Congee is Asian comfort food that is as comforting and nourishing as Grandma's chicken and rice soup. A great way to use up the left-over roast chicken and sunchokes I made the other night (see #15). You can use commercial broth, or make bone broth from the carcass (I made mine with organic chicken feet, lots of cilantro and leeks). Add rice, onion, ginger, salt and pepper. Boil away until rice is mush and broth is creamy. Add water as necessary.
To serve Southeast Asian style, stir in a little sweetness, sugar or agave, add sour flavoring like lemon or lime juice, squeeze and microplane a little more ginger for that bright zing. In this version, I topped with fried slices of jerusalem artichokes that I had previously roasted whole with the chicken. I fried shallots and garlic and placed on top alongside sliced chicken, scallion, fresh cilantro, (bean sprouts would be great), fish sauce, and a fried chile pepper, and you are ready to sup.
For recipe followers, here goes:
Sunchoke Congee, SE Asian style (creamy chicken rice soup)
Boil 2 ½ cups of chicken broth and 3½ cups of water with two chicken legs or thighs skin and fat removed, ½ cup chopped onion, ½ inch piece of smashed ginger, cilantro stems and salt & pepper. Boil for 30 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of white or brown rice. Boil away until rice is mush and broth is creamy, about 45 minutes. Add additional water as necessary to thin. Remove chicken and cilantro stems.
In the meantime, scrub clean and slice thin the sunchokes. Heat oil to medium high and fry chokes until crisp and golden.
To finish, Stir in a half tsp of rice or agave syrup, and lemon or lime juice. Grate a little more ginger for that bright zing. Top with your choice of the following, sliced chicken, fried sunchoke slices, fried shallots and garlic, sliced green scallion, fresh cilantro leaves, a few bean sprouts , fish sauce, sesame oil and pickled or fried jalepeno peppers. For a vegetarian version, use vegetable broth, consider switching the chicken for peanuts or tofu, and sauteed mushrooms.
Eat with the World, the Most Common meal is Rice
Eat with the World honors the interconnection of earth's inhabitants and the effect that our food decisions have on others. http://www.isobeldavisart.com/installation.html