Here's the congee dish I promised to post. This is a simple and satisfying dish. The woman who taught it to me said that since American chickens don't have as much flavor as the ones back home, she used some chicken stock as well as water to give it more flavor. You could certainly use home-made stock, if you wanted to.
8 cups water
4 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 cups raw regular rice (kao chao)
1 1/2 lbs chicken parts (breast, wings and thighs)
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 T peanut oil
6 large shallots, peeled and slivered
1/2 head of garlic, cloves peeled and slivered
8 scallions, chopped
1/2 cup fresh coriander, leaves and tender stems, chopped fine
Golden Mountain sauce
Wash and dry the chicken parts and cut into 1" wide pieces. Combine the water and chicken stock in a heavy-bottomed 6 qt. stock pot. Wash and drain the rice, and when the stock has boiled, add the rice while stirring. Boil gently, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes, then add the chicken and salt. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer, uncovered, for 45 to 60 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent it from scorching. If it does scorch, transfer it at once to another pot.
While the rice is cooking, prepare the garnishes. Have a small bowl ready near the stove. Place a small, heavy skillet over high heat for one minute, then add the peanut oil and heat one minute more. Add the shallots and garlic slivers and fry, stirring and turning them constantly, until everything is a rich brown. Remove them at once with a slotted spoon to the small bowl and let cool.
Put the scallions and coriander leaves into small bowls for serving, and set out the sambal uelek, fish sauce and Golden Mountain sauce.
When the stock mixture has done simmering, you'll find that the rice grains have swollen to form a thick guel. At this point, though it isn't traditional, I usually remove the bones from the chicken pieces, for ease of eating. Spoon into serving bowls, being careful to get plenty of chicken in each bowl. Serve at once.
Each guest sprinkles on 1 or 2 tsp of the shallot-garlic mixture, along with some scallions and coriander leaves, a dab of sambal uelek, and a squirt each of fish sauce and Golden Mountain sauce, to taste.
Kao Piak Kai keeps well in the refrigerator for at least a week. Add more chicken stock when reheating, as it becomes thicker each time it cools.