The Best Medicine : Chicken Pho & Friends
It's winter here in the PNW which means slower days for our family, lots of soups and this week we're fighting the winter cold and flu bug that's going around. So I've busted out all of the immune boosting herbs, we're drinking tea with elderberry syrup, and making homemade Chicken Pho with fresh ginger, spices and fresh veggies. If chicken soup cures a cold, than Chicken Pho will kick a fever, right?
Whether or not you're fighting a cold you'll love this recipe. It's super easy, great for a crowd and I'll even give you a full menu to pair it with so you can create your own Freedom Dinner!
This recipe makes about 6 large portions (if you're making the full menu it will feed closer to 10)
10 cups Chicken Stock (my favorite is the Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base)
1 large onion – cut in large chunks
2 large carrots – cut in large chunks
4 inch piece of Fresh Ginger Root – peeled and cut in slices
1 bunch cilantro
4 Tb Fish Sauce (add more if the soup is not salty enough – the soup will not taste the same without this, don’t be deterred by the name or smell, it’s essential for the right flavor!)
1/2 tsp Ground Coriander (or 2 Tb whole seeds)
1/8 tsp Ground Cloves (or 4-5 whole cloves)
4 Chicken Breasts, bone in/skin on
1 package thin Rice Noodles
3-4 Green Onions – thinly sliced
Cilantro – coarsely chopped
Fresh Thai Basil – coarsely chopped – (you should be able to find this with the fresh herbs in the produce department)
Jalapeno : thinly sliced
Radishes : thinly sliced
Carrots : thinly sliced
Red/Yellow/Orange Peppers : thinly sliced
**Lime Wedges – fresh lime juice over the top of your soup is essential!!
Put all of the Broth ingredients in a large stock pot, cover and bring to a simmer – the Chicken breasts will take at least 30 minutes to cook through. The soup can be ready in 30 minutes, but if you have more time let the broth simmer for longer, it adds more flavor. While the broth is simmering get all of your toppings ready.
Once the broth has simmered, remove the chicken breasts. Pull the meat off, shred and discard the rest. Set the meat aside as a topping.
Pour the broth through a fine mesh strainer into a large bowl or another soup pot. The finer the mesh the better so you can get a nice clear broth, discard the ingredients from the strainer. Once the broth is strained place it back on the stove and cook the rice noodles in it according to the packaged directions. When the noodles are soft you’re ready to go!
**If you are not serving the soup immediately, strain the noodles out of the broth. I do this by pouring into a strainer that is directly over another soup pot so you don't loose any of the broth! Then put the broth back on the stove and rinse the rice noodles in cold water. This will keep the noodles from getting mushy and sticking together. Leave the noodles in the strainer and set aside for when you are ready to serve
We like to serve the bowl of broth and noodles plain and let each person build their own Pho’. Have all of your toppings set out – the thinner you can slice the carrots, peppers and radishes the better.
If you like a spicier broth add a little Chili Garlic Sauce or Sriracha as a topping.
Want to create a full dinner menu? Here is what we would pair with it :
- Ginger Pomegranate Lime Spritzer : mix 1 bottle of Reed's Ginger Beer with half of a liter of Sparkling Pomegranate Lime Water, 1/4 cup (plus more if you like it sweater) Pomegranate Blueberry Frozen Juice Concentrate, add in fresh lime juice from 1 lime and adjust to taste!
- Asian Chopped Cabbage Salad
- Mango and Coconut Sorbets for dessert
For filling your table:
Think simple and clean. Gather up as many little bowls as possible so you can fill your centerpiece with all of the colorful chopped toppings. Add in a few sprigs of foraged greenery, a couple of votive candles and invite your friends to sit together.
Time spent with people will never be wasted, it truly is the best medicine. We're here to help make that time easy breezy - if you love this menu you'll gobble up the ones we created for our book Dinner Changes Everything. Its a cookbook story of how dinner really can change everything!