By Elyssa L.
Elyssa has serious commitment issues when it comes to blogs and equally serious itches to write, which is why she thinks this is a great idea.
My cold’s been acting up – throat’s itchy and sore, head feels constantly heavy and I’ve been coughing a lot. It isn’t that bad because I don’t have a fever, but it is terribly annoying as it’s getting in the way of my revision. Exams are coming up, I have an essay deadline tomorrow and a mooting competition next week. It’s a recipe for disaster. (Yes I just said all that so I could use that pun – ha, ha, ha).
I’ve been drinking lots of tea and lemon water and eating lovely and comforting foods such as the pictured chicken congee. Loljk – I’ve been stuffing my face with spicy curries and black pepper seafood pasta (will post the recipe for that soon). The congee’s probably the first ‘sick food’ I’ve had since I caught this cold.
I love it to bits because it’s full of flavour and extremely, extremely healthy. The medley of vegetables (beansprouts, cabbage and carrots) I threw in is pre-packaged as ‘asian stir-fry’ or something. It was cheap and it saved me the trouble of getting the individual veggies, and then washing and slicing them. Ain’t nobody got time for that. Plus I don’t really fancy carrots all that much so getting a few of them didn’t strike me as a very good idea – they’ll probably just end up decomposing in a corner of the kitchen.
Anyway, before I go on to the recipe, I’d just like to say that ever since I realised that ‘porridge’ here means sweet oats that have been cooked with milk (I love it), I just can’t bring myself to call dishes like the one here porridge any more. I have a bit of an OCD when it comes to keeping sweets and savouries separate, and typing ‘chinese porridge’ instead is so tedious and over-generalised so I’m just going to settle on congee.
Ok on with it.
Chicken Congee with Carrots, Cabbage, and Beansprouts
with Crispy Baked Anchovies and Shallots
– A small portion of rice, washed and drained
– 1 Chicken breast (because it is lean and healthy)
– Carrots, sliced
– Cabbage, sliced
– A handful of beansprouts
– Shallots, sliced thinly
– Dried anchovies/ikan bilis
– Chicken stock cube/homemade chicken stock
– Sea salt and white pepper
1. Place the washed rice, sliced vegetables, coriander, chicken breast and chicken stock cube into a slow cooker/crock-pot. Cover with water (unless you’re using liquid chicken stock).
2. Preheat oven to 200 degrees)
3. Let the slow cooker do its magic for about an hour. I like my grains in tact (soft but not disintegrated) so I cooked mine for about 45 minutes and started devouring it.
4. While the congee is cooking, place sliced shallots on a baking tray with a drizzle of oil.
5. Place dried anchovies on another baking tray (no oil). Pop both trays into the preheated oven and let them bake until they’re both crispy. The anchovies will be done quicker because they’re already dry so take that tray out first. My shallots were left in there a tad too long and the thinner sides got burnt 😦
*Note – I would advise you to fry the shallots in hot oil instead because it’s a lot easier. I only used the oven because the kitchen hob’s broken.
6. Ladle congee into a bowl, shred the chicken breast, season congee with salt and white pepper (remember that store-bought chicken stock is usually salty), and garnish with the crispy anchovies and shallots.
You can drizzle sesame oil over it as well. Didn’t feel like having that note in my congee today so I omitted that.
Invest in a slow cooker – you will thank me for it. They’re quite affordable as well! I got my Breville one from Argos for like 17 pounds and I use it all the time for soups and congee. I’m going to make beef rendang in it once I’m better.
Ok I’m going to crawl into bed now. Stay healthy and don’t fall ill because it sucks.