Pho Ga (Rice Noodles with Chicken)

I had a three weeks off from work and the day before I went back to work, I decided to make Pho Ga (Chicken Pho Noodle Soup) as my grand finale recipeThere are so many different variations of making this recipe, but my goal was to make it as authentic and “restaurant” quality as possible.

I visited a few websites and read a couple cookbooks, and took bits and pieces from each source and created my own recipe for the broth.  I put all my heart and energy into the broth and it did not dissapoint!
By noon, my house smelled like a Pho restaurant from all the different spices put into the broth. 

This recipe was very time consuming, but it is worth it!  My buddy Mike came over and said it helped cure his hangover. 

Ingredients for Broth:
12 cups of Water
5-lb Chicken1-lb Chicken Bones
1 tablespoon Coriander Seeds
8 star anise
10 cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1 large yellow onion
1 4-inch ginger
3 tablespoon Fish Sauce
1 1/2 tablespoon Salt
2 piece of Yellow Rock Sugar

Ingredients for Pho Bowls and Additional Garnish
3 Bags fresh small flat rice noodles (bánh phở), (If the fresh is not available, you can always used the dry kind)
Cooked chicken stripped
Thinly Slice Top Round Beef (It’s Pho Ga, but I still like to have some beef in it so I added in mine)
3 or 4 scallions, thinly sliced
1 bunch fresh cilantro chopped,
Bean Sprout
Thai Basil
Jalepeno sliced
Lime
Black pepper

Steps:

I started by charring the onions and ginger.  I didn’t want to start my charcoal grill, so I broiled it in the toaster oven until it was nice and charred.  I had to rotate it so all the sides can get charred.  It works!  This step takes approximately 20+ minutes.  After it is charred, let it cool then remove the charred part and set aside.

While the onion and ginger were broiling inside the toaster oven, I filled the stock pot with water, and put the chicken bones in it and put it over HIGH heat to boil.  While the bones are in the process of boiling, I cleaned the 5-lb chicken inside and out and removed all the goodies inside and threw it away.  I also cut off any excess skin and set aside.  When the water reaches boiling point, let it continue to boil for approximately 5 minutes.  After five minutes, dump the boiling bones it in a clean sink and gave it a cold wash to clean the chicken bones.  After the chicken bones are clean, I cleaned all the gunk stuck to the stock pot.

In the clean stock pot, add chicken bones, Chicken, and 12 cups of water and bring to a boil.  Let the chicken boil for about 5 minutes then turn off the heat and let the chicken cook for 45 minutes.

While the chicken is cooking in the stockpot, put the coriander seeds, star anise, and cloves on a small frying pan and toast over Low heat until fragrant. Once it is done, put the spices in a tea ball.  If you don’t have a tea ball, you can put it in a cheese cloth or foil and poke holes through it. 

After 45 minutes, take the whole chicken out of the stock pot and put in the freezer for about 15 minutes.  Turn the heat back on and bring the broth to a boil.  Add the onion, ginger, cinnamon stick, coriander seeds, star anise, cloves, fish sauce, rock sugar, salt into the stock pot and let the broth simmer.

After the Whole chicken has been in the freezer for 15 minutes, carve the chicken breast, thighs from the chicken and set aside to assemble the pho.  Add the remaining bones and wings back into the broth for extra flavor.  I remember letting the broth simmer for approximately 2-3 hours before serving.  I’m not sure how long I should let it simmer for, so I just let it simmer until it felt right!  I started everything around 9:00am and ate at 1:30pm. 

To assemble the Pho Bowls, heat up water in a sauce pan.  When boiling, mix the Pho noodles for about 10 seconds and place it in the bowl.  Add chicken, and garnishes then pour the broth into the bowl and serve hot! 

Enjoy!

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