Fast and Easy Arroz Caldo with Chicken Recipe
When I think of filipino comfort food, Arroz Caldo is the first thing that comes to mind, It’s the filipino chicken soup for the soul dish which warms and heals the body, mind, and soup. In our family, this was the dish my mom would make when we were sick, when it was cold, or any time we were craving this savory porridge. The umami of this dish comes from the holy grail of onions, garlic, and ginger then topped with fresh green onions, a tangy squeeze of lemon, and the briny fish sauce (if you can get it, use “Patis” the filipino version of fish sauce.) And, it is SO HARD for me to write a recipe because I cook with my eyes and nose. I never measure. But, here goes! Enjoy and tell me how you and your family likes this recipe!
Note: Unlike chicken adobo, which I like to prepare at least one day before serving, Arroz Caldo is best served right away. However, you could make everything ahead of time, WITHOUT THE RICE. About 30 minutes before serving, reheat, add the uncooked rice, bring to boil, stir, then simmer and cover about 20-30 minutes until rice is cooked. The rice gets gummy if it sits too long since it keeps absorbing the liquid.
Arroz Caldo Recipe
Serves 4-6 Prep time: 20 minutes Cook time: ~ 30 minutes
- 1 yellow onion – diced
- 5 garlic cloves – smashed & minced
- 1 thumb-sized ginger – peeled and sliced
- 1 tsbp cooking oil (coconut, avocado, high-heat olive oil)
- 5 lbs. chicken thighs with skin on; pat dry and sprinkle with salt on both sides
- About 4-8 cups liquid (water or chicken stock)
- 1-2 cups dry, uncooked white calrose rice – rinsed
- Salt to taste.
- Patis or Thai Fish Sauce
- 1 lemon
- 1 bunch green onions
- Heat oil on medium high heat in a pot or dutch oven
- Saute the onion and ginger until onion is translucent. Then, add the garlic and saute another.
- Add the rice and saute 1 minute. (Less rice = more brothy; More rice = more like a porridge.)
- Use a spatula to scrape the rice, onion, ginger and garlic to the sides.
- Lightly salt the chicken thighs on top and bottom.
- Add the chicken to pot, skin side down, let it sear for 3 minutes. Turn the chicken over and sear another 2 minutes.
- Add water or chicken stock until chicken is covered; then add another inch of liquid.
- Stir. Bring to boil.
- Cover and reduce to simmer for 30 minutes.
- Stir, taste, and salt as desired.
- NOTE: under-salt if you are using salted chicken broth and/or fish sauce as a topping
- GINGER: okay, this is definitely not a filipino thing BUT, if you don’t want your guests to bite down on a hunk of ginger you could find the slices and take them out or just warn your guests. OR eat them.! So good for you!
Prepare toppings to serve at the table:
- Chopped green onions
- Patis/fish sauce – a dash goes a long way! Add a little bit at a time.
- Lemon wedges
Serve in a bowl with toppings added as desired. What makes arroz caldo so extra delicious is ALL of these toppings. It is just not the same without the onions, patis, and lemon. Start with less and add more toppings to taste. Breathe it in deep while you enjoy it!
First time making this recipe? Let me know how it worked for you? I appreciate your feedback as a recipe tester! And, experiment with the amount of rice. Adding too much rice can make it gummy. And, not enough rice is thin and brothy.
“Kain tayo!” (“Let’s eat!”)