Healing and Warm Chicken Congee Recipe
This healing, soothing, warm and tasty dish was introduced to me by my friend Sarah from Toronto. It was a wet, rainy, slushy and damp day in Montreal. While on the phone with Sarah, l was watching a heavy rain and a blanket snow falling down and covering the city. Sarah shared her chicken congee recipe with me which immediately caught my attention. That was our supper on that cold, damp and snowy day. It was a big hit!
Healing claims of chicken congee include:
Heals colds and the flu,
Heals a sensitive stomach and stomach upset
Boosts your energy
Helps to recover from exhaustion
Promotes quick healing and recovery
Warms you up from inside
Is very filling
Is a perfect soup for cold & damp weather
Is as some people describe, like a warm hug for your stomach
Is rather simple to make.
- 1 organic free-range chicken, or any chicken parts of your choice (legs, breast, you can use bones with a fair amount of meat on them) 800 gr - 1.5 kg
- 1 cup rice of your choice: long-grain, basmati, brown rice, sweet brown rice, etc, or a combination of these
- 2 - 5 in. piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and cut into large pieces, large enough so you can discard easily. Alternatively, you can grade the ginger for a more pronounced flavour.
- Soy sauce
- Toasted sesame seed oil (optional)
- Pink Himalayan salt or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp finely chopped shallots, to garnish
- 2 tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves, to garnish
- Place the chicken, in a large pot or heavy-based saucepan with a lid. About 4 litters pot is fine.
- Cover the ingredients with water and bring to the boil.
- Reduce the heat to medium, remove scum, add salt and pepper and gently simmer for about 1 hour and a half or until the chicken meat is falling off the bones.
- Remove the chicken, add rice and ginger into the pot. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to low and let it simmer for 1 and 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. If the rice starts to stick, you can add more water. It should be the consistency of a thick soup.
- When the chicken has cooled, remove the meat discarding skin and bones. Shred the chicken meat or tear it with your fingers into small shreds.
- You can return the chicken meat to the congee pot right away, or you can do it just before serving. Others prefer to add it directly to the serving bowl. My personal preference is to add the chicken shreds back to the soup for the last 20 minutes of cooking.
- For the last 30 minutes of cooking, stir the chicken congee more often to prevent it sticking to the bottom.
- After ladling the chicken congee into large serving bowls, add in the chopped shallots, coriander leaves. Add a tiny drop of toasted sesame oil and 1 to 2 teaspoons of soy sauce or more if you like.
- You can also garnish chicken congee with thinly sliced hot peppers & bean sprouts, shitake mushrooms thinly sliced and sauteed in soy sauce.
- If you have chicken stock ready, add rice, ginger and the raw or cooked chicken meat and cook for 1.5 hours. I made chicken congee from previously cooked chicken stock and it turned out just as good.