Chicken Congee

Chicken congee is the Chinese answer to chicken soup. It is a comforting dish that is often served to the ill. It is a casual dish that is often eaten for breakfast or for a late meal. With a few condiments this dish can be made into something a little special but it is important that you begin with a good flavoured stock to really make it tasty.

Chicken congee also makes great baby food as the rice is cooked with stock to a mushy porridge like mixture.

Portions: 6 Portions

Preparation: 15 minutes (plus 2 hours for soaking the rice)

Cooking: 2 hours

Ingredients

Chicken Congee

  • 200g jasmine or short grain rice
  • 1.5 litres of chicken stock

Chicken

  • 2 chicken breasts, sliced into slithers .5-1cm thick and 3cm long
  • 1 tsp ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 spring onions whites only, finely chopped (reserve the green parts for the garnish)
  • 1/2 tsp maldon salt
  • 2 tsp castor sugar
  • 2 tbsp shaohsing wine

Garnish

  • 50g raw peanuts
  • 50g rice stick noodles
  • 12 wontons, sliced in half into triangles (optional)
  • oil for deep frying

To Serve

  • chilli oil (optional)

Method

  1. Chicken Congee: Soak the rice in water for 2-3 hours and rinse well. Place the chicken stock and rice in a saucepan and leave to cook gently for around 2 hours, stirring regularly until the rice breaks down to a mush and has a consistency similar to porridge.
  2. Chicken Marinade: Place the chicken slithers in a bowl with all the marinade ingredients 15-30 minutes before the congee is ready.
  3. Garnish: Deep fry the nuts in a deep fryer or wok until golden (this will take about 30 seconds). Drain the nuts on kitchen paper and place in a small bowl. Deep fry the rice stick noodles in the oil so that they puff up, turn them over briefly so that they are thoroughly cooked, drain the noodles on kitchen paper and place them on a serving plate or bowl. Deep fry 4-6 wonton halves until crisp, drain on kitchen paper and place them on a serving plate or bowl while you cook the remaining wontons.
  4. To Finish Congee: When the congee is ready add the chicken slithers with their marinade and cook for 2-3 minutes over a moderate high heat until cooked.
  5. To Serve: Serve the chicken congee in bowls with the garnishes in side dishes for diners to help themselves from, along with chilli oil (optional).
  • To prepare the congee as baby food simply cook stock of your choice and rice together for a simple congee. Of course you can add finely chopped chicken, fish or beef for older babies.