Chicken bones
Chicken pieces
Onion
Ginger
Garlic
Salt and pepper
Green onion
Fish sauce (patis)
Lime juice

I still have a shitload of those chicken bones I used for Chinese chicken corn soup.  So when I got up this afternoon I tossed a bunch of them a little over 3/4 up a large sauce pan.  I covered that up with cold water, sliced some ginger (though I think it would be better just to drop a chunk in), chopped a shallot (i also think this would be better as thirds), threw that into the water and milled in about 4 turns of pepper and some salt.

I had a couple of de-boned chicken legs in the freezer.  I took those out, covered them in water, and let them thaw.

Then I facebooked my face off for a few hours.  Watched basketball highlights on The Score with my buddy downstairs.  Watched about 6 gags on that Just for Laughs Gags show.  Then I went back upstairs.

It must have been around 5 hours.  The broth had reduced about an inch and a half below the rim of the saucepan. I tasted it.  Closed my eyes and tasted it.  I can’t stress this closing the eyes part enough.  When we close our eyes our other senses prick up and though food can look very good, it says nothing about the taste.  It’s like kissing.  If you want your food to taste delicious you must love the food.  (Closing your eyes is also the best way to decide what exactly you feel like eating.)

It didn’t need anything, so I separated the bones from the broth.  I was again tempted to salvage those chicken shreds, but it looked impossible.  Besides, I had those chicken legs thawing.

To save yourself all the washing, cut the chicken last.  But first toss an onion in the freezer, then start heating up some oil in the saucepan.  Dice a couple of cloves of garlic by smashing them first and cutting them up.  Take an inch of ginger and slice it.  Grab the onion from the freezer.  Dice it quick.  The juice in the onion should be slightly frozen and if you’re quick you’ll save yourself the tears.  Create a mise-en-place and chop up your chicken.

First toast the garlic in the hot oil.  Let them sizzle until they’re brown or crispy or both.  Take a fork and remove them from the oil.  Place them on a piece of paper towel and put that aside.

Now brown your chicken in that garlicky oil.  When it’s close to brown (i like the edges a bit crispy) toss in the onion and ginger.  Don’t put all three in at once.  The water from the onion and ginger will interrupt the browning process.  When it looks good, add a little more than a cup of uncooked rice.  Coat the rice, mix it around.  Now add the broth and bring it all to a boil.

When it’s come to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer, and cover.  Let the rice cook, it should be around 15 minutes.  When it’s done you can start fucking with the flavour by adding cracked pepper and fish sauce (You can find this in asian groceries.  It fucking stinks so don’t spill it all over the place.  Also, it helps to get the kinda more expensive stuff, it’s still only like $4) in small amounts.  Don’t over do it, you’ll fuck it up completely.  Remember, these things can be added after plating as well.

Ladle the arroz caldo into bowls and garnish with chopped green onion and the toasted garlic.  Serve with lime juice on the side and eat with those big ass chinese soup spoons.

-mlv

Arroz caldo literally means hot rice.  This recipe and method was reference from here:  http://www.nibbledish.com/people/indiemonic/recipes/easy-chicken-arroz-caldo

(excerpted from Saowsaowface)

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