Chicken Pho`

Chicken Pho`

Chicken Pho`

Chicken Pho`

 Pho` has got to be one of my very, very, most favorite ethnic dishes!  Actually, the BEST Pho` I have ever had was at an authentic Vietnamese “whole in the wall”.  When I go there, I get the Pho`Tai which is made with beef.  I have made it at home with beef but believe me…  The time and effort spent isn’t worth it when a bowl of the best Pho`Tai in the world is less than $10.00!!!!  The chicken version that I am giving you here is next in line and much easier to create in your own kitchen.  Another thing about Pho`……………… NOODLES!!! ……… Yes!!! I LOVE noodles, especially the rice noodles…  BUT……..!!! … they are NOT  figure friendly which is one of the reasons I don’t treat myself to authentic Pho` often.  So therefore, I crrrrraaaaavvvvve it!!!  I recently purchased a turning slicer which I am going to post a picture of and tell you where you can get one!  It wasn’t super cheap but was well worth the money spent!!!  When I was recently crrrraavvving a bowl of Pho`…  I decided to make “noodles” out of zucchini using my slicer!!!  WOW!!!!  Satisfied my craving and tricked my brain (that’s not hard to do) into thinking I was eating noodles!!!    Flavor beyond flavor and basically a bowl of the most delicious chicken and vegetable soup you will ever eat!  So…..  Here goes…..

Ingredients List:

For boiling the chickens:

2-  41/2lb chickens

1 TBS Kosher Salt

1 TBS Cracked Black pepper

1 TBS dried Parsley

 

For the Chicken Stock:

1 large onion, quartered

2 whole jalapeño peppers

2 whole pods of garlic cut in half

2 large nodes of ginger, peeled and quartered

 

1/2 of a bunch of fresh cilantro, left whole

About 6-7 whole star anise

1 whole cinnamon stick

5 bay leaves

 

For making the Base of the Pho`

1/4 cup canola oil

3-4 medium/large onions, sliced thin

1 bunch of celery, cleaned, trimmed, and sliced thin

1 whole pod of garlic, chopped fine

1 8oz. Pack of portabello mushrooms, sliced

1/4 cup of fish sauce

1 TBS garlic powder

1 TBS onion powder

4-5 Beef bullion cubes

 

Rice Noodles or Zucchini Noodles

For the Zucchini noodles:

3 whole zucchini

3 TBS canola oil

dash of kosher salt

 

Salad Garnish:

Fresh Bean Sprouts (if available)  I am not crazy about the canned sprouts so if I can’t get fresh I just don’t do sprouts.  If you don’t mind the canned sprouts then by all means… go ahead!!!

Fresh limes cut into wedges

Fresh Jalapeno slices

Fresh Cilantro

Fresh Thai Basil

 

Additional Spice/season:

Hoisin Sauce

Sirachi Sauce

Chili Paste

 

 

Cooking instructions:

Put the chickens in a large stock pot (I use a 16 qt pot).  Add enough water so that the chickens are completely covered.  Turn the burner on high, toss in the salt, pepper and parsley and bring the water to a boil.  Lower the the heat to medium and cook the chickens for about 40 – 45 minutes.  When cooked, remove them to a baking sheet to cool.  Careful here…  If your chickens are fully cooked as they should be, they tend to want to fall apart when taking them out of the pot (hot stock splashing burns)!!!!!  Don’t pour out the stock!  This is the base for our soup!

While the chicken is cooling, heat a cast iron griddle over high heat on the stove top.  Spray it with a little no stick.  Grill the onion quarters, jalapeño peppers, garlic pods (cut side down), and ginger for 4-5 minutes.  We want to get a little char on everything but careful not to burn.  Watch the garlic…  It tends to char a little faster than the other and we don’t want burnt garlic!!!  Add all of this to the reserved stock.  Also to the stock, add the cilantro, star anise, cinnamon stick, and bay leaves.  Now, your chicken should be cool enough to not burns your fingers too terribly bad!!!  Debone the chickens adding all of the bones to the stock pot.  Throw the skin and fat away and cover the chicken meat until ready to use.  Bring this up to a low boil.  Once it reaches the boiling point, reduce the heat to med/low and let it simmer for 30 minutes.

Now that the stock is finished…  Let’s make Pho’!!!!!  I am just going to go ahead and say that I already know that if you read hundreds of Pho’ recipes, they are not going to do what I am about to do…  They make a clear stock with no added ingredients….  This is how I am doing it…In a smaller stock pot (I used a 10qt), heat the canola oil over high heat.  Saute’ the thin sliced onions and celery until tender and somewhat golden, about 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add in the garlic and continue to stir.  Now, put a sieve with a long handle across the top of the pot.  Ladle in two cup fulls of the stock.  The sieve prevents any of the particulates from the stock from getting into the pot.  Remove the sieve and add in the mushrooms.  Cook until the mushrooms are soft, about 5 minutes.  Add the salt, pepper, onion powder, & garlic powder.  Put the sieve over the pot again.  Slowly pour the remaining stock into the pot.  Remove the sieve and discard all of the vegetables, bones, ect… that were used to make the stock.  Add the beef bullion cubes, fish sauce, add the reserved chicken meat.  Taste…  If you need to add salt or pepper, do it now.  I usually opt for adding an extra bullion cube or two if needed.

 

Now for the noodles.

If you are using dried rice noodles, bring about 3 quarts of water to a boil.  Add the noodles to the water and remove from the heat.  Let the noodles stand in the water for about 2 minutes and drain.  Place in a colander. Run cold water over the noodles so that they do not continue to cook.

 

Zucchini Noodles:

Using your turning slicer, use the blade that makes a larger spiral.  According to the slicer directions, place the zucchini on the slicer and spiral out 3 zucchini.  You may want to give the whole bowl a slice lengthwise and widthwise so that you don’t have 3 very long noodles.  I hope this makes sense!!!  In a Med/Lg skillet, heat the 3 TBS canola oil.  Add the zucchini noodles.  Saute’ the noodles for 2 minutes turning continually for the entire 2 minutes.  Toss in a dash of kosher salt. Drain on paper towels until all of the liquid has absorbed.

 

Chichin 

In a large soup bowl, place about 3/4 cup of the noodle of your choice.  Ladle a fair amount of the chicken Pho` over the noodles.  As per your liking..  Add any of the “salad” ingredients of your choice.  Spice it up (or not) depends on what you like with the additional spices listed above.

Now enjoy the most delicious bowl of soup you will ever eat!!!!!

Now I am going to show you the turning slicer

Turning Slicer

Turning Slicer

Now, here is where to get it!!!

http://www.amazon.com/Benriner-BN5-Turner-Slicer/dp/B00032RZUS/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1375157091&sr=8-2&keywords=japanese+turning+slicer

 

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