This dish is often served as sustaining breakfast fare. It can be served simply, with just the chicken stirred into it. Hearty eaters tuck into helpings of porridge drizzled with a little soy sauce, with strips of chicken, prawns, garlic and strips of fresh chilli, topped with a lightly fried egg and garnished with celery leaves and fried onion.
1 kg (2 lb) chicken, cut into 4 pieces, or 4 chicken quarters
1.75 litres (3 pints) 7 1/2 cups water
1 large onion, quartered
2.5 cm (1 in) fresh root ginger, halved and bruised
350 g (12 oz) Thai fragrant rice, rinsed
salt and ground black pepper
cooked peeled prawns, strips of fresh chilli, deep-fried onion and celery leaves, to garnish (optional)
1. Place the chicken pieces in a large 1 saucepan with the water, onion quarters and ginger. Season with salt and pepper, bring to the boil and simmer for 45 - 50 minutes, until the chicken is tender. Remove the chicken from the pan and reserve the stock. Remove the skin from the chicken pieces. Cut the meat from the bones and then into bite-sized pieces.
2. Strain and measure the reserved chicken stock. Make the quantity up to 1.75 litres (3 pints) 7 1/2 cups with water and transfer to a clean saucepan.
3. Add the rice to the stock and bring to the boil, stirring constantly. Lower the heat and simmer gently for 20 minutes. Stir, cover and cook for a further 20 minutes, stirring from time to time, until the rice is soft.
4. Stir the chicken pieces into the I porridge and heat through for minutes. Serve as it is or with any of the garnishes suggested.