The Practicing Misis: Chicken Oats Caldo
Skills Muna Bago Feels
By Rosan Katlea Reodica
That’s my mother complaining about me in the kitchen – the reason why I started “The Practicing Misis”. Well, I haven’t been proposed to yet (ehem…) and feminists would argue that a woman’s role at home should not be bound to the kitchen. But this project was not created to lure the boyfriend to pop the question, or to say that all “Mrs and soon to be Missises (paano nga ba ang plural?) should learn how to cook. Nope!
This project, in fact, is dedicated to my late maternal grandmother and my mother – my aspirational ‘Cooking Squad’ considered the food gurus in our small town in Cavite, Philippines.
Fashion bloggers and food bloggers write about what they know. But here I am, cooking and writing my way through what I don’t know. Does it make any sense? Anyhow, I hope to inspire foodies who don’t know anything about cooking (only eating). It’s never too late to learn. But please don’t expect any adobo here.
While my cooking aims to be tipid (inexpensive), the main goal is for me to acquire kitchen skills. You don’t need fancy equipment and a lot of time. I only have one pan and one stew pot and two hours to cook two days of food supply, that includes prep time, while I do the laundry, browse Facebook, watch reruns of my favorite series and Jimmy Fallon, etc. Tsaka nakakahiya kasi sa landlady matagal sa kusina.
It’s best to learn cooking by starting off with someone else’s recipes. But while mothers know best, you can also twist recipes to make it your own, or for the sake of your cravings or sige na nga – dietary needs. Pero, kung susuway ka, edi sarapan mo na rin! So here goes!
Food: Chicken Oats Caldo by The Practicing Misis
Chicken Oats Caldo – a less boring oatmeal dish, a healthier arroz caldo
DEGREE OF DIFFICULTY: Easy. It will be harder to explain to your mom why you might want to skip rice; she might insist that you don’t need to lose weight to be loved. Or, maybe she wants you to cut carbs too, so it’s a win-win!
COUNTER: Slice chicken breasts. Peel ginger with the edge of a spoon. It’s easier. Slice ginger into thick sticks. Half the head of garlic will be minced, the other half crushed and fried for toppings. Melt chicken cube in a bowl of hot water and whisk. Chop spring onions or green onions – puwede mong gawing code name sa dalawang bagay na napupusuan mo. Kesyo career to, kesyo pag-ibig, kesyo sapatos. Oh my god, onion choices! Be happy if life gives you onion choices! Spring onions and scallions or green onions are interchangeable kasi. Remember this and say it habang naglalakad ka sa grocery at nakatingin sa hanay-hanay na gulay. “Si Spring ay bilog sa dulo, si scallion ay deretso. Si Spring ay bilog sa dulo, si Scallion ay deretso.”
Scallion leaves are milder, while spring is more intense. Pero hindi ka talo kung ano man ang piliin mo dito. Parehas sila ng lasa halos, pero ang mas maganda diyan, tikman mo ng sabay para alam mo talaga ang gusto mong intensity level. Wag mong tikman sa grocery though. Bumili ka ng tig-isang bunch at alamin sa bahay.
STOVE: A medium-sized non-stick pot will be enough for this. Sabi ng nanay ko, mas masarap daw ang manok kapag sinabay mo na sa pag-gisa ng luya at bawang sa olive oil. Kapag namawis na ito at lumambot, alisin ang manok. Now mix in and sauté the dry rolled oats just enough to cover in oil. Pour in water. Add chicken stock, add salt or fish sauce and swirl everything together nicely in medium heat. Bring back the chicken, then cover the pot. Let it boil for the oats to cook. Stir occasionally, otherwise it will stick together. Add in some of your chopped green onions for taste, and leave some for garnish later. Oatmeal sucks up the water quickly so you can add a little more water and chicken stock for flavoring again. In a pan, fry garlic until golden and crunchy. Serve with sliced boiled egg, calamansi and crunchy garlic!
SKILLS UNLOCKED: Distinguishing between the allium species. Learning the shortcuts to peeling ginger. Replacing something good with something better.
From The Practicing Misis Cookbook [No Fiancé Required, Guaranteed Gayuma-Free Recipes] – Psicom Publishing Inc., 2016. Available in the Philippines in National Bookstore, FullyBooked and other leading bookstores nationwide. Social Media: @practicingmisis | #practicingmisis | #lukaretcooking
ROSAN KATLEA REODICA
Rosan is a Desert Mermaid who always wants to stay wet wherever she goes. She tells impatient people that she is a Practicing Misis – a woman of hits and misses. Being told she won’t be able to get married without learning to cook adobo, she has now learned to make her own pesto, guacamole and her own flavored taho. She now has a book, but still doesn’t have her own kitchen.