What is congee I hear many of you ask? Well, when I was in Asia one of the most common breakfast through China, Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia was congee. Known for its healing properties it is similar to how we think chicken soup will make us feel better when we are sick. This recipe calls for kale which adds more nutrition to the gruel like substance.
The first time I ever tried congee I went all out and ordered a fish one. I was surrounded by Jen and Helen who were veterans with the dish and I was unsure if I would like it and of all things how fishy was it going to be. Lucky for me my nerves stopped as soon as I put the first mouthful in. The subtle flavour of the sea fish and the rice porridge texture was new yet very tasty. When I came back from Cambodia a couple of months ago I had a stomach bug and one of things I can always eat when I have one is rice.
I asked my neighbour for a rough idea of how to make congee and bought some chicken and picked some kale from my garden to give it a try for myself. After waiting six hours listening to the occasional bubble in the pot I was hungry and ready to try my own creation. After I pulled off the chicken meat off the legs I added it back to the pot with the kale while I checked it for seasoning. It needed quite a bit of salt, though when you are not feeling your best your taste buds don’t always work as good as they should.
Needless to say with a bowl of congee in front of me for dinner rugged up on the couch watching Hell on Wheels, I was a happy lady. After a couple of days my stomach was back to its good old self, I got to eat congee for the rest of the week as breakfast and not dinner.
Have you ever eaten congee or made your own?
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 4 x chicken drumsticks
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 clove of garlic, finely diced
- 1 ½ cup of brown rice
- 7 cups of water
- 5 large kale leaves, finely sliced
- Salt and pepper
- In a large heavy based pot heat the olive oil over a medium heat. Place the chicken drumsticks in and cook till lightly golden on the outside. Add the onion, garlic and rice and stir for a minute.
- Pour the water over the rice and stir ensuring that there is nothing stuck to the bottom of the pan. Allow the mixture to come to a gentle boil and then place a lid over the saucepan and reduce the heat to a low simmer and cook for five hours.
- Take the chicken drumsticks out of the mixture and allow to cool for 15 minutes or when easy to handle. Remove the meat and skin adding it back into the congee. Add the kale leaves and stir through for five minutes. Season with a teaspoon of salt and a little pepper to taste. Serve immediately.