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Savory Chicken porridge

A Traditional Asian dish which used the humble oat in a fantastic way.  Packed with flavour, this is perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE CHICKEN

1 small whole chicken

1 bunch Spring onions, about 6

1 (2-inch) piece fresh unpeeled ginger, crushed with the side of a chef’s knife or cleaver

1 tablespoon sea salt, plus more to taste

FOR THE PORRIDGE

1 cup raw rice, preferably jasmine

1 litre chicken stock

1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced 1/4-inch thick

Freshly ground black pepper

FOR THE TOP

Sliced spring onions

Chopped corriander

Chopped roasted peanuts

Fried shallots


METHOD

1.       Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil over high heat. Add the chicken, green onions, smashed ginger and salt.

2.       Bring the water back to the boil, then simmer for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat, cover the pot, and let sit for 15 minutes for small chicken (add 10 minutes for a larger bird). Fill a large bowl 2/3rds full with ice cubes and cold water.

3.       Remove the chicken from the poaching liquid and plunge it into the ice water. Reserve 2 cups of the poaching liquid, and strain it through a fine strainer. Discard the rest of the poaching liquid (or save it for some other use). Keep the chicken in the ice water for 20 minutes.

4.       Lift the chicken out of the ice water. Using your hands, break down the chicken, removing and discarding the skin. Take the meat from the bones and discard the bones. With your fingers, shred the poached chicken into medium-size pieces. You should have about 4 cups of shredded meat.

5.       While the chicken is poaching and cooling, cook the rice. In a large, heavy pot, combine the rice, stock, ginger, and the 2 cups reserved chicken cooking water over high heat. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a steady simmer. Simmer until the rice is broken and looks like porridge, 1 hour. Taste and season with salt.

To serve: Ladle the porridge into warmed serving bowls and top with the shredded chicken and a sprinkling of pepper. Serve the garnishes in separate bowls at the table, for guests to help themselves.