for me - it is a dish my mom used to make after thanksgiving. why after thanksgiving? b/c then she'd have access to abundant amounts of turkey bones. using those turkey bones (with small amounts of meat still attached), she'd boil and boil and boil these bones until any leftover meat fell right off. throwing together a few simple ingredients, in a few hours we'd have hot and tasty jook to warm us up as the weather began to get colder.
I've learned over the years that Jook is a ridiculously simple dish to make. i'm fairly sure it is a Chinese dish, but lots of Asian cultures have their own versions. some might know this as "congee" because this is a type of rice porridge. whatever you call it, its good comfort food, great for cold days and nights.
i saved 2 turkey legs (frozen since last Thanksgiving) in my freezer in anticipation of making jook. i actually forgot about them until i recently cleaned out my freezer. HOORAY! Jook time :)
- 2 turkey legs
- 1 quart chicken stock
- 2 quarts water
- 2 Tbsp. salt
- 1 Tbsp. black pepper
- 2 inch knob of fresh ginger
- 1 to 2 handfuls of sliced dried shiitake mushrooms, re-hydrated in about 1 cup of water (more if needed)
- 2 - 3 cups cooked rice (old rice is better, fresh is ok)
- 3 stalks of green onion, chopped
put in the turkey legs, and boil for 1 hour, or more, until the meat falls off the bones. when bones are clean, remove them, and then pick through the pot taking out any small bones and skin (you can leave skin in if you like). shred up meat into smaller pieces.
while turkey legs are boiling, soak shiitake mushrooms in water for an hour or more. also, chop up ginger into slices. when shiitake mushrooms are thoroughly soaked through (no hard dried spots), chop up into pieces. add in the mushroom pieces and ginger slices. DO NOT DISCARD THE MUSHROOM WATER. add this water into the pot as well.
Taste the broth - if it needs more salt or pepper, adjust right now. add in rice, and simmer every thing for another 30 mins, uncovered, stirring occasionally.
if your jook looks thick - good. if not, simmer for another 15 - 20 mins. during last 5 minutes of cooking, add in chopped green onions.
NOTE: next time, i thinking of adding in wakame seaweed... what do you think?
ANOTHER NOTE: you don't have to use exclusively turkey legs. you can take an entire turkey carcass, and some left over turkey meat, and do this same dish. also, if you don't have turkey, you can sub chicken.