Speedy Chicken Pho

An embarrassing amount of time has passed since I last blogged a recipe and that definitely needs rectifying asap. I guess it was after doing the whole ‘GBBO Showstopper Challenge’ for an intense 10 consecutive weeks that I realised I needed to give myself a break from blogging recipes so I could claim back my weekends and get back to my normal routine/life.

However, that break then became a whole fricking year. *hangs head in shame*

Anyways, we’re now in 2018, and a new year makes for the perfect excuse to give myself a good kick up the butt to get back into blogging! *flexed bicep emoji*

I don’t know about you, but it seems like everyone I know and their mother got taken down by some sort of flu/cold over the Christmas holidays. So, to help keep warm and toasty whilst I’m getting rid of my pesky cough, I figured I‘d make a Speedy Chicken Pho, packed with spices, fresh veg, chilli and ginger to help my immune system do it’s thing. Because nothing beats a steamy bowl of chicken noodle soup when you’re ill. Except maybe medicine… and bed. But also Pho.

Now, as a traditional Vietnamese chicken pho broth normally takes hours/days to simmer chicken carcasses/bones to impart their flavour, I opted for the speedier approach of using a decent store-bought chicken stock instead. Hey, shortcuts happen when you’re ill! And tbh, I was pretty pleased with how aromatic and flavourful my speedy broth tasted!

(For a vegetarian alternative, you can use vegetable stock and sub out the chicken for some shitake mushrooms. Just fry them off for a few minutes in an oiled pan till they turn brown, before adding to the broth.)

Speedy Chicken Pho
Author: Acorns & Custard
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 large onion, quartered
  • 2 inch piece ginger, thickly sliced
  • 3 whole garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 stick lemongrass, smashed
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 3 star anise
  • 1tsp coriander seeds
  • 1tsp black peppercorns
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 2l chicken stock
  • 500g chicken breasts
  • salt and pepper
  • 300g instant rice noodles
  • 4 spring onions, sliced
  • 1 red chilli, sliced
  • handful of bean sprouts
  • pak choi, sliced in half
  • 1 lime, quartered
  • a large handful of coriander, roughly chopped
Instructions
  1. In a large dry pot, cook the onion, ginger, garlic, and lemongrass on a medium high heat for 5 minutes till they start to brown/toast.
  2. Once browned, add the spices and continue to toast for a few minutes till they begin to sputter and give off an aroma.
  3. Pour in the chicken stock and bring to the boil.
  4. Once boiling, add the chicken breasts and cover with a lid. Bring back up to the boil, then reduce to a low heat and simmer for 15 minutes until the chicken breasts are just cooked.
  5. In the meantime, wash and prep the veg. (I actually added the coriander stalks to the broth too.)
  6. Cook the rice noodles as per the package instructions. Rinse under cold water to prevent them sticking together. Drain and divide between 4 bowls.
  7. Once cooked, remove the chicken breasts from the broth and shred using two forks. Divide between the 4 bowls.
  8. Strain the broth through a sieve to remove the whole spices and veg, and pour back into the pot. Bring back to the boil and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  9. Ladle the hot broth over the noodles and chicken.
  10. Serve as desired with the fresh veg, and a squeeze of lime.
Notes
For optional added heat, squirt in some Sriracha!

 

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