The Chinese had been trading with the natives of the islands long before the Spaniards arrived. But the Spaniards stayed as colonizers for over three centuries, and that had an impact on the language spoken in the country.
So, arroz caldo means hot rice. And it is the name of congee often cooked with chicken. It’s a dish that Filipinos enjoy anytime of the day but most especially for breakfast. And the eggs…??
They’re immature chicken eggs often sold with the sacs, livers and gizzards. You don’t have to use them all to make chicken arroz caldo. The livers or gizzards, or both, can go in other dishes, so, just place them in separate containers and freeze until needed.
If you’re using all of them, place the eggs and sacs in one bowl, the livers in a second bowl and the gizzards in a third bowl. They require different cooking times so it’s best to separate them before you begin the actual cooking.
In this recipe, rice is cooked with browned chicken bones to mimic cooking it in chicken bone broth. If you already have at least eight cups of chicken bone broth, you don’t need the chicken bones so you can just skip the parts about browning them and fishing them out later.
To make sure that no component of the dish gets undercooked or overcooked, make sure to add the gizzards toward the start of cooking as they need over an hour to become tender. The livers and eggs go in toward end as they require very little time to get cooked through.
Chicken arroz caldo
- 1 kilogram immature chicken eggs often sold with the sacs, gizzards and livers
- ½ kilogram raw chicken bones
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
- 1 ½ cups rice medium-grain rice is ideal
- 1 stalk lemongrass tied into a knot
- 2 pandan leaves tied together into a knot
- 3 to 4 slices ginger
- fish sauce to taste
- ground white pepper to taste
- fried garlic to garnish
- sliced scallions to garnish
- Rinse the gizzards well and remove all visible fat; slice each gizzard thinly.
- Thinly slice the livers.
- Carefully separate the eggs from the sacs, and cut the sacs into small pieces.
- Cover the bowls with eggs and livers, and keep in the fridge.
- Wipe the chicken bones dry with paper towels.
- Heat the cooking oil in a pot (I prefer a wok for more cooking surface).
- Spread the chicken bones in the hot oil, add the gizzards, and brown over medium-high heat.
- Add the rice, lemongrass, pandan leaves and ginger slices.
- Pour in eight cups of water and two tablespoons of fish sauce, and sprinkle in half a teaspoon of pepper.
- Simmer the rice and chicken bones, stirring (a wire whisk is ideal) every ten minutes or so to coax out the rice starch to thicken the mixture.
- When the rice is cooked through, taste and add more fish sauce and pepper, if needed.
- Fish out the chicken bones, lemongrass, pandan leaves and ginger.
- Add the egg sacs, stir and bring to a simmer.
- If the mixture appears too thick, add more water and continue simmering, stirring more often, until the rice grains burst and turn mushy.
- Carefully stir in the immature eggs and sliced livers, cover the pot and simmer for another five minutes.
- Taste the arroz caldo one last time, and add more fish sauce and pepper, or both, if needed.
- Ladle the chicken arroz caldo into bowls, dividing the immature chicken eggs equally, and garnish with fried garlic and sliced scallions before serving.