Arroz Caldo is a cross between a savory porridge and risotto. You basically boil chicken and rice in chicken stock until the rice gets mushy and creamy. The flavor comes from a generous amount of fresh ginger, onions, garlic and fish sauce.
My mom used to make this during the colder months and when anyone was feeling under the weather. So it was just natural for me to crave this since I've been hit with a major sore throat. So I IM'ed Karen for some tips.
3 tbs vegetable or canola oil
3 thumb-size fresh ginger, peeled and cut into fairly big slices
1/4 onion chopped or 1 shallot (optional)
4 cloves of garlic thinly sliced
4-5 chicken thighs, skinless
1 cup of rice (I used Jasmine)
1-32oz carton of chicken stock
2 cups of tap water
fish sauce, salt and pepper to taste
Heat up oil and fry garlic slices - don't burn. Remove from oil and set aside.
Add ginger and onion/shallot (if using) to the same oil and constantly stir to prevent burning. Season with salt & pepper.
Add well seasoned chicken and brown both sides. Remove and set aside. Don't worry if the chicken isn't fully cooked, it will finish cooking in the broth. Add rice to oil and stir for 2 minutes. Add salt and pepper.
Add broth and mix (deglaze bottom of pan). Add back chicken and allow to boil. Add 1/2 tbs of fish sauce. You might need more, depending on your taste bud. Add 1 cup of water and stir - allow to be re-absorbed by the rice. Lower heat. You may need to add more water - you want the rice to thicken up, almost mushy. The broth should also thicken and less "soupy". Add the rest of the water and again allow to boil and be absorbed. Total "simmer time" - about 30-40 mins
Serve with a couple of slices of lemon and top with garlic flakes. I love lemon juice in my arroz caldo, I think it creates a good balance with the ginger, garlic, fish sauce and chicken.