This Chicken & Rice Soup is a variation on a dish called Lugaw, found in Filipino cuisine. A popular childhood comfort food favourite, Lugaw is a simple dish similar to the Chinese congee. Just like me, it's one of my toddler's all time favourite foods! She's popping out her incisors at the moment and dinner has been a challenge lately so I thought I'd make her something not just comforting but also easier for her to eat.
I used store bought rotisserie chicken, which I deboned and shredded. I only used about a third of the meat and saved the rest to use for chicken salad tomorrow. You can use boxed chicken stock instead of making your own from the chicken carcass, but I didn't have any on hand so I had to make do with what I had. It's an extra step and adds about 20 minutes to the total cook time, but I find homemade stock from rotisserie chicken carcass a lot more flavourful than boxed stock, and it was easy enough to let simmer while I got the vegetables chopped.
I used pre-cooked rice, leftovers from earlier this week which cut about 20 minutes off the cook time so I guess that evens it out with the stock. We tried a new brand and type of rice from our usual brown jasmine. Its sprouted brown & and black japonica rice that I got from Costco. When its cooked, the black rice turns into a purplish colour which was a little odd at first but it tasted pretty good! It reminded me of this sushi place we ate at in Victoria a few years back when we were still kid-free. Can't remember the name of it now but I distinctly remember them using black japonica rice. The owner of the small restaurant touted the health benefits of the black rice so passionatelh he even handed us a pamphlet filled with its health benefits to read while we waited for our order to come! It was a little weird eating sushi with purple rice, but I'm a sushi fiend so that didn't really stop me.
Ok, enough reminiscing and back to the soup, lol! I topped it with finely sliced Thai basil from my herb garden as garnish since I had no green onions on hand. Traditionally, Lugaw is also garnished with crispy fries garlic and onions, and sliced hard-boiled eggs but I'm too lazy to do that on a weeknight, lol! Its also flavoured with a squeeze of calamansi or lemon before serving, but with my toddler teething, I figured it's best to go without the citrus this time around.
This recipe is not exactly the old-school way of cooking Lugaw with the shortcuts, the type of rice, the addition of vegetables, and the improv garnish but I have to get those veggies in for the little munchkin and also work with the ingredients I had on hand.
1 rotisserie chicken carcass
1/3 rotisserie chicken meat, de-boned and shredded
6 cups water
1 tsp minced garlic
1 small onion, chopped
1 thumb size nub of fresh ginger, grated
1 tbsp butter
2 cups diced carrots
1 medium apple, diced with skin on
1.5 cups cooked rice
salt & pepper to taste
finely sliced Thai basil or green onions for garnish
1. Simmer rotisserie chicken carcass in water for 20 minutes on high.
2. Drain stock then set aside.
3. In a soup pot on medium heat, sauteé garlic & onions in butter until transluscent or lightly browned.
4. Add chicken, carrots, apples, & rice and stir.
5. Season with salt and pepper.
6. Add stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring regularly until a porridge consistency is reached.
7. Garnish with Thai basil or green onions and enjoy!
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