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. :-)
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.
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.
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.
“calamansi” to make our dish a killer “arroz caldo”. Now, this is what I call an iLugaw 4S.
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. :)