Saturday, June 8, 2013

Homemade Chicken Pho Recipe

We love Vietnamese noodle soup (pho).  We used to go out to eat it quite regularly, so I decided to save some money and come up with a pho recipe of my own.  This recipe is fantastic.  I usually make it after I roast a whole chicken (Roasted Whole Chicken Recipe).  My house smells amazing when I make the pho broth!  It's so easy to make, too.  This soup can be made from mostly pantry and fridge items, with only a few fresh ingredients needed for the garnish.  The spice combination is so fragrant, and we think this pho tastes better than some of the chicken pho we've had at restaurants.

Homemade Chicken Pho Recipe

For the soup:

8 cups water
All of the leftover chicken bones and skin from a roasted whole chicken
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp + 1 tsp white sugar
2 tsp salt
10 whole cloves
5 whole star anise pods
1 cinnamon stick

6 oz package of rice noodles
1 cooked chicken breast
Handful of cilantro

For the garnish:

Several fresh basil stalks
Crisp chili oil or Sriracha
Hoisin sauce

In a large pot over High heat, add the leftover chicken carcass, skin, and bones, the water, fish sauce, sugar, salt, cloves, star anise, and cinnamon stick.  Bring it to a boil, then cover it and turn the heat down to Low.  Simmer it for at least 2 hours, preferably 4 hours.  When the time is up, let it cool, then strain the broth with a fine mesh strainer.   This recipe yeilds about 7 cups of pho broth.  3-1/2 cups of broth will make small bowls of pho for up to 4 people, or large bowls of pho for 2 people, and you can freeze the other half for later.

Before putting the soup together, soak the rice noodles in hot water for about 15 minutes.  I found the best way to do this is to put the noodles in a large pot, covered with cold water, then turn the heat up to High and set the timer for 15 minutes.  While the noodles are soaking, slice the chicken breast into bite-sized pieces, chop a handful of cilantro leaves, halve and quarter a lime, and wash and dry the basil stalks.  Put the basil and lime slices on a plate for garnishing the soup.  Set out the crisp chili oil or Sriracha and hoisin sauce.  Reheat the broth to boiling.

When the 15 minutes are up for the rice noodles, I turn off the heat, drain the water from the noodles, then put equal amounts of noodles in the bowls, topped with a generous helping of sliced cooked chicken.  I next fill the bowls with hot pho broth (being sure to cover the noodles and chicken), add a small amount of cilantro leaves, and serve it with the basil, lime, chili oil or Sriracha, and hoisin sauce on the side.  Bean sprouts, jalapeno pepper slices, and sliced white onion are also common garnish for pho soup.  Enjoy!

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