The key to making good Khao Tom Gai is to make your own chicken stock. I mean you could use the organic chicken stock like from Costco but the flavor will not be the same.
Khao Tom Gai is often served at breakfast in SE Asia, as well as all over Asia. It is often a late dnner choice as well. I use to arrive into Hong Kong or Bangkok on late night flights and I always ordered a bowl of congee/Kao Tom. This warm comforting bowl was perfect to relax and enable me to sleep after a very long tiring flight. Congee is the epitome of comfort food.
Congee that is sold at most US Chinese restaurants is dreadfully blah. It is more like porridge made with a little rice and water, period. Try my recipe for Kao Tom Gai and I know you and your family will be delighted!
I make my stock with chicken carcass, carrots, celery, onions, lemon grass, cilantro roots or stems and a pair of Kaffir Lime leaves A chile or two is optional but really makes the stock Thai. Simmer for hours, strain and freeze or use for congee.
Khao Tom Gai (Thai Rice Soup)
1 quart of chicken stock
1" piece or more of peeled ginger, grated
1-2 cloves garlic minced or pureed
white ground pepper, generous sprinkle or two to taste
1/2 to 2/3 cup Jasmine Rice
chicken boneless meat (1/2-1 breast or 1-2 thighs) poached
Garnish with French Fried shallots-I buy at Asian market in a container-yummy!
You could garnish also with some cilantro leaves. I also often sprinkle the bowl of congee with crisp fried garlic. I like offering pickled radish, hardboiled egg, and. fish sauce with chiles as condiments.
Bring stock to a boil, add rice stir, add ginger and garlic.
Simmer for about 30-45 minutes. I just cook until the rice is very soft and
cooked. Add seasonings to taste like white pepper and a splash of fish sauce..
I garnish the bowl with poached chicken breast or thigh pieces cut into bite size pieces.
4 pounds chicken carcasses, including necks and backs
1 large onion, quartered
4 carrots, peeled and cut in 1/2
4 ribs celery, cut in 1/2
2 pair kaffir lime leaves10 sprigs fresh parsley with stems
Lemongrass, hard outer leaves removed, cut into 2 pieces, whack with a cleaver to release the oils.
8 to 10 peppercorns
2 whole cloves garlic, peeled, smashed
Water to cover
Place chicken, vegetables, and herbs and spices in large stockpot. Simmer uncovered for 6 to 8 hours skimming off foam. Remove chicken bones, vegetables squeezing out the broth, and herbs. Strain and use for congee or reserve in refrigerator or freezer for later use for soups and congee.