~ Dried Scallop Chicken Congee / Porridge ~
Do you cherish a bowl of hot congee, be it rain or shine? A hot bowl of congee helps to soothe the ill, nourish and strengthen the spleen and digestive system of the young and old alike. It warms the body on a rainy day and moisten the body on a hot day. It is no wonder congee is much favoured food for many in the Asian countries with hot and humid weather.
Congee comes in different version in different countries. The consistency varies depending on the quantity of rice and water combined in the congee cooking process. With more water in proportion to rice, congee turns out more watery as opposed to more rice in proportion to water, congee turns out to be more gruel. Be it watery or gruel, congee can be enjoyed plain, with side dishes served or flavourful, with meat, seafood and/or vegetables added in the cooking process.
The cooking duration and temperature too determines the texture of congee. The longer the cooking time, the softer the congee. The higher the heat, the more active the boiling process which the rice will eventually get disintegrated into the water.
Typically, in the process of cooking congee, water in the pot tends to overspill as it boils and frequent stirring is necessary to ensure rice is not sitting and sticking at the bottom of the pot. Hence, it is very important to control the temperature in that boiling process. Often, a higher heat is used to bring the water and rice to boil with a switch to lower heat at some point to “harmonise” the activities in the pot. It is important to be present in the kitchen, most if not throughout time of the congee cooking process. It really is quite challenging and it takes some experience and skills to cook up a nice bowl of congee.
Hence, I would like to share this my congee cooking method with the use of my AMC Secuquick Softline on a 24cm 6.5 liter pot unit. The cooking process is fully automatic and with a guaranteed success for some mushy congee. I just leave my kitchen while the congee is cooked fully automatically between the temperature of 108°C -118°C. This takes away a lot of stress from me, especially when I am ill and wish for a hot bowl of congee.
Dried Scallop Chicken Congee/Porridge Recipe (Serves 3 to 4) :
- 1 200ml cup Brown Rice
- 1.6 liter Water
- 1/2 Chicken (1. Breast, thigh & drumstick deboned and cut into strips. 2. Bones & all other parts to make chicken broth)
- 2 tablespoon Dried Scallops
- 1 inch Ginger (Peeled & thinly sliced)
- 1 tablespoon Cooking Oil
- 1 tablespoon Soy Sauce
- 1 tablespoon Sesame Oil
- Dash of Black Pepper
- 1 teaspoon Corn Starch
- Salt to taste
- 2 stalks Chinese Parsley & 2 stalks Spring Onion (Garnishing)
AMC Healthy Cooking Method :
- Marinate the deboned & stripped chicken breast, thigh & drumstick with soy sauce, sesame oil, black pepper and corn starch in a 20cm Combi Bowl for 30 minutes.
- Scald bones & all other parts of the chicken with boiled water. Discard water.
- In a 24cm 6.5 liter Pot unit, add all chicken parts, sliced ginger and 1.5 liter of water to make chicken broth. Cover pot with the 24cm Secuquick Softline lid. Switch on Navigenio to automatic “A”. Turn on Audiotherm, place on lid knob, indicating “Turbo”, set 20 minutes to cook.
- When Audiotherm beeps, turn off both Navigenio & Audiotherm. As pot depressurised, the chicken broth is ready. With a skimming ladle, remove all bones & parts from the broth.
- Add brown rice to the chicken broth/water. Cover pot with the 24cm Secuquick Softline lid. Switch on Navigenio to automatic “A”. Turn on Audiotherm, place on lid knob, indicating “Turbo”, set 30 minutes to cook.
- When Audiotherm beeps, turn off both Navigenio & Audiotherm. As pot depressurised, the congee is ready. Add marinated chicken strips to the congee, bring to boil with heat level “3” on Navigenio to 80°C or “Carrot Window” and cook for 3 minutes.
- Garnish with parsley & spring onion and serve warm.
- Chicken broth made for the cooking makes congee more flavourful. If you do not have sufficient time for preparation, the making of chicken broth in step 2) to 4) can be omitted to simplify the recipe. Alternatively, you may also cook this chicken congee without removing the bones. As I would like to avoid serving boney chicken congee to my toddler and do not wish to put the residuals to waste, I have made chicken broth out of it. Afterall, it is so easy to make with the use of Secuquick Softline lid.
- As a general guide, white rice congee/porridge requires 15 to 25 minutes cooking time on Turbo setting. Brown rice congee requires 30 to 45 minutes cooking time on Turbo setting. It all depends on how mushy you want your congee to be. The longer the cooking time, the more mushy the congee.
- For smoothness and texture of congee/porridge (thick or thin), the types of rice and rice over water proportion are amongst the factors to consider. I have used a proportion of 1 : 8 in this brown rice congee/porridge recipe for a thicker and more filling bowl. Brown rice do not absorb water as easily as white rice. With white rice, I cook with the proportion of 1 : 10 as they are usually more starchy with higher Glycemic Index. A little more water will make it smoother.