When we have family members get a cold, chicken noodle soup is the best way to help the under the weather ones.
We like Foster Farm chicken (actually we try to buy anything made in California to help the state economy), they’re plump and juicy in our opinions. It’s depend on which supermarket we buy, the price is very reasonable $1-1.49/lb, with our family of 5, 1 – 4-5lbs chicken will feed the whole family with some left over for lunch (there’s any that less than 4lbs sold). We don’t wash the chicken, just cut to split it in half so it can be done faster since we don’t have much time to cook it. I like chicken livers, heats and gizzards, so I got some for added tastes (the Lucky and Safeway do carry frozen ones or Ranch 99 have them fresh). I always get the smallest packages and the unused ones I put them in the zip lock bags and put in the freezer for the next cook. Ingredients that we use to make the best chicken noodle soup (better than some restaurants) are:
Onions, Green Onions, Cinnamon sticks (powder when we don’t have), gingers, garlic, sugar candies, brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, cilantro, Vietnamese basil, MSG, salt and pepper.
Boil the water for soup stock, important, when the water is cold, put some fish sauce in it (3-4 tea spoons), we get the cheapest bottle in the market (less fish odor) and when the smell is gone when the water boiled, that’s when we know it’s time to put in the chicken. We don’t have to put any fish sauce, but it does help to taste better. Besides the fish sauce, we also put some sugar candies (4-5 little rocks), brown sugar (2 tea spoons), salt (2 tea spoons).
Cut an onion in half, if a small onion, put a whole peeled into the oven and roast it until brown or smell good, then put it in the stock pot with Pho Hoa’s seasoning (get the one with 4 small packages, 2 are too big for our stockpot), these 2 will make our chicken stock soup smell so good and have restaurant taste.
Add 1/2 tea spoon of MSG at the final boiling stockpot, taste and make sure the soup is to our liking, then it’s time to put in the chicken. With the chicken split open, it should take about 20-25 minutes to thoroughly cook the chicken in our boiling soup.
Since the chicken is not washed, we have to use a spoon to remove some of the residue floated to the top to make the stock soup pot looks clear and nice. 15 minutes before taking the chicken out, put in the livers, hearts or gizzards, 3 minutes before put in cilantro, green onions and some chopped basil for the chicken and soup. Finally, put half teaspoon of balsamic vinegar and mix it up.
Thin slice onions with some rice vinegar to eat with the chicken soup.
Take out the chicken, shred the chicken to small pieces, boil the rice noodles, put the desire portion in a bowl, some chicken, green onions, thin cut brown onions, cooked livers, hears, gizzards and pour the hot chicken soup on it and enjoy the restaurant pho chicken taste with home quality ingredients.
Use some Hoisin sauce and hot sauce as dipping sauce for the chicken and squeeze some lemon to the soup for flavoring if we like. Put some basil and bean sprouts if we like.
We have a great meal for less than an hour of cooking, healthy and doesn’t cost much. We don’t eat Pho Ga at restaurants any more since we had our great recipe for cooking it.