Chicken Arroz Caldo (Chicken Rice Soup)
Arroz Caldo is Spanish or Tagalog for “rice soup.” This warm dish is best when one is under the weather or when the weather is cold and stormy.
I remember that in between on air times at ABS-CBN in Baguio City in the Philippines where I was a radio newscaster, my colleagues and I would rush to the famous Baguio City wet market where next to the fish and meat stalls, vendors were serving freshly-cooked Arroz Caldo for an inexpensive price. Each one of us would garnish our bowl of Arroz Caldo differently – from fishy to peppery and garlicky.
2 medium pieces, chicken breast, shredded or sliced in thin strips
1 cup uncooked white rice
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed (for garnishing)
1 root ginger, sliced in thin strips
6-8 cups water or broth
2-3 tablespoons, fish sauce
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1 tablespoon sliced scallions
In a small frying pan, heat a teaspoon of olive oil. Fry 1 tablespoon of crushed garlic until brown. Set aside, along with sliced scallions for garnishing.
In a casserole, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add garlic, onion and ginger. Add the chicken and stir fry with 2 tablespoons of fish sauce, until it is light brown. Add rice and water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and continue cooking – stirring constantly — until rice is done. Add hot water or broth as necessary. Add fish sauce and ground pepper to taste.
Serve hot on a soup bowl and garnish with the fried garlic and scallions. Add more pepper or fish sauce as needed.
(Makes 4 servings)