a bowl of congee

Congee – The Ultimate Comfort Food

Congee is the ultimate comfort food. Congee is a super simple creamy rice porridge, the consistency of oatmeal. Also known as jook, congee is traditionally consumed as a breakfast food, but it’s also suitable for lunch, or dinner. The basics are a small amount of rice with lots of water or stock simmered and stirred for a couple of hours until it reaches a thick, creamy consistency. The rice becomes silkier the more frequently it is stirred. Below is a slow cooker chicken & ginger congee for those of us who aren’t inclined to repeatedly stir their congee on the stove. There are, however, many recipes for those without a slow cooker. Besides its versatility, congee is economical – about 3/4-1 cup of rice to 6-8 cups of water. And like all rice, the dish adapts to almost any sort of addition you’d like.

a bowl of congee

Congee – The Ultimate Comfort Food

Nurture Your Digestion

Chinese Medicine emphasizes a diet that reduces internal dampness to avoid developing digestive troubles and to strengthen immunity. Dampness forms in the body when we’ve eaten a diet rich in dairy, wheat, and animal protein as well as too much raw food like salad and fruit in the cold months. (See the Chinese Medicine Diet links in the Nutritional Counseling section of our website for more information on dampness in the diet.) Chinese Medicine practitioners encourage their patients to eat foods that are easily digested; such as cooked vegetables instead of raw cold vegetables. This is especially true in the winter months. Since congee is cooked for such a long time, it’s easily digested and often given to children or to older people with weak digestion. As we descend deeper into winter, nourishing the digestion with foods such as congee becomes important for our health. This simple dish is very warming in cold weather and is a delicious, nutritious meal for anyone and everyone!

CHICKEN & GINGER CONGEE

INGREDIENTS

For the congee:

  • 8 cups water
  • 3 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 1 1/2 pounds total)
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice, preferably jasmine
  • 4 (1/4-inch-thick) slices fresh ginger, smashed
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt, plus more as needed
  • Optional toppings:

    • Roasted peanuts
    • Thinly sliced scallions
    • Minced fresh ginger
    • Fresh cilantro leaves
    • Tamari or soy sauce
    • Place all the ingredients for the congee in a 5-quart or larger slow cooker. Cover and cook until very creamy and the rice is completely broken down, 8 to 10 hours on the LOW setting or 5 hours on the HIGH setting.
    • Transfer the chicken and ginger to a plate. Stir the congee with a wooden spoon, making sure to scrape against the bottom and sides of the slow cooker to incorporate congee that’s sticking there.
    • Shred the chicken, then stir the meat back into the slow cooker, discarding the bones, skin, cartilage, and ginger. If you would like a thinner congee, add additional water 1/4 cup at a time until you reach the desired consistency. Taste and season with more salt as needed. Serve hot with the toppings.

RECIPE NOTES

Storage: The congee can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. It can also be frozen for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat over medium heat, stirring occasionally.

Recipe from: Christine Gallary  https://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-slow-cooker-chicken-ginger-congee-234439

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