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Maria’s Recipes: Chicken Congee

Serves 4
*Chicken Maryland x 1 (thigh and drumstick together on the bone- or two drumsticks)
*Chicken thigh fillets x 2
*Jasmine Rice x 1 cup (washed/rinsed and drained)
*Fresh ginger x 2 chunks, peeled and bruised (the size of half your thumb approximately)
* Chicken stock x 2 litres (I used Campbell’s, use one litre regular and one litre ‘salt-reduced’)
*Spring onions x 3 (green part only, snipped with scissors into thin slices) + extra for garnish
*Sesame oil x only 2 to 3 drops per bowl when congee is served
*Dried shallots (for sprinkling on top when congee is served), approximately a teaspoon per bowl
*Water, at least 1.5 litres to add to congee as it’s cooking
*Salt & ground white pepper to taste
*Soy Sauce (only if needed at the end)
-Put stock into a pot with chunks of bruised ginger and bring to boil on medium-high heat
-While stock is heating, rub chicken well with some salt and white pepper (like an exfoliator), then rinse under a running tap and plonk into pot of stock
-Add Jasmine rice and stir.. Lay two chopsticks over the pot (like a bridge) so you can sit your lid on top without sealing the pot
-Bubble the rice and ginger on a medium heat for half an hour (stirring intermittently, making sure no rice or chicken stick to the bottom) and then add two cups of water and stir again
-After the congee has been bubbling another 15 minutes, add two more cups of water
-The rice should be thickening the porridge as it continues to bubble/boil on a medium to low heat, taste for seasoning, it may need a pinch of salt
-After another 15 to 20 minutes, add two more cups of water (especially if you think the congee is salty), but if you like a thicker consistency then you don’t need to add the last cups of water, turn off heat
-Remove chicken onto a plate with tongs and shred meat with two forks.. it should be soft and easily fall apart
-Into the porridge, stir-in spring onions and shredded chicken meat
-Ladle Chicken Congee into bowls and on top of each add 2 to 3 drops of sesame oil, a sprinkling of spring onions and some fried shallots – serve immediately