This aromatic Filipino-style rice porridge gets much of its flavor from ginger and fried garlic. Saffron, a Spanish influence on Filipino cooking, adds a golden hue. If you can find calamansi -- tart, fragrant Filipino citrus -- substitute them for the limes.
Heat a 5-quart pot over medium-high heat. Add the oil and garlic and cook, stirring often, until the garlic is fragrant and golden, about 2 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the garlic to a paper-towel lined plate and set aside for serving. Remove the pot from the heat, leaving the garlic-infused oil in the pot.
Season the chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Return the pot to the stove over medium-high heat, then add the chicken, skin-side down, and cook until the skin is golden, flipping halfway through, about 8 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a bowl. Add the onion, ginger, and rice to the pot. Cook, stirring often, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the chicken broth, 4 cups water, a pinch of saffron and the bay leaf. Return the chicken and juices to the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a vigorous simmer.
Cook, partially covered, until the chicken is tender, the rice is cooked, and the arroz caldo is thickened, about 30 minutes. Discard the bay leaf, stir in the fish sauce and lime juice, and season with salt and pepper. Serve one chicken thigh per bowl and garnish with the fried garlic, scallion greens, freshly ground pepper, reserved saffron threads and lime wedges.
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