Monday, November 21, 2011

Arroz Caldo (Filipino Chicken Congee) – iLugaw 4S for Kulinarya Challenge

It’s Kulinarya time once again …… and the November Challenge conceived by Joy of Joy’s Misadventures is up among the (probably) finest Filipino food bloggers around …… exploring an authentic Filipino light meal or snack dish generically referred to as “lugaw” …… a common name which for me is representative of scrumptiousness, self-effacement, simplicity and serenity …… my own concoction of iLugaw 4S. :-)

This month’s theme is “arroz caldo”. A type of Filipino congee or “lugaw” (as referred in the local language) flavored or added with chicken. As you may know, the main component of the dish is rice which in the Spanish language is called …… you guessed it right, “arroz”. Well of course, the other originally Spanish word “caldo” refers to broth or stock …… I know you knew that …… and you need a lot of it to be able to prepare a really tasty rice congee worthy of being called iLugaw 4S.

This modest dish is superb when the climate is cool …… during winter (obviously when living outside the Philippines, like most Kulinaryans are) …… or when it’s windy and rainy. It is believed to possess the ability to perk-up or improve one’s body condition after dining with it …… piping hot of course. It is also considered an ideal comfort food for the sick and elderly as it has a therapeutic effect …… or healing power of sort, if you like.

Apart from my “Goto Arroz Caldo”, I have already posted a recipe for “Arroz Caldo” before (no, it’s not called iLugaw 4). While I am fully satisfied with it, in honor of Kulinarya Cooking Club, I will attempt to make a reboot entrée to offer a fresher approach to the dish …… hopefully to come out with simpler or easier procedure but geared towards accommodating many variations or possibilities …… and probably …… just probably …… we could make serving and eating the humble “lugaw” more fun and exciting. :-)

The good thing about congee is that there are many varieties of toppings and flavoring ingredients that can be added to make varied offerings. While of course chicken is the predominant ingredient when it comes to “arroz caldo” some other add-ons won’t hurt the taste but instead would make it even more interesting.

Since my iLugaw 4S is a new generation “arroz caldo” and is designed to compose of many other toppings like fried tofu, crumbled chitterlings, boiled eggs, crispy fried garlic, minced spring onion or scallion, chopped leeks and dash of citrus to name just a few possibilities, we will try to do just that for this Kulinarya entry.

The two (2) main ingredients needed in making “arroz caldo” are of course, rice and chicken. About a cup of rice; I preferred a combination of regular long grain and glutinous but I only have this Pakistan rice so I have to settle with it.

For the chicken, we need about 1 kilo of the white meat cut up to serving sizes. While the use of cut up whole chicken is excellent, you can always use choice cuts of thighs or drumsticks as I always do.

You don’t like your congee to be oily so trim your chicken pieces with excess skin. Lightly season this collected skin with salt and pepper and set aside. You’ll have use for this later. :)

The other ingredients are pretty basic: about 2 tbsp vegetable oil, 1 whole garlic, peeled and minced, 1 pc thumb-sized ginger, peeled and minced, 2 tbsp good quality fish sauce, 1 onion, chopped, 1 pc leek, sliced diagonally, 1 tsp “kasubha” (safflower), 1 tsp ground pepper, 1 pc chicken cube seasoning, about 2 tsp salt or to taste, 3 tbsp minced scallion or spring/green onion and additional broth to make about 10 cups (maybe more) all in all.

Season the chicken with about 1 tsp salt and ½ tsp ground pepper and then slowly boiled in a casserole with enough water to cover until tender. Remove it from the broth and set aside. Strain the broth and set aside as well.

Heat about 1 tbsp vegetable oil in a thick pan then fry half of the garlic until crispy. Drain and set aside.

In the same pan, add the remaining oil and fry the remaining garlic followed by ginger. Add fish sauce, followed by onion and continue frying. Wash and properly drain the rice and add this to the pan. Continue sautéing for several minutes.



Pour in about 2 cups broth and let it boil with the lid on. Continue cooking in the pan until the rice grain is partially cooked through.


Transfer everything in a large heavy bottomed casserole, add the remaining broth and continue simmering on low heat. Add chicken cube and season with the remaining salt and pepper. Simmer for about 40-45 minutes or until the rice grains are fully cooked and puffed. Add in leeks and continue simmering for several minutes more.



Add in “kasubha” followed by the boiled chicken. When it boils again, taste and adjust the seasonings. Add more broth if needed. Add salt or fish sauce as necessary (I did not). After several minutes or when the “lugaw” has attained the consistency you prefer, it’s done. :)


Transfer in a wide platter, sprinkle with spring onion and crispy fried garlic on top and serve immediately.

No! Not so fast …… this is iLugaw 4S, remember? We need to make this into something people will anticipate and queue up for. As 4S means loaded with new features, some add-ons are necessary like our “SARI” (short for sari-sari ingredients :-)).

