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Arroz Caldo (Filipino Chicken and Rice Porridge) garnished with tomatoes, cilantro and lime

Arroz Caldo (Filipino Chicken and Rice Porridge)

Serves 6–8; Prep Time: 15 minutes Cooking Time: 1 hour
Course Entree
Cuisine Asian, Filipino
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Author Marvin Gapultos

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs (1 kg) skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
  • 1 T oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 T minced garlic
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 3-inch piece (7.5 cm) peeled fresh ginger, cut into thin matchsticks
  • 4 T fish sauce
  • 2 cups (500 g) uncooked medium-grain rice
  • 8 cups (2 liters) water
  • 1 t freshly ground black pepper

For garnish:

  • 2 green onions (scallions), white and green parts, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • Calamansi limes or lemon wedges, cut in half
  • Additional fish sauce to taste

Instructions

  1. Using your hands, gently remove the skin from the chicken thighs. With a little bit of effort, you should be able to pull off the skin from each thigh in one piece. Pat the chicken skins dry with paper towels and set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over moderately high heat. Lay the chicken skins flat, with the fat side down (the smooth side of the skin), into the pot. Press on the chicken skins with a spatula to keep them down until the first side becomes brown and crispy, about 5 minutes. Flip the skins over and continue frying until the second side is brown and crispy, 3–5 minutes.
  3. Transfer the crisped chicken skins to a plate lined with paper towels. Season the cracklings with salt and pepper and set aside for garnish.
  4. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the pot. Add the garlic to the pot and fry until golden brown and crisp, 2–3 minutes. Transfer the garlic to a plate lined with a paper towel and set aside for garnish.
  5. Add the onion and ginger to the remaining oil in the pot and cook until the onion becomes soft and translucent, 3–5 minutes. Add the chicken thighs and fish sauce to the pot and stir to combine. Place the lid on the pot, reduce the heat to moderately-low and cook for about 5 minutes, until the chicken meat just begins to turn white and releases some of its juices.
  6. Uncover the pot and add the uncooked rice, stirring until the rice absorbs most of the liquid in the pot, 2–3 minutes. Pour the water into the pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to moderately-low, and then simmer uncovered for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the chicken thighs from the pot and set aside to cool. Once cool enough to handle, remove the chicken meat from the bones, and then shred the chicken meat and discard the bones. Add the shredded chicken meat back into the pot and stir in the 1 teaspoon of black pepper.
  7. The porridge will thicken as the rice cooks and absorbs liquid. If the porridge becomes too thick after 30 minutes of simmering, more water can be added. If the porridge isn’t thick enough, continue simmering until it reaches the desired consistency.
  8. Spoon the porridge into bowls and garnish with the crispy chicken cracklings, fried garlic and green onion. Serve with the calamansi limes (or lemon wedges) and additional fish sauce on the side.