30, Nov 2008
Brown Rice Congee

Ever since the pho rice soup, I’ve been wanting to experiment with congee recipes. Congee is basically a kind of rice porridge, and it’s made by cooking the rice in a lot of liquid for a very long time. As with the pho rice soup, I decided to cook the rice in stock, and since it’s thanksgiving weekend we had plenty of turkey stock around. I also wanted to try brown rice, since it’s so healthy. I added the usual ingredients of garlic, onion, and ginger, plus mushrooms for some extra flavor and something to chew on. I also added some cinnamon and fish sauce for a Vietnamese angle. The result was very good, a nice addition to our repertoire. It would also make decent baby food, probably with the flavors taken down a few notches.

1 c brown rice
8 c turkey stock
1 bone-in, skin-in chicken breast (about 1 lb)
1 yellow onion, diced
1 big handful crimini mushrooms, sliced
3 leaves kale, cut from the stems and sliced in thin strips
4 cloves garlic, diced
1 chunk ginger, peeled and diced
1 red jalapeno, ribs and seeds removed, diced
1 cinnamon stick
1/8 c fish sauce
2 eggs
green onions, sliced
ground black pepper

Rinse the rice. Add it and the stock to a large stockpot. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, and cover mostly. Meanwhile, prep the onion, mushrooms, kale, garlic, ginger, and jalapeno and add them to the pot, along with the cinnamon and fish sauce. Simmer that for an hour and a half. Meanwhile, poach the chicken breast in a separate saucepan. Fill the pan with enough water to cover the chicken. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer, until done. Let it cool, then shred the meat and add to the rice pot. When the rice is about done, beat the eggs and add them to the congee. Stir until incorporated and let it simmer for about five more minutes. Serve garnished with the green onions and black pepper.
Congee-licious! I’m not really sure what happened to all the things that I put in there, but it all blended up into a big pot of yum (with the occasional bit of chicken or mushroom). I wasn’t sure if the brown rice was going to get porridgey in the right way, since brown rice is usually kind of rough, but it really did. And the last dose of eggs really sealed the right consistency. Next time I’d probably try it with chicken or beef stock, and maybe mix some dark and white meat chicken. I’d also like to add something to contrast with the general porridge effect; possibly some grilled beef on top, or some more vegetables along with the green onion.