Arroz Caldo With Collards and Soy-Cured Egg Yolks
The Filipino rice porridge called lugaw started out as a simple equation of rice, water and salt, until the conquistadors arrived in the 16th century and demanded more sumptuous dishes. Add tripe and innards to lugaw, and it becomes goto; with chicken and saffron, it is arroz caldo. It’s looser and soupier than Chinese congee, cooked until you can’t see individual grains. I put in collard greens to make it a balanced meal and use wings because of the high bone-to-meat ratio and the jiggly skin. (Keeping the bones in will give the broth more flavor.) The soy sauce-cured yolks are probably best at the two-hour mark — they get firmer and saltier the longer they cure, so follow your taste.
- Serves: 6 persons
- 2tablespoons neutral oil, such as canola
- 1medium yellow onion, minced
- 8garlic cloves, minced
- 2 ½pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken flats and drumettes
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1cup jasmine or other long-grain rice
- 10cups chicken stock
- 1pound collard greens, leaves ripped off stems, stems discarded and leaves roughly chopped
- 2(2-inch) pieces skin-on ginger, each crushed into a few pieces, plus 1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and julienned, for garnish
- 2large pinches of saffron
- 6teaspoons soy sauce
- 2tablespoons fish sauce
- 6fresh calamansi or lemon wedges, for serving
- 1bunch scallions, thinly sliced, for serving
Step 1Prepare the cured egg yolks — and save your egg carton, as it is the perfect egg-curing holder. You’ll want to first remove the top of the eggs: Working with one at a time, tap each egg on a sharp corner of your work surface around the top third of the egg to pop off the crown. Pour the egg into one palm and let the egg white sink through your fingertips to separate the yolk from the whites, discarding the egg whites or saving them for another use. Gently slide the egg yolk back into its shell, top it with 1 teaspoon soy sauce, and swirl the yolk in its shell so the soy sauce is fully distributed, settling under the yolk as well. Transfer the egg yolk in its shell back into the egg container, setting it upright. Repeat with the remaining eggs, returning them all to the egg carton. Set aside to cure at room temperature.
Step 2In a large pot, heat the oil over medium. Add the onion and minced garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 7 minutes.
Step 3Add the chicken flats and drumettes, season with 2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the fat starts to render, about 5 minutes. Stir in the rice until coated in fat. Increase the temperature to medium-high, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the rice is toasted, about 5 minutes.
Step 4Stir in the stock, collards, crushed ginger pieces and saffron and bring to a boil over high.
Step 5Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is tender and almost falling off the bone, and the rice grains have broken down significantly, about 1 1/2 hours. The broth should be thinner than a Chinese congee, so add 1 cup of water at a time if the soup has thickened too much. Once you get to this stage, discard the crushed ginger pieces, which served as an aromatic.
Step 6Season the arroz caldo with the fish sauce, then divide among bowls. Top with a squeeze of calamansi or lemon (and serve additional wedges on the side, for those that like more acid), a soy-cured yolk, fried garlic, scallions and julienned ginger.