I often wonder how many cultures have a version of a delightful warming bowl of chicken and rice… in this case, homemade jook.
This is not just any chicken and rice. It is slow cooked in a hearty homemade broth, a thick porridge of rice, sprinkled with large chunks of a roasted local organic pastured chicken. My Spanish grandmother would make homemade Arroz Con Pollo with saffron and onions. My husband’s Chinese grandmother would make homemade Jook with ginger, garlic, and soy sauce.
On brisk afternoons or chilly evenings; when flu season is in full blast; when you’re missing home and need a comforting hug; or when you need a meal that’s easy… you want homemade jook.
I can remember my grandmother making arroz con pollo when my aunt would come home from college for brief visits. The table would be full of friends and family surrounding a giant pot of warm, soothing goodness.
I’ve found this recipe to be a great way to use the leftovers from a whole roasted chicken. I use the carcass (bones, joints, & meat) for stock and the base of the chicken and rice. I was curious to find other versions of chicken and rice so I did a brief search. I was able to find a Turkish version with yogurt & chickpeas; a Caribbean’ version with rum & plantains; a Cambodian version with ginger, lime, and shrimp; and a Columbian version with cilantro, peas, and carrots. The base is all the same, a hearty broth, a roasted chicken carcass, leftover meat, and rice.
The cool of autumn has passed and the chill of winter is finally upon us (hurray!). This meal is perfect for those brisk afternoons or chilly nights.
Below is the recipe for my husband’s grandmother’s version – Jook. Given the current holiday season, you can also use turkey in place of chicken! Do you have a special version of this simple and comforting dish?
Thank you Ammy for this special recipe and the great memories you provided the hubs, his family, and now mine! We love and miss you dearly!
■ 1-2 chicken carcasses *^
■ 5qt pot
■ 6-8 cups water (enough water to barely cover the chicken carcasses)
■ 1 ½ cups rice (still looking for a bulk organic supplier… any suggestions?)
■ 2 tbsp fresh ginger, chopped
■ 2 cloves fresh garlic, chopped *^
■ 2-3 tbsp soy sauce (depending on your taste and how ‘salty’) *
■ 1-2 tsp olive oil
■ Kosher Salt & Pepper to taste
Optional Ingredients for Serving
■ Fresh lemon or lime juice
■ Sriracha Hot Sauce
Step 1: Place 1-2 already cooked/seasoned chicken carcasses in a 5 quart soup pot and cover with water (NOTE: if your carcasses are not seasoned, add an ample amount of salt, a rough chopped onion, a couple of carrots, and a couple of celery stocks to the water. This will help develop a rich broth. If your carcasses are already seasoned, water should be sufficient END NOTE).
Step 2: Once the water has come to a boil, reduce the temperature to medium and simmer the carcasses and broth for at least 30 minutes to an hour. Skim the broth every so often removing any ‘scum’ or fat from the surface. Remove the carcasses from the broth and set aside in a bowl to cool enough to handle. Use a spider or strainer and run through the broth making sure to remove any small bones or vegetables ensuring a safe clean broth.
Step 3: Once the chicken carcasses have cooled enough to handle, remove the meat from the bones and place the meat back into the broth. Remember to give any skin and cartilage to your pets! Natural fats and marrow are great for their skin, coat, and joints! I usually have a “supervisor” while removing the meat from the chicken. She knows she’s in for a treat when I’m done!
Step 4: Add in rice and stir. In a separate small sauté pan, brown the chopped garlic and ginger in olive oil. Be careful to not burn the garlic or your stock will be bitter. Add the browned garlic and ginger to the stock and stir. Cook the mixture, stirring occasionally until the broth has reduced but is still present. The consistency will be like porridge or even a risotto. This will take 20 – 30 minutes, keeping your temperature at a medium simmer. Add in soy sauce and salt and pepper to taste.
Your homemade Jook is ready to serve!
Extras: I like to steam a head of broccoli or saute some mushrooms and add it at the end. My husband likes to add Sriracha and extra soy sauce. I like to add fresh lemon or lime juice and Sriracha. It’s a basic meal yet so comforting and delicious! Enjoy!!