Saturday, August 20, 2011

Chicken Porridge

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So much has happened this week. Thankfully, we are all back in good health. But things have gotten really crazy. And in the midst of all the craziness, I have not been able to sit down at the computer long enough to post, or even to visit blogs. I have started going through my subscriptions, and I have started visiting blogs, and if I haven't gotten around to yours yet, you can be sure I will soon!

In other news, we got a bit of bad news this week. We need to find a new place to live. Our landlord wants to move in to his own apartment, and so we have just over 2 months to find a new place and move in there. We've been here more than 7 years. We moved in here right after we got married, and this place is full of memories. This is the only home our little girl has ever known, and I am sure she won't have too many memories of this place when she grows up. I don't know where to start with the packing. So I am going to just concentrate on finding a new home first. God is good. And I am sure He is going to give us a better home than what we have right now.

During times like this, I need comfort food.
I made this a couple of weeks ago, and this is perfect comfort food. I wish I had had some of this leftover for this stressful week. My husband and I were addicted to this dish when we lived in Singapore, and we often ate it for breakfast. It is great for dinner too, in my opinion. I have made this a few times after we moved back. I don't know how authentic my version is, and I apologize to anyone I might offend with my recipe! I can assure you it tastes really good. In Singapore, we used to eat it with this yummy fried bread, but I haven't tried making that yet. Anyone have a good recipe for you tiao?

Chicken Porridge
For the stock
1/2 kg (a little more than a pound) bone-in chicken, washed and cut into small pieces
1 large onion, roughly chopped
2 medium carrots, roughly chopped
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped leeks
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
1 1" piece of ginger, peeled and crushed
2 bay leaves
1 2" piece of cinnamon
2 cloves
1 star anise
1 tablespoon pepper corns
2 1/2 litres water
Salt to taste

For the porridge
3/4 cup rice, washed and soaked for 1/2 hour
8-12 cups of chicken stock
Shredded, cooked chicken (from the stock)
2 tsp sesame oil
Salt, and pepper to taste

Caramelized onion
Chopped Spring onion
Chopped cilantro/coriander
Soy Sauce
Chili Vinegar Sauce

1. Combine all the ingredients for the stock and cook for about 45 minutes. Strain and reserve all the stock. Shred the chicken from the bones, and discard the bones. You could leave the chicken shredded or chop it up. Discard all the vegetables and spices.
2. Bring 8 cups of stock to a boil, and add the washed, soaked rice.
3. Cook for 45 minutes to an hour on a medium flame until the rice is cooked and mushy. Add more stock if needed.
4. When the rice is cooked, and the porridge has the right consistency, add the chopped/shredded chicken and the sesame oil.
5. Check the seasoning and add more salt/pepper if needed.
6. For the caramelized onion garnish , deep fry 2-3 finely sliced red onions until golden brown. Stir some of the caramelized onion into the porridge, and reserve the remaining for garnish.
7. For the chili vinegar sauce, combine 1/4 cup of rice wine vinegar with 1/4 cup of sugar, and 2-3 chopped, fresh chillies (depending on how 'hot' you want it), and cook together until it is slightly syrupy. Allow to cool before serving.
8. Serve the porridge warm, garnished with chopped cilantro, spring onions, and caramelized onions. On the side, serve small bowls of soy sauce, and chili vinegar sauce.
This can be made with store-bought stock as well. That would make this even quicker, and more convenient. You would just need some rice, and some cooked chicken to throw into the porridge. And the garnishes, of course. This dish just isn't the same without the garnishes. The flavors of the porridge are really subtle and the garnishes add that extra bit of magic to this dish.

It is perfect for when you need a warm bowl of comfort. It is also perfect on rainy days, perfect to eat in bed and perfect for when you're sick and nursing a cold. I love this dish. My husband loves it. I just discovered my little girl loves it too. And so does my dog. We are a happy, chicken porridge-loving family.
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Sandra's Easy cooking said...

Comfort indeed...I love this idea to be honest with you! Chicken and porridge sound perfect combination of flavor and satisfaction. 
I am sorry that you have to move from the place that you love..I hope and wish that you will find even better home than you had before..

Have a great weekend!

