My favorite trick lately is pho ga or pho made with chicken.
- A mostly eaten roast chicken carcass
- a least a half gallon of water
- 3 star anise pods,
- juice of half a lime,
- a thumb sized piece of ginger cut into slices,
- a cinnamon stick,
- two teaspoons of coriander,
- 1/4 cup of fish sauce,
- a chopped onion and
- a teaspoon of sugar
- Rice noodles (substitute with rice if you don’t have noodles)
- Bean sprouts
- lime wedges
- choice of mint leaves, cilantro or basil
- Sriracha sauce or Jalapeno chilis
Put all ingredients in a big gallon sized pot, cook on medium heat and cover with a lid. Once it comes to a boil, remove the lid and let it simmer. If you don’t have an ingredient, leave it out or substitute something similar. No fresh ginger? Use peppercorns or powdered ginger. If you don’t have fish sauce try soy sauce. If you experiment be sure to start with just a little bit of the new ingredient and taste the broth to determine the effect- the chicken is already cooked so the broth can’t hurt you.
Let the broth cook AT LEAST two hours, ideally more. This is no big deal. You have no place to go and you can eat something else while it cooks. This soup is an investment in your future.
Once the broth is cooked, put a colander in a bowl that is big enough to hold all of the broth. Strain out all the bones and spices by pouring the broth through the colander and into the bowl. Put the broth back into the cooking pot, add some vegetables because vegetables are good for you (I like bok choy and carrots) and let the carcass cool so you can pick off the remaining meat and put it back into the pot. If you want more meat, chop or crumble it into bite sized pieces and add it to the pot. I used ground turkey in the photo. Now is a good time to start a pot of rice if you don’t have noodles. Add rice noodles to the pot and cook on medium heat for 20 minutes or until the meat, vegetables and noodles are done.
Top with your favorite garnishes and enjoy!