Arroz Caldo is the ultimate in Filipino comfort food. It's often a go-to when you're feeling under the weather or needing something to warm you on rainy days or during frigid winter months. It's often served for breakfast (and as an occasional hangover cure). I personally can eat it anytime any day and it's an easy dish that our entire family enjoys.
Arroz Caldo is actually a rice congee that was introduced by Chinese traders the Philippines. This dish became a popular staple among Filipinos but it wasn't until the Spanish colonized the Philippines that the name Arroz Caldo became attached to it. The Spanish colonizers, unable to pronounce the Chinese term, named it Arroz Caldo; not unlike their naming of the Philippines after king Philip II of Spain in the 16th century.
Arroz Caldo is our version of chicken and rice soup. As always there are different versions of this dish from ingredients to preparation but ginger is the key and chicken defferentiates it from other congee-like or rice-porridge dishes. E.g. "Goto" uses tripe, beef, and internal organs and "Lugaw" is a plain rice porridge.
2 lbs chicken; remove skin, cut into serving pieces and pat dry
1 cup uncooked white rice
1 small yellow onion; chopped
4 cloves garlic; chopped
1.5 in piece ginger root; peeled and sliced
6 cups chicken broth or water
2 tbsp cooking oil
Optional: salt & pepper, fried garlic, scallions, calamansi or lemon,
fish sauce or soy sauce, egg
In a large casserole or heavy bottomed pot, sauté garlic, onion, and ginger in oil.
Add chicken and stir fry until lightly browned (you can add up to 2 tsp salt and pepper).
Drain any remaining oil, then add rice and broth, cover and bring to a boil.
Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until chicken is tender and rice is done (add hot water if the liquid dries up).
Notes: You can serve your Arroz Caldo with different types of garnish. Some of our favorites are fried garlic, chopped scallions, calamansi and fish sauce. Calamansi can be tough to find and fish sauce isn't necessarily a staple in common kitchens, so lemon and soy sauce are also great options. Many serve Arroz Caldo with a sliced hard boiled egg on top, but if you're feeling like living on the edge we love to top it with a poached egg!