Yanggie & I like to share a bowl of century egg porridge (congee) whenever we were out having dianxin. So one day, he suggested that we try preparing this dish at home. Having cooked the porridge twice now, i think it is something that’s quite easily done, yep. Before I begin sharing my recipe, there’s one ingredient which you might need some background information – the chicken stock. Either you prepare it yourself or buy it off the shelf. The former is healthier of course but time-consuming to prepare initially. The latter tends to be quite salty if you’re health-conscious. Anyway, my mother in-law taught me how to prepare the chicken stock and I shall share it with everybody here.
DIY Chicken Broth
- Buy spring onions, ginger and chicken bones (especially the spine) which would cost about S$ 1 either from a local wet market or supermarket.
- Cut spring onions into shorter lengths (about 2-3 inches) and peel ginger and slice it into a few pieces.
- Place the chicken bones, spring onions & ginger into a pot and add water (about 1 – 1.5 litre). Bring it to boil and then simmer another 3 hours. Scoop out any floating particles at the initial stages.
- After 3-4 hours: Using a strainer, transfer only the liquid into another pot / large container. Let it cool before keeping it in a refrigerator. Discard the bones & vegetables.
- The oil from the chicken stock will float to the surface when left to stand. On the next day, use a spoon to scoop out the oil layer and there you have your chicken stock for multiple dishes! It can keep for 3-5 days in the refrigerator. If you want to prolong its shelf life, divide it into small portions (jam jars) and save them in the freezer.
I learned that chicken stock has higher bone to meat ratio while chicken broth is the opposite. Adding other vegetables such as carrots, celery root and onions is a common practice in the west.