Nothing is cozier than a bowl of chicken and mushroom congee on a cold day. It is comforting, and it is healing.
What is congee?
Congee is a class Asian dish, and essentially it is a rice porridge made by boiling rice with a more significant amount of water until it breaks down into a pudding-like consistency. You can make a congee into a sweet dish or a savory dish. In this blog post, I will tell you how to make a savory chicken and mushroom congee.
What is the health benefit of eating congee?
- Congee warms up the digestive system, especially the spleen and stomach. It is believed by the Chinese Medicine that congee supplements the energy needed for the optimal functioning of our organs.
- Congee is the best food to eat first thing in the morning, because of its ability to enhance energy circulation.
- Warm congee helps to warm our bodies and helps with blood circulation. A good sweat from drinking congee is a healthy detox ritual, especially for those in the early stages of getting a cold.
- Congee is very low in calories and perfect for health and weight loss.
- Congee is excellent food with people that has a weak and inflamed digestive tract because it is easily digestible and nourishing.
Who can benefit from congee?
Everyone, including toddlers. Especially those with a weak and inflamed digestive tract. Ones who are battling dementia and those just fighting the common cold.
Do you need to soak the rice?
In general, I always soak my rice. Soaking any type of grain before cooking renders its nutrients more digestible by breaking down and neutralizing phytic acid, which is an anti-nutrient that prevents the absorption of calcium, zinc, and other minerals.
You can either soak the rice overnight or for at least 30 minutes. Now, if you forgot to soak the rice, don't panic. You can still cook the congee.
What kind of rice to use for congee?
Most rice will work. Japonica rice, brown rice, long-grain, short-grain, and black rice are recommended.
Water or broth?
This will depend on what time of congee you are making and how much time you have.
For this recipe, I made my own chicken broth, BUT you can do it with just water or store brought broth. I personally like using homemade chicken broth because it is super easy to make, and it brings so much more flavor to your congee. Plus, you can add all the ingredients you used in the broth and added to your congee.
Slow Cooker, Instapot, Or Stove?
You can cook this recipe in your slow cooker, Instapot, or on the stove.
Reheat And Storage Left Over Congee
Any left-over congee can be put in a bowl with a cover, and stored in the refrigerator. If you are planning on have it all day, then you can leave it sitting over the closed stove with a lid on or leave it on the counter.
When reheating your leftover congee, I recommend reheating it over the stove at low heat and with the addition of a cup of water.
Chicken and Mushroom Congee
Prep Time 30 Minutes
Cook Time 120 Minutes
Serving Size 2 People
1 Piece Fresh Ginger 2-3 inches (Preferred. But You Can Use Ground Ginger)
1 Stick Carrot
1/2 Cup Frozen Peas
3 Tablespoon Himalayan Salt
1/2-1 Cup Mushroom I like to use shiitake
Leek/ Green Onion Optional
15-20 Cups Water Based on personal preference.
3-4 Whole Anise
1 Cup Rice
7 Cups Chicken broth Or water
1 Cup Green vegetables Fresh
In a medium pot, place all ingredients in and boil for about 30 minutes or longer at medium heat with pot lid closed. The longer you simmer it, the better, and if you intend to cook it for a more extended period, you can bring the heat down after 30 minutes with lid closed. Remember, the longer your boil, the better it will taste.
- While you are preparing the broth, soak your rice in water.
- Once the broth is ready, in another medium-size pot, add 1 cup of rice and about 7 cups of chicken broth. Let it boil on low heat for at least one hour. Remember, the longer you cook, the better. Or Depends on how much broth you made, you can directly pour your rice into the broth and let it boil for at least 45 minutes on low heat with lid closed.
- After about an hour, I will add the cooked chicken from the broth and add it to the congee. Make sure you shredded your cooked chicken breast.
- You can also add the mushroom, and along with other vegetables into the broth to the congee. You can also add additional vegetables like bok choy, spinach etc. at this time. Once you added everything, let it cook for another 15-30 minutes.
- Make sure there is enough liquid. If needed, add more broth.
** If you are planning on using water instead of broth to boil the congee, you can add all the ingredients that you would put in the broth with the rice into the water. This way, it will add flavors to your congee.
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