Monday, December 29, 2014

Chicken and Vegetable Pho

We hope you all had a wonderful holiday! We both took time off from work to spend time with family and friends, going to church, exchanging presents, eating too many Christmas cookies and then walking them off.  It was good to rest.

Today, we thought you might need a break from all the rich holiday food.  This chicken and vegetable pho is the perfect anecdote.  Bright, clean, fresh and as spicy as you like it, it’s a delicious contrast to what we’ve been eating the rest of this month.  If you haven’t had chicken pho, is basically a beautiful aromatic chicken broth that you fill with rice noodles (we like brown rice noodles), mung bean sprouts, fresh herbs, spicy peppers and other savory garnishes. We also add lots of vegetables to the broth, for obvious reasons.  It’s chicken soup with an attitude. 

And, if you still have house guests, this recipe is perfect. Make a big pot of the broth and then set out bowls of garnishes, so everyone can build their own version of the perfect pho.

We hope you enjoy this chicken and vegetable pho during these last few days of 2014, especially with those you love!

Chicken Pho

Adapted from this recipe from Smitten Kitchen

Serves 6

For the broth

2 unpeeled yellow onions, quartered
Three 1/2-inch-thick slices of unpeeled fresh ginger, smashed
4 quarts cold water
One 5-pound chicken
1 tablespoon sea salt
2 teaspoons coconut sugar
1 stalk lemongrass, smashed
Stems from one bunch of cilantro
3 star anise
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
8 cloves
½ teaspoon black peppercorns
2 small dried chile peppers
2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce

vegetables of your choice (eg, 1 red pepper, sliced & 1 bunch broccolini)
1 pound dried brown rice noodles


1 large scallion, thinly sliced
1 pound mung bean sprouts
1/2 cup torn basil leaves, Thai basil if you can find it
1/2 cup cilantro leaves
2 limes, cut into wedges
2 jalapeƱos, thinly sliced
Garlic hot sauce, like Sriracha

First, char the onions and the ginger.  Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Put the onions and ginger on a baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes, or until softened and lightly browned.

Next, make the broth.  Place the chicken in a large stockpot and cover it with the water.  Add the roasted onions and ginger, salt, sugar, lemongrass, cilantro stems, spices and chile peppers.  Bring the water to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and cook for about 1 hour, or until the chicken is cooked through. 

Transfer the chicken to a bowl and let it cool.  Remove the meat from the bones and refrigerate. Return the skin and bones to the stockpot and simmer for 2 hours longer. Strain the chicken broth into a large soup pot and stir in the fish sauce.  Bring the broth back to a low simmer and add the vegetables, letting them simmer in the broth until just done.  

When you’re ready to serve, prepare the noodles.  In a large bowl of warm water, soak the noodles until pliable, about 20 minutes. You can also prepare the noodles according to the package instructions, if they differ. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Drain the noodles, then add them to the saucepan and boil over high heat until tender, about 3 minutes. Drain well. Divide the noodles between 6 large bowls and sprinkle with the scallion.

To serve the soup, add the reserved chicken to the broth and simmer until heated through. Ladle the broth and chicken over the noodles. Serve the soup with bowls of the garnishes, so everyone can make their own perfect version of the pho.

Note:  The broth can be made ahead and refrigerated for two days, a great way to divide up this recipe.

No comments:

Post a Comment