The Arroz Caldo (chicken congee or porridge) is a bowl of comfort for millions of Filipinos out there. Perhaps the counter part of chicken noodle soup from the North Americas, it is a cure all for the sick. It is also a warm hug for the grieving, often present during memorial services, especially in the chilly evenings.
Unfortunately, the Arroz Caldo does not earn a coveted spot in my line-up of comfort foods. It not one of my favorite Filipino dishes. In fact, I don’t like it. There’s something about dishes with boiled chicken, especially those with the bumpy skin on, that have me heading for the hills. *insert Goofy yoddle here*
But then as The Husband and I were menu planning, he wanted arroz caldo to rid our wee pantry of the not-so yummy jasmine rice we bought. Then arroz caldo it is…Gulp!
This recipe is good for at least 10-Arroz caldo hungry people Good enough for an entire battalion!
- 2-kilos chicken with bone and skin on, chopped into preferred cuts
- 7-tablespoons lemon or calamansi juice
- 4-heads of garlic. minced
- 2-red onions, chopped
- 1-knob of ginger, chopped into strips
- A pinch of saffron
- 3-chicken bouillon cubes
- 4-tablespoons of patis (fish sauce)
- 3-cups jasmine rice, washed
- 5-cups water
- 1-teaspoon cooking oil
- Chopped (or cut) spring onions
- Optional: crispy fried tofu and boiled eggs, sliced in half
- Rub chicken with salt, pepper and 2-tablespoons of lemon or calamansi juice. Let the chicken rest for 10-minutes. Then remove some of the skin…a handful
- Heat up pot and then add chicken skin to squeeze out some oil.
- When chicken skin is crispy, remove from pot and set aside…IF you can resist chomping on your homemade chicharon. Hehehe!
- Add 2-heads of minced garlic (set aside the remaining 2-heads of minced garlic for later), chopped onions and ginger. Saute for 5-minutes until onions turn translucent.
- Add the pinch of saffron.
- Add chicken pieces then cover pot for 10-minutes.
- Crush the chicken bouillon cubes and add to the mixture.
- Add the washed rice and saute in the mixture for 5-minutes.
- Add cups of water then simmer for 30-45 minutes until rice is cooked.
- Add patis (fish sauce) and leftover lemon juice to taste.
- In a separate pan, heat cooking oil and add the remaining minced garlic.
- Saute until they turn into golden and crispy teeny garlic chips. Then remove and place over paper towels to absorb the oil. Set aside.
- Chop (or cut like what I did) spring onions. Set Aside.
- When served, sprinkled some of the garlic chips and spring onions. You can also add slices of boiled egg.While The Husband loves his crispy fried tofu on his Arroz Caldo, so you can copy his Arroz caldo ways and add a few cubes to your bowl.
I hope that even though I don’t like it, you’d give it a try. The Husband enjoys it, so do millions of other Filipinos Am I convincing or what? Hahaha!