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Chicken and Rice Porridge: How to Make Arroz Caldo in Pictures

Chicken and Rice Porridge: How to Make Arroz Caldo in Pictures

Arroz caldo is actually a Chinese congee that was adapted to the tastes of the Spanish colonial settlers who patronised Chinese restaurants in the Philippines.

-Wikipedia

Funny enough, I had to check out Wikipedia how this dish comes about. In its plain basic form, Lugaw – it is just a rice porridge with no meat. There are other versions: tripe topping (Goto), Tofu and Pork Ears on the side (Tokwa’t Baboy) topping or with a Hard Boiled Egg. This is all about the version with chicken in it – Arroz Caldo.

 
Ingredients:
2 pieces of shallots, Ginger (about 2 segments) and One Whole Garlic
5-6 pieces of Chicken Thighs
2 cups of Uncooked Long Grain White Rice
Salt and pepper to taste (not in photo.)

Procedure:

Chop ginger into strips – so you can easily take it out while eating.
Mince Garlic and Shallots
In a pan on medium high heat,
fry all your minced garlic until it is golden brown.
Drain and Set Aside
In the same pan,  render out the chicken fat.
When you get a good amount of rendered fat and the chicken starts bleeding,
turn off stove and take chicken out of the pan.
Drain out all the chicken fat and throw it away. Trust me, there will be more.
Peel off the chicken skin with tongs.
Put the skinless thighs back in the pan to render out more fat.
As the thighs cook, lay out the skins on a tray with a pan at the bottom.
Toast the chicken skin to a crisp!
You know it’s done when it turns into this lovely golden brown color.
Take your chicken out again,  check how much rendered fat
is at the bottom of the pan. If there is too much, take some out.
There should be enough because you already took out a lot of it earlier.
Add shallots and ginger at the same time.
Keep Stirring until the shallots turn transparent.
Add your chicken and rice. Don’t worry if it still a little bloody and raw. It will all cook off.
Add water and a bit of salt. Keep Stirring. Dont Let it Dry up.
Add Water, LOTS OF WATER. Rice absorbs water as it cooks.
Your goal is to make it absorb more water than it can take so it splits up.
This is what you are aiming for.
After the rice splits up, add all the fried garlic in the pot.
Season with a bit of Salt and Pepper to taste. 
Put in a bowl and serve with the chicken skin, some soy sauce and lemon.
This is one of my favorite winter blues cures. The dish is relatively simple and familiar. Ingredients are relatively available in American supermarkets.
If you made this dish, send me a photo!


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