All the rich foods of the holidays, and having a snowy after-Christmas morning had me yearning for something simple and comforting. I had cooked a very plain version of this dish for my sick daughter a couple of weeks ago. It was more plain rice porridge than what we Filipinos recognize as Arroz Caldo or Lugaw or Congee, no matter how it is called. The rice soup we know is usually adorned with a multitude of toppings depending on ones taste. So for our after-Christmas meal, I decided to make a pot of chicken soup with rice.
I had posted the recipe for Arroz Caldo when I first started blogging years ago for another site but that site no longer exists and I change versions all the time anyway so I thought this would be as good a time as any to revive the recipe.
This is the recipe as I made it this time. Everyone has their own version of this soup and even I change my version all the time, depending on what I have on hand and what I feel like eating. Of course, you can vary the meats and toppings used. You can even make it without meat or toppings like I did for my sick daughter. I encourage you to experiment and play with the recipe.
Recipe: Arroz Caldo or Chicken Soup with Rice
Summary: Filipino style chicken soup with rice
2 Tablespoons minced Garlic
4 Tablespoons minced Ginger
1 large Onion, diced
2 cups of Rice
12 cups of Water (or chicken broth if you have it)
3 Tablespoons of Fish Sauce (Patis)
Salt & Pepper, to taste
2 Tablespoons of Oil
- In a large pot, heat the oil and add the garlic, ginger and onions. Stir fry them until they become fragrant but before they start to brown (a couple of minutes). Add the chicken pieces and stir fry for a couple of minutes more. Add the fish sauce, and cover the pot. Let the chicken and aromatics cook in the fish sauce until almost all the liquids evaporate. Stir every once in a while until the whole mixture starts to sizzle but make sure you don’t burn the garlic and onions.
At this point, add the rice and stir to coat. Add the water, and bring to a boil then turn the heat down to simmer. Cook until the chicken is cooked and the rice has blistered (about an hour). After an hour, the chicken should be tender and the soup thickened. If it seems to dry or too thick, add more water or broth. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve.
TOPPINGS – These are the toppings we used this time. You can use some or all of them, depending on your taste:
Hard Boiled Eggs
Cooking time (duration): 90
Diet (other): High protein
Meal type: supper
Culinary tradition: Filipino