So, I know how to cook it but I don’t know how to pronounce it properly. I asked Thao yesterday. She told me. I repeated exactly what I heard she said about 20 gazillion times and still got it wrong. She was laughing so much at me. My best approximation was when I said ‘faux’ like ‘faux pas’ in French. I think I have a hearing/speaking disconnect …
Anyway, here’s how I made chicken pho.
- 1 bag chicken bones
- 2 onions, quartered
- pho spices
- 1-2 chicken breasts
- 1 carrot, julienned
- rice noodles (soaked for 1 minute in boiling water and drained)
- chopped fresh herbs (ie.coriander, mint, basil in any combination)
- chilli (to serve)
- lemon (to serve)
At the butcher I bought a bag of chicken bones. I combined these with 2 onions quartered and 2 teaspoons of salt and these pho spices which I bought at the big Asian grocers out the back of the Preston Market (I love this shop … and I bought the noodles here too).
I filled up my pot with water and simmered it all for 2 hours. It sounds like I am super organised, but that really isn’t the case. I was hanging around making a big batch of bolognese so I just made this in the pot alongside. As I was at the stove keeping an eye on the bolognese, quartering two onions and adding the packet of spices to make the stock wasn’t too hard at all.
Then I strained the stock and put it in the fridge. The next day I got out half the stock and reheated it, added about half again water and a bit more salt to taste. And I skimmed off the fat that had settled to the top when it was cold. Then I put one thinly sliced chicken breast in and cooked it very quickly.
In the serving bowls I put a handful of rice noodles that I soaked in boiling water for one minute, some thin strips of carrot that I made with my ‘new-to-me’ vegetable julienner* (I think this might be a new word?) and a handful of beanshoots as well. And some chopped herbs. Coriander, mint, basil. These are all good.
Then I spooned the boiling stock and chicken over the top. And served it with lemon wedges and chopped up chilli. The chilli wasn’t too hot and the kids had fun thinking it might be and adding it in to their pho without touching it and then taste testing the results.
Everyone ate dinner … happy days! It was a great meal for a hot day. And I still have enough stock left for another night. I put it in the freezer.
* I bought this at the op shop. $2. Not everything you buy at the op shop needs to be ‘vintage’.
Yes, I think julienner is a word now.