The Westernized Kusina

Want the recipe for this Arroz Caldo? Visit the new Westernized Kusina of filipinas who have banded together to share recipes, tips, and ideas as they adapt Filipino recipes to their new environs and also to showcase their takes on local recipes wherever they may be living now.

Here is the recipe re-published:

Hi one and all! I finally signed up and have been catching up on reading my favorite blogs. It just so happens that this past week, I also made arroz caldo. Not as good as Sassy’s as I don’t have kasubha, but good enough. The flavor comes from the broth, as PurpleGirl suggested. I usually use the backs and wing tips that I put aside when I make fried chicken or other dishes where these parts are not always desired. Personally, these are my favorite parts. My lolo’s favorite parts were always the head and feet of the chicken. Yeah, my kids all go “eeww!” when I tell them this. I always assumed that he loved us so much that he wanted us to have the best parts, and so always reserved the breasts for us, and takes the worst parts for himself. Now I kind of wonder 🙂 the bony parts, it turns out, are the best parts of the chicken! I do the same thing now (not with the heads and feet, the grocery store chicken is missing those parts) with the backs. I find them more flavorfull than the meaty parts, and not as dried, no matter how you cook it. This last batch that I made was a small batch, I only used the back of one chicken, cut into four pieces, the gizzard and liver. Here’s my version:

Arroz Caldo – Western Style

Chicken pieces – for this version I only used the back of one chicken as I mentioned, but you can use a whole chicken if you prefer. I usually reserve the breasts for other use though and just use the backs and dark meats. Again, for flavor, use the boniest pieces.

3 cloves of garlic, minced
Ginger – I used about a 1/2 inch length, cut into medallions
1/2 of a large onion, chopped
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons patis
6 cups of water
1 cup of rice

Heat your pot to medium high and heat the vegetable oil. Sautee the garlic until the edges start to brown then add the ginger and onion. Most of the cooks now a days will tell you not to brown your garlic as it will make your dish bitter, but my dad who is a great cook, always browned his garlic and so does every good Filipino cook I know. So I do it their way, and my dishes still come out OK. In fact, it seems more flavorfull to me. Anyway, cook the onions until translucent, and add your chicken pieces and stir fry for a few minute. Now here is another Filipino twist from my lola. Add the patis to the chicken, and let it cook down. She claims she used to do this to remove the ‘gaminess’ of the chicken when she used to butcher it herself. I don’t know that you would still need to do this step for this purpose as the chickens we get here are already pretty bland anyway, but I do it anyway, as it seems to add another layer of flavor to the dish. When the patis has been reduced, then you add your water and let it boil. I let it boil for at least 20 to 30 minutes, just to get the chicken tender and the flavor infused into the broth. Add the rice after your broth has simmered a while, and let it cook. If the mixture gets too thick for your taste, just add more water or chicken broth. Again, as PurpleGirl suggested, chicken broth will give more flavor. Taste and adjust your seasoning, and when the rice is done to your liking, you are ready to serve.

My dad always served his arroz caldo with a variety of condiments, including the fried garlic. It really adds great flavor to this dish. Here are some of what he would serve with his caldo:
Fried Garlic
Sliced Green Onions
Sliced Chili Peppers, either jalapeno or serrano
Lemon or lime slices

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9 comments on “The Westernized Kusina
  1. JMom says:

    Manang, we are definitely Ramen fans at our house! My girls grew up eating it, so far no ill effects yet 🙂 They are just a little weird at times, but I think that is a congenital defect. Hehe! From having too much Ramen noodles in vitro :=0

    Do you know, I have a Filipina friend who even uses Ramen noodles for pansit when she is out of bihon? Not bad, either.

  2. Manang says:

    JMom, you are a Ramen noodle fan too??? I have always been and my love for it is inherited by my kids as well (kasama na ang stepdaughter ko, say mo!). Despite the warnings about MSG, I can’t help it. My intuition tells me as long as I control the use of the flavoring, I should not be bothered. I have not experienced the “adverse effects” claimed by “studies” anyway (which I think is a multivariate analysis and is such, cannot be traced to this single ingredient), and up to now, my BP is good, despite having had instant noodles almost everyday when I was a clerk/intern during medical studies.

  3. JMom says:

    Hi Sis! I thought you were the domestic diva? ;=) You can do this, it’s practically as easy as Ramen noodles! Luv U!

  4. J and A Mom says:

    What a wonderful idea to have a collective blog site. Neato!! RE: arroz caldo recipe, I’m glad you’ve posted this. I love arroz caldo when the weather turn chilly. I tried making it once (without a recipe…you know— cooking by instinct 🙂 and it was so nasty I never tried again. Maybe I’ll muster up courage to enter my kitchen once again and try this. I was craving caldo once and went to Chow King and tried their congee—it wasn’t any better than what I attempted to make. I don’t know why I get so intimidated when it comes to Filipino cooking. I shoulda listened or tried to pay attention when you cooked. Ah well…my babies seem to enjoy the ramen noodles I prepare for them…

  5. JMom says:

    TingAling, this was one of the first dishes I learned how to cook, when I was about 10 or 11. It’s a really easy dish to make when you are just learning how to cook. You can’t mess it up!

  6. ting-aling says:

    Pahiram ng term ni Celia, Huwaaww! Ang sarap naman. Daughter had this in mind..baka susubukan niya.

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