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Every time I eat arroz caldo, it reminds me of the countless times my dad and I spent on those hole-in-a-wall eateries that are often found on the street or what many Filipinos called “carinderia”.  That is why I want to thank Joy of Kulinarya Club for coming up with arroz caldo as our November cooking theme.

The true Filipino name of this dish is “lugaw” or “lugao” and it was adapted from the Chinese congee. Congee and lugaw are very similar except Filipinos added diced scallions, toasted garlic, and some even added boiled eggs. Then came the Castilian or Spanish influence of adding saffron, and other spices that made it arroz caldo. Well, with the price tag of about $70 per ounce, I guess. . . we’re not using saffron today. Instead we will be using the saffron wanna be and that is kasubha (safflower $1.49 per oz). But if you insist on using saffron, be my guest and if you have any leftover, email me and I will let you know where to send it, he he he.

There are arroz caldo (sometimes called “GOTO”) that is prepared with beef tripe, or even pork stomach but the most common type is chicken arroz caldo.  You can use boneless and skinless chicken meat or you can use chopped whole chicken. I like using chopped whole chicken because of the flavorful broth that it produces.

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Chicken Arroz Caldo

Serves 6 to 8

INGREDIENTS:

  1. 1 whole chicken – cut into serving pieces
  2. 1 medium onion – chopped
  3. 1 cup uncooked rice
  4. 2 1/2 Tablespoon finely minced ginger
  5. 2 Tablespoon finely minced garlic
  6. 2 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  7. Salt or Patis(Fish Sauce) to taste
  8. Gound black pepper to taste
  9. 6 cups water (add more if it rice becomes too thick)

  10. 2 Tablespoon vegetable oil (for sauteing and browning garlic)
  11. 4 Tablespoon finely-minced garlic (set aside to be sauted)

  12. 1 cup chopped green onions or scallion for flavoring and garnishing (chop but separate the white parts)
  13. Sesame oil to taste.
  14. Slices of lemon or calamansi.
  15. 1 teaspoon kasubha or safflower for coloring. (See picture below).

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Place wok or large casserole over medium-high heat then add oil.
  2. When the oil is hot,add onions, garlic, and ginger.
  3. Stir fry until onion is translucent.
  4. Add chicken then stir fry until chicken is seared to light brown.
  5. Add water and let it boil.
  6. Remove all the foam that will float on top of the water.
  7. Add rice and let it boil.
  8. Stir occasionally to avoid rice from sticking to the bottom.
  9. Add the safflower.
  10. Add the whites parts of the green onion.
  11. Add salt or fish sauce as needed.
  12. Add ground pepper.
  13. Serve hot topped with chopped green onion.

  14. Toasted garlic, lemon or kalamansi, additional chopped green onions, and sesame oil may be served on the side.

  15. Prepare the Toasted Garlic

  16. **Note: This process must be done while chicken is simmering.**
  17. Place small frying pan on medium-low heat
  18. Add 2 Tablespoon Vegetable oil.
  19. Add 4 Tablespoon finely minced garlic.
  20. Keep stirring until garlic light-golden brown.
  21. Remove from heat, transfer in a small bowl then set aside. Yes, including the oil. :)
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52 Comments → “Chicken Arroz Caldo – Another Filipino Classic Dish”

  1. Sarap! and the chicken with its nice brown color made it more so yummy!
    I can eat arroz caldo for breakfast, lunch and dinner :) hindi nakakasawa.
    and great photo as always!

    Reply

    • Ray Identicon Icon Ray

      2 years ago

      Thank you for the kind comment, Margarita! :)

      Reply
  2. I love your Arroz Caldo version, Chef Ray! The toppings look so good. Great recipe! Glad to cook along with you on this KCC event!

    Reply

    • Ray Identicon Icon Ray

      2 years ago

      And I am glad to cook along with you too, Elizabeth! :)

      Reply
  3. Ray that looks amazin!

    Reply

  4. mjskit Identicon Icon mjskit

    2 years ago

    Your Chicken Arroz Caldo recipe looks soooooo good! I haven’t cooked in a wok in years so after reading through this recipe I started missing my wok. Guess it’s time to buy another one and give this recipe a go. You know I love the toasted garlic! I like to cook up garlic like that and just dip fresh bread in the oil, picking up a few bits of the garlic. I can only imagine how well it goes with the arroz caldo!

