CHÁO GÀ- VIETNAMESE CHICKEN CONGEE WITH A POCHED CHICKEN SLAW

This is one of my all time favourite Vietnamese dishes. It's called Cháo Gà (where Cháo means congee and Gà means chicken in Vietnamese). Congee is a savoury rice porridge and many Asian countries have their own iterations, however the Vietnamese version is made with chicken and also has a salad to accompany which provides a textural contrast to the hot soupy texture of congee. 

It’s the perfect dish to make for the week and enjoy for a few meals. Making the stock takes a bit of time to allow it to simmer, however if you’re rushed you can always use store bought chicken stock too. You could also just make the congee without the salad, however the whole beauty of this recipe is you essentially get two chicken dishes out of the one whole chicken. 

It was my childhood favourite dish that I would always ask my mum to make for me and the dish that would be made when I was sick. It’s comforting, it’s healthy, it’s delicious. Everyone who I’ve cooked it for has loved it and I think you will too.

Serves- 8-10
Ingredients- 17
Cooking Time- 2 hours 
Skill Level- Easy

Ingredients

Congee

  • 1 whole lilydale chicken
  • 2 carrot
  • 4 sticks of celery
  • 1 small piece of ginger, sliced plus extra julienned for garnish
  • 3 spring onion stalks
  • 1 brown onion
  • 2 cups of jasmine rice
  • 2 tablespoons of fish sauce
Toppings
  • 2 tablespoons of fried scallions
  • 2 tablespoons of chilli oil

Slaw

  • 1 red onion, finely sliced
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • ½ white cabbage or wombok, finely shredded
  • ½ red cabbage, finely shredded
  • 1 bunch of mint
  • 1 small bunch of Vietnamese mint
  • 1 small bunch of coriander
  • ½ cup of Vietnamese Dipping Sauce- Nuoc Cham

Watch the process

 

Method

  1. Prepare a chicken stock by placing the chicken into a large stock pot, filling with water and bringing it to a boil. 
  2. Allow to boil for 5 minutes until you start seeing scum/impurities appear. Remove your chicken, throw out the water and clean your pot.
  3. Refill with fresh water and bring the chicken back to a boil with your choice of aromatics: 2 carrots,1 brown onion, 2 spring onion stalks,1 small piece of ginger and 4 sticks of celery.
  4. Once boiling, turn down to low to simmer for at least 45 minutes to an hour. If there are any impurities that float to the top, skim them out with a spoon.
  5. Remove your chicken, setting aside to cool and strain the aromatics so you now only have a clear chicken stock.. 
  6. Keep your pot of stock simmering on low. Place the 2 cups of Jasmine rice into a large pan and stir constantly on medium heat until the grains of rice turn from translucent to opaque and start to turn slightly golden.
  7. Add the rice straight into the pot of stock and bring to the boil. Once boiling turn down to low and allow to simmer for another hour. 
  8. Stir intermittently, you’ll see the rice start to expand and then crumble into the stock to create a thick congee.
  9. Season with a few tablespoons of fish sauce.
  10. Whilst your congee is cooking, prepare your salad. Finely chop 1/2 a cabbage, 2 grated carrots and finely slice your herbs (1 bunch of mint, Vietnamese mint and coriander). Grate a small piece of ginger, and slice 1 red onion and place into a large bowl.
  11. For the congee garnishing's, finely slice 1 spring onion and coriander and cut a small piece of ginger into matchsticks, all to be sprinkled on top when you serve.
  12. Shred your chicken into small pieces and add to your salad. Spoon 1/2 cup of Vietnamese dipping sauce as the dressing and mix to evenly coat. Garnish with some fried onions and herbs.
  13. To serve, ladle your congee into a bowl and then garnish with any or all of the following: coriander, spring onions, fried shallots, chilli oil and some pepper. Pour some dipping sauce into a small bowl to dip your salad into.
  14. To eat, enjoy the congee like a soup and eat the slaw with it on the side as a refreshing side salad. Alternatively, you can also add the slaw to your congee.

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