Since I bought a new slow cooker, I like to make chicken porridge for weekend breakfast for my family………….because it’s so easy……… I just need to place all the ingredients at night before I go to bed and breakfast will be ready when everyone’s awake, so I don’t have to wake up early in the morning just to prepare breakfast.
There are many variations of porridge that I know, but this one is one of my favorite because it’s very simple, easy to make, but very delicious. Even without extra toppings or condiments, this chicken porridge is already taste soooo…………good. If you plan to eat this porridge plain without any additional toppings, you have to add more salt, fish sauce, and soy sauce. I’d like to call this salty chicken porridge (but don’t make it too salty because it will not taste good). It is better to add salt little by little and taste it than to add a generous amount of salt at one go. The best thing is that the chicken is cooked twice (first to make the broth with other spices, and then cooked together with the porridge), so the chicken inside is soft and tender and easy to chew especially for children.
This plain chicken porridge that I sometimes make is always reminding me of my church back when I was still living in Jakarta, especially on Easter Day. In the morning of Easter or the Resurrection of Jesus, there was always a morning mass early in the morning when it was still very dark (5 am). The morning mass was held in a basketball field of my high school back then (I spent my high school years in a Christian school, so there was a chapel inside the school and the church sometimes used the school facilities for church activities). We would then sit on the hard floor (while the elders would sit on chairs on the back row) while singing, listening to the pastor, and remembering Jesus’ suffering to free us from our sin. I always loved this morning mass because it was so dark and silence and as the sun starts to shine at around 6 am, we celebrate Jesus victory over death. It’s so memorable even until now.
After the morning mass, chicken porridge is served for breakfast. Yes, the same chicken porridge that I make at home, and it was exactly the same. It is served in a super large pot with shredded chicken inside. This was cooked by some of the church members. Along with the chicken porridge there were also rice crackers (kerupuk beras warna warni) and siew mai (siomay) with peanut sauce, spring onion, and very spicy chili sauce, and all were made and prepared by some of the church members too. This happened every year (even until now I guess). So that was why I loved to make this chicken porridge and served it with my homemade siew mai with peanut sauce too, because it just reminded me of the old days…….
“This recipe is for 10 servings”.
- 1/2 of kampong chicken / free range chicken plus the feet, neck, and head
- 2 cups of rice (180 ml each cup)
- 22 cups of water (use the same cup to measure the rice and the water)
- 1 thumb of ginger, cut into 4
- 2 shallots, cut 4 each
- 2 garlic, crushed
- 1/2 large onion, cut 4
- 10 lime leaves (optional)
- 10 spring onion, cut 2
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp salt, or to taste
- Minced spring onion
- For toppings and condiments: sweet soy sauce, chili sauce, youtiau / cakwe, tung chye / tongcai, fried wanton skin, keropok, salted duck egg / telur asin, spicy potato chips (kering kentang), fried anchovies with peanuts (kering kacang dengan teri asin), siew may / siomay, etc
- Cut the chicken into 3 or 4 parts
- First, we will make the chicken broth. Prepare a slow cooker. Place the cut chicken, chicken feet, chicken neck, and chicken head inside the slow cooker. Add ginger, lime leaves, spring onion, shallots, garlic, and large onion. Add water. Set the slow cooker to low and cook for 5 to 6 hours.
- Discard ginger, lime leaves, spring onion, shallots, garlic, large onion, chicken feet, chicken neck, and chicken head. Do not remove the chicken broth form the slow cooker
- Transfer the cut kampong chicken to a plate. When it is cold enough, separate the chicken from the bones. Discard the bones and shred the chicken into small pieces (suwir suwir ayam menjadi kecil)
- Transfer the shredded chicken to the slow cooker
- Wash 2 cups of rice and add the rice to the slow cooker
- Add fish sauce, soy sauce, and salt to the slow cooker
- Stir everything in the rice cooker so they mix well
- Set the slow cooker to low and cook for 5 to 6 hours
- After 3 hours, stir the porridge. Check again after 4 and 5 hours. Add water of necessary (at this time you will be able to see if the porridge will reach the texture that you desire or not)
- Taste the porridge after 4 or 5 hours. Add another 1 tbsp or more salt if necessary and stir well
- Turn off the slow cooker after the porridge is done (around 5 or 6 hours)
- Serve in small bowls with toppings and condiments