This recipe is what I think of as the Filipino version of chicken soup, but with rice porridge. The ginger and chicken broth make for great cold-virus fighters. The dish tastes great when your nose is stuffed up and all your taste buds feel groggy and grumpy. And when they're not, the dish tastes even more fantastic. There are many recipes out there for this dish, but this is the way my mom makes it, sweet and simple, and of course nothing beats mom's cooking. :-)
Chicken Arroz Caldo
Makes 4-6 servings
- 3 inches fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 4-6 pieces bone-in chicken thighs and/or legs (cut thighs in half if using); you can leave the skin on or remove it, but I leave it on
- 2 cups Calrose or sticky rice, rinsed
- chicken broth (optional)
- lemon juice
In a big pot, heat 2 tablespoons of oil (olive, lard, etc.) on medium heat. Saute ginger until the edges start to brown. Add onion and garlic and cook until the onion is soft, around 4 minutes.
Add chicken pieces and a few pinches of salt, and cook for 3-4 minutes until chicken starts to brown. Add about 1 cup of water and allow the chicken to simmer for 5 minutes.
Add rinsed rice and about 4 cups of water and mix everything together. Allow to boil, then lower heat to a bare simmer. Cover with lid. Stir periodically to make sure the rice doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot. Cook for about 10 minutes then check to see if the rice is soft. You want it to be very mushy and porridge-like, not al dente in any way. Add water as needed and cook for another 5-10 minutes after each addition of water. It should be a little soupy (see photo above). You can use half chicken broth and half water to attain the desired consistency for the rice. Add salt to taste.
Serve in a bowl, with a couple squeezes of lemon juice per serving. You can also eat it with a hard-boiled egg and top it with some roasted minced garlic and/or chopped green onion.
Nota bene: If you substitute boneless chicken thighs or chicken breast, I suggest you use chicken broth for all of the liquid. Also, refrigerating the arroz caldo will dry it out, so when reheating, add a few splashes of water (or chicken broth) to reconstitute the soupiness.