During this unprecedented time of sheltering in place due to the coronavirus, I find myself even more focused on cooking healthy and comforting meals for my family and creatively stretching what we have stocked on hand. I’m more judicious in the way I cook and how I utilize ingredients like animal proteins, such as extending a single roasted chicken into multiple meals. For example, the amount of chicken called for in the following Arroz Caldo recipe, a comforting Filipino Chicken Rice Soup, can be cut in half with leftover cooked meat or just two thighs. One of my secret weapons for boosting flavor in a soup such as this is Better Than Bouillon concentrated stocks (not a paid endorsement). Jack up the chicken flavor, and your family won’t notice there’s less meat in the dish!
We’ll get through this, friends. Eat well, take care of yourself and each other, and look to the brighter side of things.
Filipino Chicken Rice Soup (Arroz Caldo)
Recipe adapted from Town & Country Markets
2 tablespoons avocado or vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
8-10 cloves garlic, minced
3-inch knob of fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced (or about 1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger)
1/4 teaspoon each of kosher salt and ground black pepper
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 4 thighs), cut into bite-sized pieces
6 cups chicken broth
3/4 cups white rice
To garnish: thinly sliced green onions and red chilies, sliced hard-boiled eggs (about 1 per person), crispy fried garlic (cook thinly sliced pieces on low in a bit of oil until golden), fish sauce, lime wedges
Heat stockpot over medium heat and add oil.
Add onion, garlic, ginger, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, frequently stirring, until softened and translucent.
Add the chicken and cook, occasionally stirring, until no longer pink.
Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Add the rice and simmer until cooked through, about 35-40 minutes. Season to with salt and pepper. Thin with a bit of chicken stock or more water if desired.
Remove ginger (if you used fresh) before serving and add garnishes.