    Reply

    • Ray Identicon Icon Ray

      2 years ago

      Nothing beats the aroma and the flavor of toasted garlic, MJ! It’s a great topping for this dish. :)

      Reply

  5. Jun Belen Identicon Icon Jun Belen

    2 years ago

    Classic, indeed. Classic comfort food that’s perfect all-year round but more so now. Handsome bowl of arroz caldo you have, Ray. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving to you and your family.

    Reply

    • Ray Identicon Icon Ray

      2 years ago

      Thank you Jun and happy thanksgiving to you too! :)

      Reply

  6. peachkins Identicon Icon peachkins

    2 years ago

    I love your arrozcaldo with those kasubha! Too bad I don’t have an entry this month…

    Reply

    • Ray Identicon Icon Ray

      2 years ago

      Well, I am looking forward to seeing your post next month, Peachy! Thank you for dropping by. :)

      Reply

  7. Kiri W. Identicon Icon Kiri W.

    2 years ago

    Wow, this sounds like the most fragrant, beautiful dish. I can just imagine the aroma wafting through the house :) Lovely recipe!

    Reply

    • Ray Identicon Icon Ray

      2 years ago

      Thank you, Kiri! It’s nice seeing you dropping by my blog, I really appreciate it. :)

      Reply
  8. awesome preparation ray … i like the slightly browned chicken …. nice work on this month’s challenge :-)

    Reply

  9. Adora's Box Identicon Icon Adora's Box

    2 years ago

    Your arroz caldo looks so tasty, Ray. Arroz caldo is one dish that I’ll never get tired of seeing and eating. Love the photos!

    Reply

    • Ray Identicon Icon Ray

      2 years ago

      Thank you, Adora! Me too, it is one of my favorites. :)

      Reply
  10. Ray, this looks droolworhty!

    Reply

  11. Oggi Identicon Icon Oggi

    2 years ago

    Sometimes I don’t use Spanish saffron either. Besides my husband can’t even tell the difference in flavor.LOL
    Your photos are making me want to cook again, goto next time.

    Reply

    • Ray Identicon Icon Ray

      2 years ago

      The real saffron is VERY expensive, Oggi! Yes, goto is the next trip to the kitchen but watch out for uric acid, hehehe. :)

      Reply
  12. Hi Ray! HMMM! This is why I need to come to Filipino blogger’s site. I’m not exposed to Filipino cuisines AT ALL. I’m missing great food in my life. This looks amazingly delicious…perfect for cold day like today (freezing up here).

    Reply

    • Ray Identicon Icon Ray

      2 years ago

      Thank you, Nami for your kind words. :) Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

      Reply

  13. Sissi Identicon Icon Sissi

    2 years ago

    What a lovely sunny dish! I think I will have to wait several long months before I have such a warm light… It looks delicious! thank you for introducing the false saffron. I have never heard about it, but many people say that often false saffron is sold as real saffron… (of course at the high price!)

    Reply

    • Ray Identicon Icon Ray

      2 years ago

      Thank you, Sissi. Safflower doesn’t have the aroma and flavor of saffron (in my opinion) and it doesn’t even come close. If you would like the yellow coloring, this would do. :)

      Reply
  14. lovely Arroz Caldo! and lovely photos as well! nice to be cooking with you again, Ray!

    Reply

    • Ray Identicon Icon Ray

      2 years ago

      Yay, you finally got in to my site, Dudut! It was nice cooking with you too! :)

      Reply

  15. skip to malou Identicon Icon skip to malou

    2 years ago

    I also use safflower when I had access to it in Cali. It gives a beautiful landscape like your bowl… so soothing. Great post and amazing photos as always. Don’t get tired of those praises Ray because your clicks are always so stunning!
    malou

    Reply

    • Ray Identicon Icon Ray

      2 years ago

      Thank you very much for your very nice comment, Malou! I always appreciate it. :)

      Reply

  16. Raymund Identicon Icon Raymund

    2 years ago

    I love it that you browned that chicken, it brings a lot of flavour to this dish!

