Crocks & Pots
This winter, take the time to prepare something simple, warm and delicious.
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Quick Chicken Pho
They say that chicken soup is just what the doctor ordered. They also say that chiles are nature’s solution to fighting a head cold. Combine the two and you have the equivalent of a bowl of soup any doting Jewish-Vietnamese grandmother would love to feed you. The good news is that you can make pho yourself, and you don’t have to be under the weather for an excuse. Pho tastes great, ticking off all the flavor categories, with spicy, sweet and sour notes mingling with fresh herbs and slurpy noodles in a steaming bowl of ginger-infused chicken broth. Need we say more? Traditionally, pho stock is slow cooked over many hours with a whole chicken, bones and charred vegetables. This recipe is a quick version for easy dining and instant gratification — you can call it faux pho.
- 1 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 (2-inch) knob fresh ginger, coarsely chopped
- 4 whole cloves
- 1 star anise
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 6 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
- 8 ounces vermicelli rice noodles
- 3 scallions, white and green parts thinly sliced
- 2 cups mung bean sprouts
- 1 to 2 jalapeños, thinly sliced
- Fresh mint, cilantro and/or Thai basil sprigs
- 1 lime, cut into wedges
- Asian chili-garlic sauce, such as Sriracha Hoisin sauce
Preheat the oven broiler. Scatter the onions and ginger on a rimmed baking sheet. Broil until the onions begin to turn golden brown, stirring once or twice, about 3 minutes. Add the whole spices and continue to broil until aromatic, about 2 minutes. Transfer the vegetables and spices to a soup pot. Add the stock and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover the pot, and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer for 30 minutes. Strain the sauce through a fine mesh sieve and discard the solids. Return the broth to the pot and stir in the fish sauce, sugar and salt. Add the chicken and simmer, partially covered, over medium-low heat until piping hot, about 5 minutes. While the stock is cooking, prepare the rice noodles according to package instructions. Drain and divide between 4 serving bowls. Sprinkle half the scallions over the noodles, then ladle the chicken and stock into the bowls. Sprinkle the remaining scallions over. Serve with the garnishes.