This recipe was inspired by something my late grandmother used to make when I was a kid. She would use the leftover bones and meat of a roast duck to make the most delicious duck congee ever.

So, when we bought a rotesserie chicken to have as part of dinner last night, I decided it would be worth trying to use the leftover bones and meat to make congee for lunch today. I am extremely happy with how it turned out.

Congee (or rice porridge) is something I grew up eating in Singapore. It’s basically rice that’s simmered until it breaks up and becomes really starchy and flavourful from the liquid it is cooked in.. Almost like a risotto. In restaurants that serve this dish, the rice grains are sometimes broken up before cooking to cut cooking time. This also helps to ensure a smoother end-result. I got hungry and don’t mind it slightly “chunky”, with the rice not completely broken up. If you want it to be a smoother texture, just increase the cooking time. Alternatively, if you soak the rice for a few hours before cooking, it will cook faster.

I really like congee. It’s my ultimate go-to comfort food. I ask for it when I’m feeling under the weather, but it’s also a nice treat even when I’m not sick. I think it’s just one of those things that you either like or you don’t. DH doesn’t care for it, but that’s just fine because that means there’s more for me!

Makes 1½ servings (or 1 serving if you’re like me!)

For the stock:
5 cups water
carcass of 1 roast chicken

½ cup jasmine rice

  1. Place chicken bones and water into a pot, cover and bring to a boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for at least 20-30mins.
  2. Wash and drain the rice at least twice and set aside.
  3. Remove chicken bones when the stock is done and add rice grains into the pot.
  4. Place a chinese ceramic spoon into the pot (optional – this will help to break the grains up a little as they cook), cover and bring up to a boil. (*Keep an eye on this as it will boil over!)
  5. Once boiling, turn the heat down to low and let simmer for about an hour. DO NOT stir for the first 30mins or you’ll end up having to stir this throughout the hour.
  6. After 30 mins, check the congee and give it a stir. Stir occasionally after this to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
  7. When the congee has reached the desired consistency, turn off the fire.
  8. Ladle out and serve hot.

Serve with:
leftover chicken, shredded
fried shallots (optional)
chopped spring onions (optional)
white pepper

You can make this dish even more flavourful by stirring an egg into the porridge just before you turn off the stove. Or just add a couple drops of sesame oil and dark soy sauce like I did.

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