Monday, October 19, 2009

Congee and critters

Look at this lovely use of an old laying hen! The soup above is called congee. Also known as jook and chao ga, it's an Asian version of comforting chicken soup. My personal recipe is this:

One soup chicken
One 'stalk' of lemongrass
Three 2" pieces of fresh ginger
1.5 cups Jasmine rice
Salt & pepper

Put an old laying hen (previously butchered) into a soup kettle and cover with water.
Chop the lemongrass into 1.5" pieces.
Scrape most of the peel off the ginger and add.
Add salt to taste, maybe 1 tablespoon.
Simmer 24 hours on the back burner, not letting it come to a boil.
Take out the chicken and remove meat from bones.
Strain out lemon grass and ginger.
Put chicken meat back in pot and add rice.
Bring to a quick boil, then simmer until rice is porridgey.
Salt & pepper to taste.

Garnish bowls of congee with chopped cilantro and squeeze a wedge of lime into it. Heavenly!
This kind of soup can't be canned, so I freeze it with a squeeze of lime and a sprinkle of cilantro in each container.
Magnus is taking advantage of chilly nights by the woodstove. The squash are in curing before being stored in the pantry for the winter. They like a week or so of warm temps, then they will last for months in the cool dry pantry on a wire rack. The Uncle David Dakota dessert squash are all they're cracked up to be. Highly recommended!

Gemini is obviously starving to death, and needed to come up on the back porch to beg for dried apple slices through the kitchen window.
After a hard day's work at Seven Trees, humans and critters need to relax.....Gemini doesn't really like beer, but he can't help being nosey.

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