If there is one complete meal that is perfect for slow cooking, it has got to be congee, or rice porridge as we are most likely to refer it to here in Malaysia. Warm and comforting, bubur nasi is pretty much the go-to dish for anyone who’s sick in Malaysia, and is believed to able to cure anything from a simple cold to post-operation recovery. Well, ok, not really, but if you grew up in a typical Malaysian household you know what we’re talking about! Congee is such a common sick-person meal that even local hospitals serve it to their patients. And it’s not just because it’s something we’ve always done. Rice congee is easily digested, its warmth kickstarts your digestive system and makes food more easily absorbed, it can be cooked with all sorts of nutritious ingredients, and it just makes you feel better all around.
While hospital porridge admittedly tends to lack in flavour, the porridge we cook at home is anything but. Always tasty, nutritious and delicious, flavour styles and porridge types can easily vary from household to household, or even day by day. From a simple potato and carrot porridge made for babies, to salmon porridge for the fancier adults, and let’s not forget the very flavourful bubur lambuk commonly available during Ramadhan. And have you ever heard of bubur goreng before? Porridge is sufficiently a big deal here that even restaurants serve it, and is often a standard menu item in many school canteens. But before we begin experimenting with the more complex porridge recipes, let’s bring it back to basics. And one of the simplest and hearty porridge recipes out there has got to be ginger chicken rice porridge.
But let’s make it in a slow cooker.
The slow cooker advantage
Your standard porridge is very easy to make, but it does require occasional stirring to ensure the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot and start burning. It’ll ruin the entire pot of food. This is where making ginger chicken rice porridge in a slow cooker comes in very handy. Yes, it will take you about twice as long compared to cooking it on a stove top, but considering you can’t cook rice porridge in a hurry anyway, all the time you save from having to keep an eye on the pot will more than make up for the four hour cooking time. And truth be told, making rice porridge in a slow cooker is so easy you’ll wonder how you ever got by without one before.
The instructions for making slow cooker ginger chicken rice porridge is dead simple. All you need is a simple prep for the ingredients, dump everything into the slow cooker, press a few buttons, then just kick back and wait or do whatever you feel like while the porridge cooks. Slow cooker ready? Fish out the chicken, shred the meat, and add it back to the pot. And because the chicken has been slow cooked, shredding it has never been easier. Give the pot a few stirs and your ginger chicken rice porridge is ready to eat.
And yes, it is that simple. A few ingredients, a few steps, and a few relaxing hours is all that stands between you and a bowlful of aromatic, delicious and super comforting slow cooker ginger chicken rice porridge.
- 170g (1 cup) long grain rice, rinsed
- 44 L (6 cups) water
- 480ml (2 cups) low sodium vegetable stock
- 650g (3 pcs) bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
- 20g ginger, skin removed, sliced thin and lightly bashed
- 14g (3) cloves garlic, peeled and lightly bashed
- 11g (1 ½ tsp) salt
- Century egg, peeled and quartered or cut into eights
- Fried shallots
- Ginger, peeled and chiffonade
Making slow cooker ginger chicken rice porridge
- Besides the salt and chicken, add the rest of the rice porridge ingredients in your slow cooker and give it a good stir.
- Give your mixture a taste. Depending on the vegetable stock you used, you may need to add more or less salt accordingly. Add as much as you need and stir to mix through. You can also under salt if you prefer to play it safe and add more after the porridge is cooked. You don’t want the congee to be salty, as you will be having it with some century egg and fried shallots later, both of which adds a little bit of extra saltiness to the porridge.
- Once you’re happy with the level of salt, place chicken pieces into the pot. There is no need to stir.
- Cover your slow cooker and set it to cook on high temperature for four hours.
- Once the congee is done cooking, carefully remove chicken pieces, transferring them onto a large plate or bowl. Don’t forget to ‘sift’ the porridge with a slotted ladle to ensure you get all your chicken pieces out. Don’t worry if your rice porridge looks a little bit watery now, as the water will evaporate a little while we work on the next step.
- With two forks, shred the chicken meat finely. This will be very easy and only requires a few minutes as the meat is fall-off-the-bone tender from cooking in the slow cooker.
- Remove all the chicken bones and cartilage and transfer the shredded chicken back into the porridge. Give everything a good stir to distribute the shredded chicken evenly. This will also further thicken the congee. Your porridge is ready to serve!
- To serve, either transfer the ginger chicken rice porridge to a large bowl alongside the condiments served in smaller bowls and let everyone help themselves. Or, serve in individual bowls, topping each with a generous helping of century egg, fried shallots, chiffonade ginger and coriander.
- You can also make your slow cooker ginger chicken rice porridge overnight by setting it to cook on low temperature for eight hours.
- Finding tricky to remove the skin from your ginger with a knife? Use a spoon to scrape it off!
- Century eggs have a strong sulphuric taste that may be a bit of an acquired taste to some. If you don’t like century eggs, feel free to use boiled salted eggs instead.
- Century eggs already come cooked and ready to eat from the supermarket. All you need to do is rinse it, as some century eggs are sold with a coating of sand covering the individual eggs. There is no need to cook century eggs any further.
- We recommend duck century eggs for a much richer yolk.
- Feel free to customize your porridge toppings with anything you like! Sesame oil? Go ahead. Fried garlic? Why not. Thinly sliced spring onions? Yum! And need that spicy kick? Well, a little cut chili or crispy chili oil certainly wouldn’t hurt!
- Ginger chicken rice porridge makes great leftovers. Allow it to cool thoroughly and keep the congee refrigerated in individual portioned airtight containers. To reheat, add a little bit of water to your rice porridge and stir it through as it tends to dry out a little bit in the refrigerator.
Porridge all day, everyday
Cooking and eating for one? There’s no reason why you can’t make a full batch of slow cooker ginger chicken rice porridge. It keeps easily and can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, tea or dinner. And you don’t have to wait until you or someone is sick to make it. It’s a hearty, delicious meal perfect for any occasion or none whatsoever, and is just so extra comforting to have on a cool, rainy day.
So how did you like our recipe? It really is easy, isn’t it? Don’t forget to show us your slow cooker ginger chicken rice porridge by tagging your pictures with the #butterkicap hashtag. Enjoy!