Maris Callahan said...

You are going to find an even better home to fill with love and memories. I see why this is a wonderful comfort dish. Looks really good!

Lynne @ 365 Days of Baking said...

When one door closes, another door opens. This can be a stressful and frightening, too, but exciting things may be ahead and a wonderful home ready for new memories. I pray that you'll find the perfect home for your family, that it will happen quickly without complications and that the transition will be easy for all of you.
A great looking bowl of comfort food, and for those long winter days.

Magic of Spice said...

I am so sorry to hear about your having to move and I am sure it seems a bit over whelming, but I bet you find a wonderful place and will be thrilled in the end :)
Your comfort food indeed sound warming!
I hope you have a great weekend...

Reem said...

I'm sure you"ll find even better home to live and make happy memories to cherish for life. I know it can be hard, almost 10 years back I moved to usa. It was hard to be away from home and family, but now this is my home I have family here and with time everything became better and beautiful. Life is about change, so don,t worry everything will be fine and more beautiful for you and your family. I love this dish, so comforting and cozy.... Wishing you all the best.

Nami | Just One Cookbook said...

Your porridge looks really delicious Marsha!  Whenever we go to dim sum we always order one porridge to share.  It's great that you created your version from eating out in Singapore.  I'm so sorry that you have to move.  Moving takes a lot of energy but I'm wishing you good luck for finding a perfect new home!  Some new house is waiting for you, that's why you must be moving! ;-)

Liz said...

Marsha, this looks like the perfect comfort food.  I know you'll find a wonderful new spot to call home...hope it happens quickly and the transition goes smoothly!  xoxo

Briarrose said...

Comfort food at it's finest.

Lisa said...

I'm so sorry that you have to move, especially with only 2 months notice - that's crazy!  Regardless - things happen for a reason, and I bet your new home will be perfect!  Having said that, I love stews, porridges, soups cooked long and slow, and now that Fall is upon us, I'm looking forward to the yummy, warm comfort of them on a much more daily basis,  Your chicken porridge is at the top of that list.  The recipe and photos are killing me right now - on a good way! ;)

Baking Serendipity said...

Moving can be such a stressful ordeal...I am so sorry you are being forced into the situation! You have a great attitude about it though and I will be praying that you find a perfect new place :) And...bookmarking this to make when I need a comfort food too :) Thank you!

Manu said...

This porridge looks delicious and indeed comforting!
I am sorry to hear about your having to move!  It is always a bit sad having to leave a place full of memories... But it can also be exciting to look for a new house... a place where you can all make new memories! :-)  I am sure you will find an even better place!!! <3  Be positive and cheer up!!! Sending you a big HUG!!!

Kitchen Belleicious said...

Wow, I mean Wow! When I think about it I am not sure if I have ever seen porridge before much less cooked one? I always hear about it but never had it before! It looks amazing and like the ultimate comfort food indeed! Great pictures

Catherine said...

I will keep you and your family in my prayers to find a beautiful new home and that all will be well. The Lord does not close a door without opening a window.  This does look like delicious comfort food. Blessings, Catherine xo

Amanda said...

God IS good!!! He's going to make everything perfect for you! And you tiao... yummy... sorry! no recipe, but where i live, you can buy them and reheat/fry them.

Amanda/ a teen chef

Gina said...

I'm sure this dish gave you a bit of comfort.  Poor thing, I know how terribly busy everyone is and to have to move just adds to the stress.  Maybe make an extra big pot next time, so you don't have to cook for a couple of days.  Will have to keep this in mind for when it gets cooler.  Hope you week goes better, glad you are all well.

Biren @ Roti n Rice said...

This is comfort food indeed. Sorry to hear you have to move but I hope you find an even better place than this one. Your family will make new and treasured memories. Hugs to you♥♥♥

Shirley Tay said...

U lived in S'pore before? How cool! Greetings from S'pore :)
Came by your blog thru Kimby when she left a comment at my Aromatic Lemongrass Mint Tea post saying u're looking for yu tiao recipe. Here's the link to my blogger friend's blog @ Bread Expectations.

U've a wonderful blog here. Looking fwd to sharing our food journey etc!

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