Chicken and Olive Congee Chili

Pick your poison- being torn between two lovers, serving (two) many masters, or chasing two rabbits.   The inexorable truth is that you’ll either end up suffering from heartbreak, afflicted with burn out, or beset by starvation.

Tomorrow’s events include a giant chili cook-off and (occurring simultaneously 100 miles away) a killer trail marathon.  Having been dangerously unsuccessful in my attempts to clone myself, I was forced to choose one.   A quick glance at the post title and my ambition for tomorrow becomes quite obvious.  Chicken and olives are a no-doubt-about-it pre-marathon staple.   The choice made and race registration paid, I knew exactly where my feet would be, but worried where my heart would find itself.  After all, it’s not easy to miss out on chili, in fact it is emotionally distressing.  Just as I was about to sing the “choose you lose” blues, the race director’s email arrived- THERE IS TO BE CHILI SERVED AT THE FINISH LINE.  Wow, that was sparendipitous- my chili/running polyamorous relationship will (for now) remain intact.


Congee is known as a restorative- wholesome and soothing with rice and chicken.  It is to Asian cuisine what Chicken Noodle soup is to American comfort food.  As we are eating this prior to the marathon, I’ll advance the idea that congee is a prestorative.




1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cubed

5 ½ C water

2 t chicken soup base

1 T chili powder

1 T fish sauce

1 T sushi ginger

1 t garlic powder

1 t paprika

1 ½ C jasmine rice

½ C diced green olives





  1. Fry chicken until browned
  2. Add remaining ingredients (except olives) and simmer for 1 hour.
  3. Add olives and heat through.



Chicken and Olive Congee Chili

Chicken and Olive Congee Chili


Tasting Notes:


Now that I’ve glued my running shoes back together and eaten chili with chicken and olives, I’m ready for the race.  Tasters rated this as “very good”.  I liked the chicken and olive congee chili but it would have benefitted from more chili powder and more chicken soup base.  It needed a little umpf in the flavor department.  A firm Basmati rice would have really made this dish sparkle.  The jasmine boiled up a little too mushy and the effect on the palate was somewhat undesirable.   Putting the niggling criticisms aside, the carbohydrate, protein, and sodium content were each pretty high.  That fact alone makes chicken and olive congee chili (circumstantially) a good chili.


I can’t wait to try the post-race chili tomorrow.



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