Chicken Porridge is Comforting and Therapeutic

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Chicken porridge or chicken congee comes in a near second after chicken soup as the most popular food in dietary therapy.

Chicken congee is gentle on the digestive system and the carbohydrates from the rice serves as a good energy source. Sometimes, I prefer chicken congee to chicken soup because of the extra soothing effect of rice porridge on my stomach.

Watery congee with shredded chicken

The 6 recipes listed here are great for anyone recovering from illnesses. They are also gentle enough to be treated as general tonics for health maintenance. You can use leftover chicken in these recipes too. Skip the steps that are meant for cooking the chicken.

How do you add the leftover chicken? You can remove the meat from the bones. Add the bones to the pot when cooking the congee to add more flavour. Remove the bones before serving. Shred or chop the meat roughly and stir them in the hot congee. Or you can skip the removing step and just add the chicken in large pieces to the pot when cooking.

1. Chicken porridge with solomon's seal

This chicken porridge recipe uses some solomon's seal, a chinese herb which is also known as polygonatum odoratum. Solomon's seal and chicken goes well together. They are commonly paired in herbal preparations. Solomon's seal can be eaten but you may not like it because it is tasteless.

Substitute the water with soup stock to enhance the flavour of the porridge.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of rice
  • 12 cups of soup stock
  • 225g chicken thigh
  • 40g solomon's seal 玉竹 (yu zhu)
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch

Directions

  1. Soak the solomon's seal with cold water. Drain and cut into shorter strips
  2. Cut the chicken into slices, mix in the cornstarch. Blanch quickly in hot water
  3. Bring the soup stock to a boil, add the rice. Bring back to a boil
  4. Lower the heat, add the solomon's seal and simmer for 50 minutes
  5. Add the chicken pieces and cook for another 10 minutes

2. Chicken rice porridge with corn

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of rice porridge
  • 150g chicken breast, shredded
  • 1/2 can cream of corn
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • Salt to taste

Directions

  1. Bring the soup stock, rice porridge, cream of corn and chicken breast to a boil in a soup pot
  2. Cook for about 10 minutes
  3. Add salt to taste
  4. Serve

3. Chicken congee with Chinese mushroom and chicken

This congee dish uses pre-cooked rice porridge. Prepare and cook the congee in the morning and come back after work to add the rest of the ingredients for a comforting light dinner.

Ingredients

  • 75g fresh Chinese mushrooms
  • 300g chicken thigh
  • Pinch of salt
  • 8 cups of plain rice porridge

Directions

  1. Wash the chinese mushrooms
  2. Remove the chicken bones and cut the chicken into pieces
  3. Marinate chicken with salt and cornstarch
  4. Cook 8 cups of rice porridge
  5. Add the mushroom and chicken
  6. Cook for another 15 minutes
  7. Add salt to taste

4. Chicken porridge with ginseng

Ginseng is a prized herb in chinese cooking. It is considered a tonic for the heart. People who are feeling weak and tired would benefit from it. But those who are suffering from insomnia and colds should avoid it.

If you have never tried using ginseng before, you can start by using ginseng tea bags instead. Add a teabag to the pot of soup and cook together.

Ingredients

  • 200g chicken thigh
  • 50g ginseng root or 1 ginseng tea bag
  • 1 tsp goji berries
  • 2 pieces of ginger, julienned
  • 1 cup of rice
  • 8 cups of soup stock
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Wash and soak the goji berries till soft
  2. Wash the chicken thigh and cut into big pieces
  3. Parboil the chicken pieces
  4. Wash and soak the rice for 30 minutes
  5. Place the rice in a pot and add the soup stock
  6. Bring to a boil and lower heat to a simmer
  7. Add the ginseng root and goji berries
  8. When the porridge is done, add the chicken
  9. Cook till the chicken is done
  10. add the salt and pepper to taste
  11. Sprinkle the julienned ginger before serving

5. Chicken congee with dried magnolia flowers

Magnolia contains high levels of vitamin A and calcium. It is therefore good for the eyes and bones.

Ingredients

  • 100g chicken breast
  • 100g dried magnolia flowers 玉兰花
  • 1 cup rice
  • 8 cups soup stock
  • 1 stalk spring onion
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Wash the spring onion and chop finely
  2. Wash and soak the magnolia flowers.
  3. Wash the chicken breast and dice finely
  4. Wash and soak the rice for 30 minutes
  5. Place the rice in a pot and add the soup stock
  6. Bring to a boil and lower heat to a simmer
  7. When the porridge is done, add the magnolia flowers and chicken
  8. Cook till the flowers are soft and chicken is done
  9. Add the salt and pepper
  10. Sprinkle the chopped spring onion before serving

6. Chicken congee with peanuts

This porridge is good for growing teens and the elderly. It can help lower cholesterol and prevent the hardening of the arteries. Peanuts contains high level of mono-unsaturated, poly-unsaturated fatty acids and vitamin E.

Ingredients

  • 100g chicken breast
  • 50g peanuts (dried but not roasted)
  • 1 stalk of spring onion
  • 1 cup of rice
  • 8 cups of soup stock
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Wash and chop the spring onion
  2. Wash and soak the peanuts for 30 minutes
  3. Wash the chicken and slice into thin strips
  4. Wash and soak the rice for 30 minutes or longer
  5. Place the rice in a pot and add the soup stock
  6. Bring this to a boil and lower the heat to a simmer
  7. Add tje [eamits amd chicken strips
  8. Cook till the chicken is done
  9. Add the salt and pepper
  10. Sprinkle the chopped spring onion before serving

Happy Souping, Phoebe