Chicken & Preserved Duck Egg Congee

Congee is total comfort food and makes a really good lunch. My children started eating plain congee when they were very young. You basically simmer the soaked rice until it makes a starchy soup, season it and then add anything you like: barbecued pork, duck, blanched vegetables, salted duck eggs, boiled hen’s eggs, seafood or whatever else will add great flavour and texture. Plus, I love to stir in a big dollop of chilli. You should really try this. Most Westerners steer clear, but once you have had a good congee or ‘jook’ for breakfast or lunch, you will never look back; it’s especially good for hangovers!

Ingredients

  • 100 g ( oz/½ cup) long-grain rice
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1.25 litres (44 fl oz/5 cups) fresh chicken stock
  • 55 g (2 oz/¼ cup) Sichuan preserved vegetables
  • 200 g (7 oz) white-cut chicken, sliced
  • 2 preserved duck eggs, peeled and quartered
  • 1 small handful of coriander (cilantro) leaves
  • 3 spring onions (scallions), sliced

Method

Wash the rice in several changes of cold water. Put the rice, 750 ml (26 fl oz/3 cups) cold water, salt and vegetable oil in a pot and soak overnight at room temperature. The next day, add the chicken stock and bring to the boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to a low simmer, cover and cook for 2 hours, stirring from time to time, until the congee is almost smooth and very creamy.

Wash the preserved vegetables in cold water to remove the coating, and chop finely. Add the vegetables, chicken and duck eggs to the congee, stir and cook for 3 minutes until heated through.

Pour into a large bowl and top with the coriander and spring onions.