Try a simple traditional porridge made with rice and chicken stock.
This traditional Chinese dish is commonly served for breakfast. But I like it as a warm, comforting dinner on a chilly night. The plain congee has a mild flavor – a terrific cure when you are under the weather. Consider it a base to build on. Add bits of meat or veg or a few shrimp, or keep it light with a poached egg or just a squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro.
- 1 chicken carcass
- 1 ¼ cups uncooked brown rice
- In a large stockpot, bring the carcass and 3 quarts of water to a gentle simmer. Continue to simmer for at least 2 and up to 6 hours.
- Strain through a fine-mesh sieve. Remove any meat from the carcass and set aside. Discard the bones. Skim the fat off the stock and reserve for another use.
- Wipe out the pot and return the stock to it. You should have about 2 quarts.
- Add the brown rice, cover, and simmer until the rice bursts and thickens, or “flowers” as it’s called, and the congee has the consistency of porridge, about 2 hours.
- Return the chicken to the congee, if you like, and add any seasonings or additional ingredients that you have on hand.
- Serve immediately or store, cooled, covered, and refrigerated, for 2 to 3 days. Congee will absorb liquid as it cools.
- Reheat over low heat, adding liquid to thin the congee to its original consistency.