Turkey Congee


My all-time favorite breakfast is a nourishing bowl of congee (or jook in Cantonese), which is as common in parts of China and Japan as cereal is in the United States. Congee is usually made with plain water and rice, but it is much better when prepared with a savory broth—the kind that has been slow-simmered with lots of bones, like those of a turkey carcass. In fact, I insist on roasting a turkey at Thanksgiving every year because the leftover meat and bones make a gobble-worthy congee for the entire holiday weekend. If you have some leftover cooked vegetables (black or shiitake mushrooms are great), add them when you stir in the turkey meat at the end.


1 small leftover turkey carcass (2 to 3 pounds)

4 scallions, green and white parts chopped, plus more for garnish

1 2-inch knob fresh ginger, slightly bruised

1 cup uncooked jasmine rice

Soy sauce (optional)

Ground white pepper (optional)

Coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish

Place the turkey carcass in a stockpot and add about 3 quarts of water to cover. Add the scallions and the ginger, and set the pot over medium heat. Cover and let simmer for about 2 hours.

Strain the broth through a colander into a large pot; discard the bones and set aside any meat. (You will have about 3 quarts of broth.) Stir the rice into the broth and let it simmer, covered, until the rice is broken down to a creamy porridge, about 1 hour.

To serve, stir in the reserved meat. Season with soy sauce and white pepper, if needed, and garnish with scallions and cilantro.