Arroz Caldo – Filipino Congee

- 4 chicken thighs (or drumsticks) - 2 cups of sticky rice (uncooked) - 1 qt of chicken stock (fat free, sodium free) - 2 knobs of ginger (peeled, chopped 1/4 inches) - 4 cloves of garlic (chopped roughly) - 1 onion or 2 shallots - green onions - 2 tablespoons patis (fish sauce) - salt and pepper
Total comfort food and perfect for a loved one with a cold. Arroz Caldo literally translates to "hot rice" and this was one of my favorite dishes growing up in the Philippines. 1. Get a big pot hot and add some olive oil, and brown the chicken. This means don't move it until it has sufficiently browned on one side. Salt and pepper. 2. When you flip over the chicken, add the chopped onion or shallots and let it sautee until the other side of the chicken browns. 3. Add garlic, give a quick toss and add uncooked rice. 4. Mix around the rice and add the patis (vietnamese fish sauce works well too). Add ginger. Mix around and add chicken stock. 5. Cover and bring to simmer. 6. When simmer, bring heat to medium and continue to stir. Making sure rice doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot. 7. Continue to check the tenderness of the rice (much like risotto). If mixture is getting too thick, loosen with tepid water. 8. When rice is cooked just right, serve with chicken in a bowl and garnish with green onions and/or deep fried shallots and garlic and a grind of black pepper (white pepper works well too). Halway through eating a bowl, squeeze a bit of lemon juice (or calamansi) on top of the hot rice to jazz things up again. Also, this tastes much better with those big chinese soup spoons.