After super bowl weekend, I was left with a tupperware tub full of spicy, ginger chicken wings, which eventually became a tupperware tub full of spicy, ginger chicken bones. When I looked at these sauced-up remains, I didn't see just a bundle of compost, but instead, the opportunity to cook one of my favorite comfort foods: Chinese Breakfast Porridge or Jook. The recipe is simple, but does take a good amount of your precious time.The key to really outstanding jook lies in a homemade chicken stock. While you can always use the prepared stuff if you are in a hurry, the extra minutes to make the broth yourself will be worth the trouble. As an added bonus, this recipe calls for a whole chicken - not just the bones - so you don't have to save your leftover wings in case the hankering for Chinese breakfast porridge strikes. Enough talking, let's get jooking! Sorry, couldn't help. —Sodium Girl
- Serves 8
of ginger, peeled
short grain rice
dried shitake mushrooms
small square of cheese cloth and some kitchen string
- Separate the white and green part of the scallions. Leave the white part whole and dice the remaining green ends.
- Take an inch of the ginger root and roughly chop into big chunks. Take another inch of ginger root and dice.
- Place the white ends of the scallion, the chopped ginger, the dried mushrooms, and a handful of cilantro in the cheesecloth and tie with cooking string to make a nice little, aromatic bundle.
- Wash the chicken, inside and out.
- Put the entire chicken, aromatic bundle, and water into a large pot and bring to a boil. Then, lower heat until water is just simmering and cover to cook for 40 minutes.
- Remove the chicken and aromatic bundle and place the rice in the pot. Keep water at a simmer, uncovered, for another 40 minutes. Stir frequently to make sure rice does not stick to the bottom of the pot.
- With a knife or your hands (if you are down to get dirty), remove the chicken from the bone and slice into small, bite-sized strips.
- Remove the shitake mushrooms from the pouch and slice thinly as well. The rest of the aromatics can be discarded.
- Heat a nonstick pan with sesame oil and when spitting-hot, crisp up the diced ginger for a crunchy garnish.
- Jook is done when it has a thick texture and the rice is plump. Take off heat and stir in the chicken and mushrooms.
- To serve, top with diced scallions, cilantro, and fried ginger. Other traditional garnishes include a dash of chili oil, firm tofu cubes, chestnuts, or bean curd (which is boiled separately for 5 minutes and then added at the end). You can make a different Jook every time you eat it.