I L-O-V-E spring. I love the green grass and trees. I love the sound of birds chirping. The smell of the fresh air in the crisp mornings gets me off to a perfect mood. Yet, no matter how much I love Spring – it doesn’t love me back as much. It’s inevitable that I get sick this time of year. And when I get sick, all I want is my mom. I want her cooking and her comfort. But what do you do when Mom is not around? You make a dish that she would always make when you were under the weather.
I have distinct memories of my mother making arroz caldo. The smell of ginger and chicken would intoxicate the entire house. The hot, thick rice bubbly and hot in the pot. The chicken wings poking out of the rice screaming “Eat Me”. There was just nothing better when you are sick than a delicious bowl of arroz caldo. We would often top it with green onion, cilantro, fried garlic, a splash or two of patis (fish sauce), lime and a boiled egg if you were lucky. We were always lucky when my mother would make this for us. It was definitely a sign that she loved us and wanted us to feel better.
I can’t make any dish as good as my mother, but honestly can any of us? There is just something about the love that they always put into their cooking and the memories that are associated with those meals they make for us.
Today I share with you my paleo version of arroz caldo. It’s authentic with the flavor profile but we will replace rice with cauliflower rice.
- Whole Chicken & 5 wings
- 6 cups water
- 5 cups rice cauliflower
- 3″ knob of ginger – diced small
- 5-6 cloves of garlic – Chopped roughly
- 4-5 bayleaves
- 1 shallot – medium dice
- 1 tbsp. pink Himalayan salt
- 1 tbsp. black pepper
- 1 tbsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. ginger powder
- 1 tsp. lemongrass powder
- 1 tbsp. coconut aminos
- 2 tbsp. red boat fish sauce
- 2 tbsp. of oil (for cooking)
- Clean and Cut whole chicken into 8 pieces. Cut additional wings into segments, discarding wing tips.
- Pour all dried seasonings over chicken and rub into chicken, thoroughly covering each piece. Set Aside.
- Dice ginger into small dice, peel and roughly chop garlic, & peel and chop shallots into medium dice.
- Heat oil in pot until hot, add garlic and shallots. Cook until fragrant and shallots are translucent.
- Add chicken pieces to pot, skin side down – allowing chicken to slightly brown.
- Add ginger to pot.
- Stir and allow all chicken to brown evenly.
- Add 6 cups of water to pot.
- Bring chicken to boil, skimming off scum and impurities while cooking. Removing the scum will ensure that the broth is clean and flavorful.
- Reduce to heat to medium low, cover and cook for one hour. Check periodically, remove any scum as necessary.
- After an hour, remove whole chicken pieces, except wings and set aside. Allow to cool and shred chicken – discarding the bone and skin.
- Remove all bay leaves and any larger pieces of ginger from pot.
- Add shredded chicken back to pot, stir.
- Add cauliflower rice to pot, increase heat to medium high – cook for an additional 15 minutes.
- Serve hot and garnish with chopped cilantro, green onion, & hard boiled egg.
- If you love patis (fish sauce) splash a couple of drops on top & squeeze a little.
**Author’s note – If you have to exclude fish sauce, then please do. It will not make or break the dish. If you omit the fish sauce, please increase your coconut aminos by 1 tablespoon.