Monday, September 22, 2008

Congee (Page 122)


  • Date: Saturday, September 20, 2008 -- 8pm
  • Location: Bloomington, IN
  • Kitchen: My Apartment
  • Recipe Rating: A

That I waited more than two and a half years to make this recipe can only be explained by the fact that I didn't really understand what it was. This recipe was in the Soups section, so I had envisioned a typical chicken rice soup. Apparently I didn't notice the subtitle of the recipe, "Chinese Chicken and Rice Porridge." I love porridge! Hot, mushy carbohydrates is my favorite genre of food: oatmeal, risotto, cream of wheat, mashed potatoes... I love them all! Even within this competitive genre, this rice porridge was top notch. The recipe wasn't labor intensive, but it did take a long time (Active Time: 40 minutes, Start to Finish: 5 1/4 hours). I started by taking a whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces, and boiling it in some water with rice wine, ginger, and scallions. After the chicken was cooked through I removed one of the chicken breast halves, and left the remaining chicken in the pot. The pot of chicken then got boiled for another 2 and a half hours, to make a very chicken-intensive broth. Meanwhile I shredded the reserved chicken breast and set it aside in the fridge. After the stock had boiled for several hours, I put it through a sieve and discarded the solids (including the now terribly overcooked chicken meat), then returned it to the pot. I added a cup of rice and boiled for another couple hours, until it reached a nice porridge consistency. After seasoning the porridge I served it with the shredded chicken, sesame oil, scallions, and minced ginger on top. Yum! Yum, yum, yum! If I had a personal chef, this would be on the menu several days a week. At first it seemed like a waste to use a whole chicken and discard all the meat except for one breast half. But that chicken gave the stock such a wonderful, intense flavor that it was worth it. The porridge was warm, delicious, and chicken-y. Normally when my special gentleman is away I freeze some of each dish for him, but not this one. I couldn't part with it! I have eaten this for lunch and dinner for the last two days, and my only regret is that now it is gone. Yum! If you like hot, mushy carbohydrates, I highly, highly recommend this recipe!

Here is the recipe.

I believe very strongly in intuitive eating. In other words I eat whatever I want, whenever I want, but I only eat when I am hungry. Eating what I crave leads to pretty well balanced diet, and eating only when I am hungry generally gives me plenty of fuel to go on. Part of this philosophy though is that I also stop eating when I am full. I remember a phase in life when I would eat until I was so full my stomach hurt, but I realized one day that I didn't like that feeling. So when I am full, I stop. For years this eating philosophy has left me happy and healthy. Now, though, I have a problem.

A couple weeks ago I ran 9 miles for the first time, only to discover that an hour into my run I was starving. I had eaten normally that day, but apparently my normal eating isn't enough to fuel that kind of exertion. Today, knowing I was going to run 9 miles after work, I forced myself to eat more than I wanted to. I actually ate to the point of feeling a bit ill. It wasn't really pleasant. My run did go a bit better though -- I didn't get really hungry until the last mile, and afterwards I didn't feel as sick as I did a few weeks ago. So maybe stuffing myself is the right solution. I know that there is an alternative -- runners often eat Gu while running. It's a little packet of flavored carbs that you can squirt into your mouth mid-run. It doesn't taste so good though, and I just can't motivate to consume calories I don't enjoy. Pretty soon I think I will have no choice. Something about my eating habits is going to have to change!

All that said, I survived a 9 mile run after work today, which, given how exhausted I was, seemed like a big accomplishment. It was a decent run though. Plus, Deniz sent me some Body Glide and that stuff is amazing -- no more chafing for me!


Rachel said...

I don't like GU either. I just chopped a pb&j into small pieces and put it in a bag. Then you can munch away...Of course, if you don't like pb&js this isn't a better solution...

Deniz said...

Yay! I'm so glad the Body Glide worked!

Teena said...

Rach: Yeah, that's not a bad idea. I tried eating some real food while running last weekend and that seemed to go ok.

Deniz: Yeah, the Body Glide was awesome. I'm a convert!

scott said...

I heard a rumor that Andre H. used to put sandwich ingredients into a blender and drink a liquid sandwich (He denied this when I asked him). I'm not sure if you would enjoy that during a run, though.

Teena said...

Knowing Andre, I TOTALLY believe it. There are many amazing stories about his cooking! I remember he once tried to make a dessert composed entirely of saltines and some fruit or vegetable -- maybe it was rhubarb? Anyway, apparently it was none too successful.