For those chilly days or when you are under the weather, Vietnamese rice porridge is the comfort food of choice. There are many different versions of rice porridge – with beef, chicken or plain. Chicken porridge is my choice to nurse a cold or the flu.
You can make rice porridge with a whole chicken. However, going with my simplicity theme, I’ve chosen to use cuts of chicken to speed up the cooking time. You can easily double this recipe if you choose to make it with a whole chicken to serve a crowd. I prefer to shred the chicken by hand rather than slicing since it allows you to pick out the fat. The starch from the rice will naturally thicken the stock – amazes me how little rice is needed. Some porridge recipes call for fish sauce, but not this one. Mom says that adding fish sauce while cooking makes the porridge have a ‘sour’ taste. So, we prefer to stick with salt. You can always add a few drops of fish sauce to the porridge at the table. Lastly, if the porridge to too thick, dilute it with some water or chicken stock.
Chicken and Rice Porridge (Chao Ga)
- 10 cups of water
- 2 chicken thigh quarters, skin removed
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 2 tbsp salt
- 1 cup of uncooked white rice (jasmine or long grain)
- black pepper to taste
- 1 sprig of chopped green onion for garnish
- Sliced onion for garnish
1. Add salt to water in a large stock pan, bring to boil
2. Add chicken quarters and chopped onion to boiling water to make chicken stock. Cook on medium/medium heat for 20-30 minutes, until chicken is cooked.
3. Debone chicken quarter and shred chicken. Replace chicken bone and ½ of the shredded chicken back to the stock and bring to boil.
4. Add uncooked rice to stock, stirring regularly over low simmering heat for 45 minutes.
5. Porridge is finished once it has reached a thick, creamy white consistency and not watery. Remove chicken bones from porridge before serving.
6. Laddle into serving bowl and garnish with the reserved shredded chicken, chopped green onion and sliced onion. Add crushed black pepper to taste.