Chicken congee is our go-to staff meal at Annam over the winter months. It’s warm, comforting and filling, and super easy to make.
- 200 g (7 oz/1 cup) jasmine rice
- 2 tbsp sea salt
- 1 tbsp caster (superfine) sugar
- ground white pepper, to garnish
- 1 bunch spring onions (scallions), thinly sliced, to garnish
- 1 kg (2 lb 3 oz) chicken bones
- 1 1 kg (2 lb 3 oz) free-range chicken
- 1 onion, peeled
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 lemon, cut into wedges
- 4 bird’s eye chillies, sliced (optional)
- 1 kg (2 lb 3 oz) bean sprouts
- 3 tbsp fried shallots
- Maggi seasoning
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
1. To make the broth, rinse the chicken bones to remove any blood and splinters. Transfer to a large stockpot, add the chicken and cover with 3 litres (3 qts) water. Bring to the boil, skimming off any impurities that rise to the top, then reduce the heat to a simmer, add the onion and garlic and cook for 30 minutes. Remove the chicken from the broth and set aside to cool. Strain the broth and discard the solids.
2. Place the rice and 2 litres (2 qts) of the chicken broth in a saucepan. Bring to the boil and cook for 40 minutes or until the rice is fully cooked. The broth should be thick from the rice and resemble a porridge. Season with the salt and sugar.
3. Tear the meat from the chicken and add to the rice porridge. Discard the bones.
4. To serve, ladle the congee into bowls and garnish with the pepper and spring onion. Serve with lemon wedges, sliced chilli (if using), bean sprouts and Maggi seasoning in the centre of the table for people to add to their own congee.
Recipe from Street Food Vietnam by Jerry Mai, Smith Street Books, RRP $39.99