a similar method to make my
as well as my hainanese chicken rice. Since this is for Phở,
I add aromatics like charred onion, garlic and ginger, but I
go easy on the seasonings as chicken is easily overwhelmed
by spices such as star anise and cloves. The charring not
only develops new flavor compounds, but it also adds a
wonderful smokiness to the soup that gives it depth.
Normally I’m a big fan of adding condiments such as basil,
bean sprouts hoisin and hot sauce to phở bò (beef pho), but
I prefer my phở gà northern style: with wider noodles and a
minimum of garnishes. Perhaps it’s because the more delicate
chicken broth is easily smothered, or maybe it’s because the
first really great bowl of phở gà I had was Hà Nội style.
Whatever the case, the only table-side condiment I serve my
phở gà with is pickled green chilies.
last note. I like my noodles very al dente. Because rice
noodles cook so quickly, by the time you boil, drain and add
them to the soup, they’re soggy already. One way around this
I’ve found is to skip the separate boiling entirely and to
cook the noodles directly in the soup. This gets you
perfectly cooked noodles every time.
the chicken inside and out, including any offal it comes
with and set aside. Using a broiler, torch, or a gas stove,
burn the cut side of the onion, both sides of the ginger and
both sides of the garlic. If you have some wire mesh you can
set it on the gas stove for the garlic, otherwise a torch
works great for these. You want the surface to be about 50%
black as it adds a wonderful smoky flavor to the soup
without making it bitter.
the neck, gizzards, heart and liver inside the chicken.
Place the chicken breast side up into a stock pot just a
little larger than the chicken, then put all the other
ingredients for the soup around the chicken. Add water until
the top of the breast is almost covered. Cover with a lid
and bring the water to a boil over high heat. When the water
comes to a boil, turn the stove off (do not remove the lid),
and poach the chicken for 40 minutes.
the chicken and set it aside to cool. When it’s cool enough
to handle, remove the offal from the cavity and set aside.
Carve all the meat off the bones and return the bones to the
stock. Simmer the stock for another 1 1/2 hours. Slice up
the chicken meat and offal and put it in the fridge.
the dried pho noodles in warm water for about 30 minutes to
rehyrdate them. Chop up your condiments and have them ready.
Make the pickled chilies by adding the sliced chilies,
vinegar and salt in a small bowl and setting aside.
your broth is done, strain it through a fine mesh sieve and
skim off any excess oil. Taste the soup for salt and add
more as necessary.
the stock to a boil. Drain the noodles and add them to the
stock. The rehydrated noodles will cook in a matter of
seconds, so a couple swishes is all it takes. Split the
noodles between 4 bowls and top with the chicken, offal,
onions, scallion and cilantro to taste, then ladle on the
immediately with the pickled chilies. If you prefer a
southern style Phở, you can also serve this with Vietnamese
basil, bean sprouts, lime, hot sauce and hoisin sauce.