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The arroz caldo at Pecking Order | A brunch breakdown


At Pecking Order (4416 N Clark St, 773-907-9900), brunch is decidedly savory: no doughnuts, no pancakes, and the closest you’ll get to that sort of thing is the chicken and waffles—served with sriracha butter. Sharing the menu with langoniza sausage rice bowls and breakfast poutine is the arroz caldo, a big bowl of chicken-infused rice that’s essentially a Filipino take on Chinese congee. Chef Kristine Subido talks us through her tweaks to the dish:

1. The egg
The slice of salted duck egg on top of the arroz is “pretty potent,” Subido says. Salted eggs—a traditional Chinese and Filipino specialty—develop their punchy flavor and fudgy texture during a multi-week stay in a clay-and-salt brine.

2. The sauce
Traditionally, arroz caldo is garnished with some sliced scallions and toasted garlic. Subido goes the extra step of adding this “green sauce,” a green onion/garlic/ginger combo she lovingly modeled off the green sauce at Sun Wah Bar-B-Q. (“Nobody knows about that sauce,” she says of Sun Wah’s. “You have to ask for it.”)

3. The crunch
These crumbled chicharrones are made crispy in the kitchen’s wok. Surprisingly, it’s the only fried chicken skin on Pecking Order’s brunch or dinner menus (for now).

4. The porridge
Arroz caldo is “my comfort—it’s my chicken soup,” Subido says. So she mostly sticks to tradition, flavoring the rice with garlic, ginger, onion, a little achiote butter and bits of roasted chicken.

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