So, to no one's surprise, I missed the deadline for initial submission of Pledge Week posts. Rather than mail it in, I'm whipping up something quick and simple: crockpot chicken congee.
Like much of my life at the moment, the photo is a bit out of focus.
This recipe is a mild adaptation of one published by the NY Times.
combine 2 cups brown rice and 2 quarts chicken stock (brought to boil separately) in a crock pot. Cook on low all day, stirring every couple of hours if you can. When the rice cooks down to a porridge, it's ready. Alternatively, this can be cooked on the stovetop. It takes a couple of hours on low. Monitor the liquid level so that it does not dry out. You can always add water to maintain consistency (thick porridge, not thin gruel). And the leftovers will thicken considerably due to all the starch. Just add more water or stock.
The magic lies in the mix-ins and toppings. I served this with spinach (sauteed with chopped garlic and ginger), fried garlic and ginger, toasted sesame seeds (white and black, because that's what I had), chopped green onion, and splashes of soy sauce, sesame oil, and hot chile oil. But let your imagination rule. A common mix-in is a raw egg, which will cook from the residual heat of the congee. Or you could add chopped, leftover pork chops (I did this one night), chicken, fish, or almost any leftover veggies.
So if you need to curl up on the sofa with a tear-jerker movie or a good book, a hot bowl of this will feed your soul. And who doesn't need a little soul food these days?