For my “SARI”, I deep fried the seasoned chicken skin set aside earlier to make crisp “Chicharon Balat ng Manok”, fried some tofu and boiled some eggs.

Add the above toppings along with halves “calamansi” to make our dish a killer “arroz caldo”. Now, this is what I call an iLugaw 4S.

Yes, it can now be served. :) Enjoy! c“,)


Please don’t forget to check out the other takes of my fellow Kulinaryans for this month’s challenge and maybe, we altogether, can broaden your knowledge about the rather modest Filipino congee called “arroz caldo”.

You’ll be surprised with the possibilities. :)

33 comments:

  1. Wow! Thanks for the recipe sis!

    ReplyDelete
  2. thanks peachkins and bechay .... there are so many of us who love this truly "Pinoy" food ... :-)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Got amazed on how you turned a simple lugaw to a very impressive one. Can't helped smiling when you upgraded it into iLugaw 4s. Bravo.....ang galing mo bro.!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love your recipe and all the detailed instructions with photos.Your post just made me hungry again and I just ate breakfast, LOL! Thanks & glad to cook along with you on this KCC event!

    ReplyDelete
  5. thanks anonymous .... i'm glad the post made you smile .... hope you will try it soon :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. same here @Mango_Queen, it's wonderful cooking along with you on this simple yet well loved KCC dish theme, thank you...

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love the very hearty meal you came up with, Boyet! Thank you for always participating in the club's challenge and like the Mango Queen, It's good to be cooking along with you.

    ~ ray ~

    ReplyDelete
  8. I appeciate how thoroughly you document the cooking process, Boyet! Nice execution on this month's challenge. - Louie

    ReplyDelete
  9. This is a very dangerous arroz caldo, Boyet. Such a killer! All those s's are so right. Such a humble dish but extremely delicious. Comforting yet exciting...especially when topped with fried chicken skin.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Wow, your ilugaw 4s sounds awesome! Love all the toppings! I'm sure even SIRI would love it! :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Chicken chicharron! Great minds think alike. heheh. I love the iyouknowwhat reference and the step by step photos.

    ReplyDelete
  12. hi ray thank you too, it is always a pleasure to join KCC's challenge. see you next month ... :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. i think you are right about the "great minds" oggi, hehe ... thanks a lot :-)

    ReplyDelete
  14. thanks louie ... my camera just keep on clicking that's why ... lol

    ReplyDelete
  15. Wow, super yummy! I love your Ilugaw 4s, great job!

    ReplyDelete
  16. indeed Adora, the danger is real .... especially if we consumed too much .... much more with that crisp chicken skin .... lol :-))

    ReplyDelete
  17. yes Tina, i am imagining SIRI saying "another serving please" hehe .... thanks

    ReplyDelete
  18. haha! i wonder if our street vendors can sell this version, it is just so special with all those toppings! this is to be served to very special people who would be paying by way of hugs and kisses such as my kids!
    Really glad to have joined KCC, such a learning experience!

    ReplyDelete
  19. thank you Dhalia, my iLugaw 4S is intended to be loved ... by lugaw lover with a big hunger ... lol

    ReplyDelete
  20. OMG this is really loaded with so much goodness that I would like to have it iLugaw 45ish next time i make my lugaw. this is really a WOW!
    great take ... you definitely put arroz caldo on a higher note.
    happy thanksgiving!
    malou

    ReplyDelete
  21. Isabel if this loaded arroz caldo will be sold on the streets, the term "tubong lugaw" might no longer be applicable to the business .... lol

    ReplyDelete
  22. Rowena the tokwa (tofu) is also a personal preference .... its health goodness tends to balance the "my goodness!" calorie of the crispy chicken skin ... :))

    ReplyDelete
  23. Thank you Malou .... it is the KCC's effort that somehow elevated the status of this humble dish of ours ... into something special. Cheers! :)

    ReplyDelete
  24. Wow! toppings pa lang busog na!
    Your arroz caldo is a BIG treat! Yum!

    ReplyDelete
  25. indeed Marge, i believe that serving can easily satisfy even a wrestler, lol ....

    ReplyDelete
  26. I love the toppings....specially the crispy tokwa pieces plus that sinful Crispy Balat nang Manok!!!! You're a tease, next time I go to my butcher...I have to ask for free chicken skins=)

    ReplyDelete
  27. thanks Altea, I usually do that here - asking the butcher for chicken skin, if he only knew how to make it into chicharon, he will cease from giving it free of charge, lol ...

    ReplyDelete
  28. Ohhhh fried chicken skin. Yum.

    ReplyDelete
  29. thanks Joy ... the crispy chicken skin really makes it special .... :)

    ReplyDelete
  30. Oh, man.... now i want to make another batch of arroz caldo and add the toppings you have. I love your step by step photo. And your iLugaw 4S so true, so true ;)

    ReplyDelete
  31. thank you ... with the cool breeze of December this dish gets even better to eat ... :-)

    ReplyDelete

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails