At the end of January, yimster kindly posted a recipe for his roast pig jook (see link). I happened to mention that I was hoping to tap my mom for a Viet rice porridge (chao) recipe. He asked that I post it, and nearly two months had gone by w/ no follow up from me.
I did get the recipe, misplaced it, and thought little of it until I met up w/ yimster face-to-face for the first time at a chowdown and he calls me to task on my unfulfilled recipe posting. Frankly, I was stunned but touched that someone was truly interested in my mom's recipe. We all share personal or family recipes wondering if anyone really cares or will actually use them, but this has confirmed for me that hounds really do.
I usually like to test a recipe in my own kitchen first before passing it along, but in this case, I'll let you do the testing and modifying if you're so inclined. So, after calling my mom this AM and having her reconstruct her recipe from memory, here is a loose guide:
Carb Lover's Mom's Chao Ga
Makes about 4 qts.
1 whole chicken, quartered
4 chicken hindquarters, if you want all dark meat
4 qts. water
1" piece ginger, peeled and smashed gently
1 med. onion, halved
1 c. jasmine rice
1/4 c. rice flour
1-2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. shrimp paste (optional)
chicken stock or wonton soup base (optional)
1. Ahead of time, wash rice thoroughly and allow to air dry completely. Place into food processor and pulse until rice is coarse and grains are about 1/2 original size.
2. Wash chicken. Place into large stock pot, cover w/ about 4 qts. water. Bring water to boil over high heat, reduce to simmer. Add in generous pinch of salt, ginger, and onion. Cover and simmer gently til chicken is cooked through, about 20-30 min. Skim off excess fat or scum. Remove chicken to cool, strain stock. Return to stovetop.
3. Add rice to stock and simmer covered til done, about 20 min. total. Shred chicken.
4. About 10 min. into cooking rice, add seasonings (fish sauce, sugar, shrimp paste) to taste. If stock is weak in flavor, then add canned stock or wonton soup base to enhance flavor. Wait about 5 min. then add shredded chicken.
5. Mix rice flour w/ 1 c. water to form a slurry. Slowly pour into pot until you achieve desired porridge consistency. If it gets too thick, then just add more water or stock.
6. Garnish w/ cilantro and scallions. Season w/ black pepper and sesame oil, if you like.