Mushroom Chicken Congee Using Instant Pot
April 3, 2021  Print
I talked about my love for both Cantonese style congee/porridge and Instant Pots (I use the Instant Pot DUO60 v3) in my previous posts, Shrimp Congee and Fish Fillet Congee. What can I say, they just work so well together. It’s great to use an instant pot to make congee!
Today’s recipe is for mushroom chicken congee (电压锅版滑鸡香菇生滚粥 Hua Ji Xiang Gu Sheng Gun Zhou). For this particular Cantonese style congee, raw boiling the congee (生滚粥) retains both the freshness and nutrition of the ingredients really well, since raw ingredients, such as meat, seafood, or vegetables, are added at the very end to the piping hot congee and cooked for only a very short amount of time. Traditionally, Cantonese raw boiling congee is cooked for hours with frequent checks in between to achieve the right texture and consistency. With an Instant Pot, the congee can be made in approximately an hour, including time needed to pre-pressurize. What’s more, you don’t need to worry about temperature control or the congee spilling over.
For today’s recipe, I added chicken thighs and dried mushrooms. As noted above, they are added at the end after the congee is done cooking in the Instant Pot. This recipe is actually a well-known Cantonese congee. Although the recipe does not call for a specific type of chicken meat, I find boneless and skinless chicken thighs work the best for this recipe. In my opinion, chicken thighs are more tender, juicy, and flavorful than chicken breasts. And you don’t have to deal with bones, which can be a bit annoying when enjoying congee.
The final result is a one bowl meal with a cotton-like, melt-in-your-mouth rice congee adorned with savory tender chicken and soft umami shiitake mushrooms.
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour and 15 minutes
Servings: 6 people
- 1 1/3 cups (or 310 ml) medium or short-grain rice1
- 1 1-inch long (2.5cm) piece of ginger
- ~11 cups water2
- 5 to 6 dried shiitake mushrooms3
- 1 lb (~450g) raw boneless and skinless chicken thighs4
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt (or 1/2 teaspoon table salt)
- 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon Chinese cooking wine
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- 2 green onions
- Follow steps 1 to 5 from my previous post for shrimp congee. It’s the same steps for the congee/porridge. Only add half the ginger slices to the Instant Pot.5 Save the other half for the chicken thigh marinade in the following step.
- While waiting for the congee to cook, prepare the other ingredients. Wash then immerse the dried shiitake mushrooms in hot water for about 30 minutes or until mushrooms are completely soft. Once the shiitake mushrooms have softened, slice them into strips. Set aside.
- Slice the chicken thigh into long pieces measuring about 2 inches (~5cm) x 1/2 inch (~1cm) and put the pieces in a medium bowl. Add the 1 teaspoon of kosher salt (1/2 teaspoon table salt), 1 tablespoon of light soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of Chinese cooking wine, 1/4 teaspoon of sugar, and the rest of the ginger slices, mixing until evenly combined. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator until the congee is done cooking.5
- Chop the 2 green onions into thin slices. Set aside.
- When the Instant Pot is done cooking, it should switch to the “Keep Warm” mode automatically. You can use a utensil to manually switch the valve to the “Venting” position to let out the steam. (WARNING: Never use your hand to turn the valve as the steam will be hot. ALWAYS follow all safety instructions that come with your particular Instant Pot.) Optionally, if you are not pressed for time, wait 15-20 minutes until the Instant Pot naturally releases pressure. No matter the method, be sure to wait until the little floater next to the valve drops down, indicating the pressure has been released, before removing the lid.
- Remove the lid and press the “Cancel” button. Use a wooden spatula to mix the congee so the water and the rice are well integrated. Then press the “Sauté” button. When bubbles start appearing in the congee, use a wooden spatula to gently stir the congee for a minute. Then add the marinated chicken thighs and shiitake mushroom strips. Keep stirring until the chicken changes color and is cooked through, about 2-3 minutes.
- Press the “Cancel” button on the Instant Pot. Add the green onions, mixing well. The congee is best enjoyed when it is hot but be careful not to get burned!
- Long grain rice should not be used for making the congee base. The measurement cup is the standard US cup (250ml). It’s may be larger than the plastic cup that comes with your rice cooker (they often use rice cup; 1 rice cup is about 3/4 US cup).
- It takes approximately 11 cups of water to reach the ½ level mark (3 quarts, or 12 cups).
- You can get dried shiitake mushrooms from pretty much any Asian grocery store. If you can’t find dried shiitake mushrooms, substitute with fresh ones. Clean and cut the mushrooms in strips as well.
- You can use boneless, skinless chicken breasts instead if you don’t have chicken thighs handy.
- I peeled the ginger here this time since I’m only putting half the amount in the congee to help better absorb the ginger’s flavor.
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