Ginger chicken and egg congee

Chicken and egg congee. My kind of oriental breakfast.

Ginger chicken and egg congee (makes 2-3 generous servings)

4 pieces of chicken (I like to use thighs or drumsticks but only because I prefer brown meat to white)

1 cup of peeled and finely julienned ginger

1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped

2 sticks of celery, finely chopped

1 small red onion, peeled and finely chopped

2 cups cooked white rice

1 star anise

5-6 cups of water (or vegetable or chicken stock if you want more flavour)

2-3 spring onions, finely chopped

1 boiled egg, peeled and quartered

(optional) 1 tablespoon roughly chopped peanuts

(optional) 1 teaspoon deep fried shallots

(optional) some toasted sesame seeds

1 tablespoon oil

(optional) drizzle of sesame oil

In a heavy bottomed pot, sauté your sliced ginger and chopped carrots, celery and onion in your oil on a low to medium heat until softened (about 5-8 minutes). Add your star anise and stock and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and add your chicken pieces. Poach on a low simmer for 40 minutes and then use a slotted spoon to remove the chicken and the star anise.

Bring the stock back up to the boil and add your rice. Cook on a boil for 15 minutes and then turn down to a simmer and cook for a further 1 to 1½ hours, stirring regularly to ensure the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom of your pan – this is really dependent on your taste. The longer you cook the congee, the thicker it’ll become.

While the congee is cooking, prepare your chicken by discarding the skin and bones, and either using your fingers or two forks, shred the chicken meat.

When you’re happy with the congee’s consistency, ladle some into a bowl and top it with your shredded chicken, boiled egg, spring onion and other garnishes eg peanuts/coriander etc – whatever you like. Finish it with a tiny drizzle of sesame oil or a sprinkle of sesame seeds.

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