It’s flu season here.
Mornings are chilly and getting out of your snug, warm bed takes some extra effort. Pulling on some pants/dress/skirt, stepping into the heels and walking into an office that has probably been air conditioned by an arctic penguin is not fun either. When the nose gets runny and you can’t stop sneezing from morning, you know something is not right.
It’s times like this when a warm bowl of something is more precious than money or gold.
Being married now for almost one year and (supposedly) all grown up, mamma is not around to make chicken soup anymore (sulk). Whenever I’m sick I start craving my mom’s cooking and get very upset and grouchy, having lost your appetite and along with it, your desire to live. But you’ve got to get through it somehow, you are not about to back down because of a stupid flu. So when the flu gets you by the tonsils and it seems like you’ve lost your appetite for good, this wonderful rice congee is the best treatment there is that you can whip up yourself without getting into too much hassle.
- Yield: 6 bowls
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 3h 00 min
Chicken and rice congee
- Chicken - 1 kg, with bones
- Water - 10 cups
- Ginger - 2 inch piece, sliced
- Scallions - 4, halved
- White rice - 1 cup (I used Suwandel)
- Salt - To taste
- Pepper - To taste
- Spring onion - Thinly sliced, for serving
- Place the chicken, the Ginger, salt and water in a large pot and bring to boil. Skim the froth. Simmer uncovered until the chicken is cooked through.
- Once the chicken is cooked, remove from pot. Continue simmering the stock for about 1 hour.
- Meanwhile shred the chicken and remove skin and bones. Keep aside. Return the skin andbones to the stock.
- Sieve the stock through and remove the solids. Return the stock to a cleaned pot and add rice. Bring to a boil and simmer on reduced heat until the rice reaches the consistency of porridge. This should take around 1 ½ hours.
- The congee will thicken as it stands. Thin with water if necessary. If the congee is too thin, cook longer until it reaches your desired consistency.
- Add in the chicken. Stir to combine.
- Serve warm topped with more shredded chicken, thinly sliced scallions and julienne ginger.
All cuddled up in a blanket holding a bowl of this in your hands on a cold, cold night, sipping one flavorful sip after another. Bliss :)
It is a mouthful of flavor. The rice itself is mushy and soft with a porridge-like consistency. It’s pleasantly mild, just what the doctor recommended for your tired taste buds to process and savor. Delicately perfumed with the chicken broth, the ginger piques its way to the top, teasing the senses from time to time. The pepper pierces the sedate facade of the dish, causing an uprising within that brings to surface the umami of the chicken, the salty of the broth and the general fragrance of the scented Suwadel rice. the soft rice, the flaky chicken and the crunchy spring onions create textural delight while the simplicity of this dish creates a clean and dainty elegance that is impossible to resist.