Chicken Pho

I’ll admit, this probably isn’t 100% authentic, but its how my mom made it and since she’s Vietnamese, I’ll say it is authentic to my family. Traditional pho doesn’t taste nearly as sweet as they make it in the united states. If you want a sweeter taste, try adding some sugar to the broth.

-1 whole chicken, skinned and quartered, wings removed (for another recipe)
-1 thumb sized piece of ginger, cut lengthwise and smashed a bit with a heavy kitchen knife
-1 med to lg onion, skinned,
-3-4 whole green onions, washed
-6 or 7 stalks of cilantro, washed
-1 shallot, skinned
– 1-2 carrotts, washed and chopped in large chunks
-1 stalk celery, washed and chopped in large chunks
-1 or two “stars” of star anise
-15 to 20 whole black peppercorns
-1 small stick of cinnamon
-10 whole coriander seeds
-2 or 3 whole cloves
– 1/4-1/2 c rough chopped daikon (this is about 1/2 a medium diakon)
-2-3 Tbs good quality fish sauce
-1 Tbs soy sauce
-Lg pinch salt
– one or two packages of dried rice noodles
– limes, rinsed and cut into wedges
-cilantro, chopped for garnish
-bean sprouts, washed
-thai basil, washed
-condiments: hoisin, sriracha (hot rooster sauce), soy sauce

1) In your stockpot with no oil, add the anise, peppercorns, coriander seeds, cloves, and cinnamon stick. Dry roast them until fragrant and then tie them up into a bundle using cheesecloth or a tea bag. Wash, skin and quarter your chicken. Halve your onion and shallot and then make a slice from the growing end almost to the root end (it is optional to oven roast or grill the onion and shallot before using). Don’t cut all the way through. Put the green onions (roots cleaned but not cut off) and the cilantro in an arranged pile. Fold the pile in half lengthwise and tie the bundle with some butcher twine. Add all other ingredients through ground black pepper into a large stock pot with the chicken. Add about 10-12 cups of water into the pot with it.

2) Over medium high heat bring the stock up to a low simmer and then reduce heat to keep it at a very low simmer. For the first 20 minutes, stay put and continuously skim off the “foam”. Leaving it in the soup will make it fall back into the soup and you won’t be able to get it out later. It will make a cloudy broth. Continue cooking for another 30 minutes at a low simmer, occasionally skimming off the foam and fat as it rises to the top.
3) With some chopsticks or tongs, remove the chicken, check to make sure it is cooked. Leave the rest of the broth and ingredients slowly simmering. As soon as the chicken is cool enough to safely handle, take the meat off the bones. Put the meat aside and put the bones back into the stock pot. Let it simmer while you shred the chicken meat with your fingers.
4) In a separate pot, bring salted water to a boil. Add the rice noodles and cook until aldente. While the noodles are cooking, remove all of the bones and other ingredients from the stock. Using a strainer, strain the broth to get rid of the large particles of veg and meat remaining. Take a taste, and add salt, pepper, and soy sauce to taste.
5) Place noodles in a bowl, add shredded chicken meat on top and some chopped cilantro. Ladle hot broth on top. Squeeze some lime into the soup. Serve with a side of beansprouts, and basil. Use hoisin and hot sauce in the broth or for dipping the meat.


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