This is my interpretation of a Filipino standard. "Arroz caldo" translates to "rice broth", and is the Filipino version of Asian congee. When I was sick as a child, I would be given the simplest version of this, just rice porridge, and if I was lucky there might be a little bit of chicken in it. The other end of the spectrum is this fully-loaded version. In my family we call this "Filipino sick people chicken and rice soup", because it's easy to digest when you're under the weather, and it really does make you feel better. —Marisa Carder
onion (medium), chopped
head garlic (8-10 cloves), minced or crushed
inches fresh ginger, peeled, sliced into coin shapes
Heat a stockpot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add vegetable oil. Add onions, garlic, and ginger. Season lightly with salt and pepper. (I season lightly especially if it's for a sick person; also, fish sauce will add saltiness later.) Cook, stirring, until fragrant and somewhat translucent. Add chicken. Cook, stirring occasionally, until chicken is no longer pink.
Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Add rice; simmer, covered, until rice is soft, about 30-40 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning.
Before serving, remove the ginger coins (or leave them in to surprise people). Dish into bowls and garnish each helping with toppings, and season to taste with the fish sauce and kalamansi juice.
NOTES * This is an easier method. You could cook bone-in chicken first, then take it out, add the rice, shred the chicken, and put it back in. * This thickens a lot when it cools -- it depends a lot on how "sticky" your rice is and how much broth it absorbs. Add water or chicken broth when reheating, if you wish. * If you don't like discovering ginger by biting on it, you can grate the peeled ginger until it's incognito. * If fish sauce is unavailable, just add salt and pepper to your individual serving. * We use kalamansi (Filipino kumquat) juice, but lemon or lime wedges are an acceptable substitute.