hour for a small stewing chicken but it produces a clear broth with a much better flavor, without having lots of chicken bits and foam. If you are in somewhat of a hurry, just boil the chicken, reduce to medium heat and cover the pot.