    Reply

    • Ray Identicon Icon Ray

      2 years ago

      You are absolutely correct, Raymund. It adds a lot of flavor. Thank you for your comment. :)

      Reply

  17. Ira Rodrigues Identicon Icon Ira Rodrigues

    2 years ago

    Hi ray, i spelled by your picture through Season with spice. This recipe is absolutely what i need because i have sun flower strand just sitting in the spices jar. Thank you!
    *Book marked right away :)

    Reply

    • Ray Identicon Icon Ray

      2 years ago

      Thank you for dropping by, Ira. I love your site and your photography. It’s gorgeous. :)

      Reply
  18. This looks so warm and inviting! I can definitely relate to a congee dish. Wishing you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving! :)

    Reply

  19. Greg Identicon Icon Greg

    2 years ago

    This looks just wonderful. Perfect comfort food.

    Reply

  20. cusinera Identicon Icon cusinera

    2 years ago

    I’ve been tempted on buying those mini capsules of saffron from the grocery stores but keep on chickening out! So expensive! I second the motion if ever anyone got spare I would love to have some=P Okey na rin ang kasubha or even turmeric powder for Filipino Congee (*barat ko* LOL!) Your Arroz Caldo looks like it packs so much flavour because I can see that rich broth…and I love that golden brown searing on the chicken pieces, reminds me of the lugawan stopover halfway to Ilocos Norte, they kind of pan seared the cooked chicken pieces and then they place a piece on the bottom of the bowl and ladle the Arroz Caldo on top=)

    Reply

  21. Kristi Rimkus Identicon Icon Kristi Rimkus

    2 years ago

    The beautiful red safflower sprinkled throughout the dish adds such beautiful color. As usual, your food makes my mouth water wishing I could have a bite!

    Reply

  22. Xander Identicon Icon Xander

    2 years ago

    Thanks for sharing this to us..I experience to eat this Arroz caldo a lot of times..Its a great experience..

    Reply
  23. I have never heard of arroz caldo but it looks like a heart warm meal for the cold weather that we have been having
    Thank you for sharing Ray

    Reply
  24. Great introduction Ray to this delicious looking dish. Reading this post makes me wonder why there aren’t more Filipino restaurants around. I haven’t heard of this dish before but it looks so comforting and satisfying! I’ll need to remember this recipe and give it a try … with the safflower seeds version. =P

    Reply

  25. Bestman Identicon Icon Bestman

    2 years ago

    Wow, great blog ! The sauce was just right. I enjoyed this chicken dish.

    Reply

  26. Pia (Tagaluto) Identicon Icon Pia (Tagaluto)

    2 years ago

    Your arroz caldo look so good. I wasn’t able to make this for our KC Challenge but i will for surely make one any time soon. I braise my chicken when i make “puspas” Cebuano name for Arroz caldo as well. Thank you for reminding me of the kasubha, my mom uses them too but i haven’t used them for a long time now…i must look for it when i go to the Asian store.

    Reply

    • Ray Identicon Icon Ray

      2 years ago

      Thank you for dropping by, Pia!

      Reply

  27. Carolyn Chan Identicon Icon Carolyn Chan

    2 years ago

    It’s like a mix between congee (one of my all-time favourite foods in the world) and paella – looks gorgeous.

    Reply
  28. oh wow your arroz caldo looks amazing. The ingredients u have add make me want to try it out right away. arroz caldo is a portugues word, right? sussegade…. =)
    Merry Christmas Ray!

    Reply
  29. Yummm I just made this!!! It’s super old in NY today and this was perfect :) I didnt have the kasubha or safflower on hand. But this was super tasty!! Thank you!!!

    Reply

  30. Diana Alexandra Identicon Icon Diana Alexandra

    2 years ago

    This is a beautiful take on a classic! Sarap! :)

    Reply

  31. Leah Identicon Icon Leah

    2 years ago

    Hi Ray,

    This looks fantastic. Its making me hungry. What kind of rice do i use.

    Regards,
    Leah

    Reply

    • Ray Identicon Icon Ray

      2 years ago

      Hi Lea,

      I like using Jasmine Rice. Thank you for your comment! :)

      Reply

  32. Mon Curiano Identicon Icon Mon Curiano

    1 year ago

    Good Day po,
    sarap ng arroz caldo pero wala akong kasubha or safflower for coloring dito sa Europa, Central Europe,kelangan po ba talga nyan?
    thanks!
    more powers
    mon

    Reply

    • Ray Identicon Icon Ray

      1 year ago

      Hi Mon, You don’t need kasubha. It is just a coloring and not really adding flavor to the dish unlike saffron. Wala bang Asian store in Central Europe?

      Reply

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