Easy but Tasty Chicken Pho Recipe

This recipe seeks to preserve the essence and depth of Chicken Pho while ensuring it’s accessible to anyone, regardless the location. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a kitchen newbie, you will be totally comfortable to make Chicken Pho at home!

What is Chicken Pho (Phở Gà)?

Pho, a soul-warming bowl of flavorful broth, tender noodles, and aromatic herbs, holds a special place in the heart of Vietnamese cuisine. Often touted as the quintessential dish to represent Vietnam’s rich culinary landscape, Pho is more than just a meal—it’s a tapestry of history, tradition, and passion.

easy chicken pho recipe

The origins of Pho can be traced back to the early 20th century in northern Vietnam. The name “Pho” is thought to have been derived from the French “pot au feu” (boiled beef), hinting at the French colonial influence in Vietnam. Over time, as the dish traveled southwards, regional variations emerged. Today, two primary versions dominate: Pho Bo (beef) and Pho Ga (chicken), each boasting its unique style and flavor profiles.

The Chicken Pho, Pho Ga or Phở Gà in Vietnamese, offers a lighter yet equally tantalizing experience compared to its beefy counterpart. Its magic lies in the harmony of flavors—the sweetness of the chicken, the depth brought by charred aromatics, and the gentle kick from the spices. What’s even more enticing about Chicken Pho is its adaptability. It can be as simple or as complex as the cook desires.

So, if you’re ready to embark on a culinary journey and create a bowl of Pho that’s both simple to make and deeply satisfying, let’s dive in.

Ingredients for an Easy Chicken Pho Recipe

For a dish as nuanced as Pho, the right ingredients play a key role in ensuring the authentic taste and aroma. Even in its simplified recipe version, Chicken Pho requires a mix of key components which are easy to buy around the world. Each ingredient plays its part in building the symphony of flavors in the final bowl.

Chicken

  • 700-1kg (1.5 – 2) lbs of bone-in chicken pieces. The bone is essential as it lends the broth a deeper flavor. A whole chicken, or thighs and drumsticks also work.
easy chicken pho recipe

Rice Noodles

  • About 8 oz of dried rice noodles, often labeled as ‘Pho’ or ‘Bánh Phở’ noodles. They come in various widths, but for this Chicken Pho recipe, the medium width is ideal.

Aromatic Spices

The recipe offers you the most basic aromatic spices, but still makes sure your Pho broth would be great. If you It includes:

  • 3-4 star anise pods.
  • 1 cinnamon stick, around 3 inches long.
  • 1-2 tbsp of cilantro seeds
  • 1 white/sweet/yellow onion or 2 shallots or both

Fresh Herbs and Vegetables

  • Cilantro and green onion, finely chopped. The amount depends on your preference with herbs.
  • Sweet onion, thinly sliced.
  • You can eat a variety of vegetables with chicken: Thai basil, sweet onion, mung bean sprouts, lettuce, etc. based on the availability in your region. For me, I choosed sweet onion because it’s … available in my kitchen when I made Chicken pho :))

As you gather these ingredients, it’s essential to note that Pho is adaptable. While there are core components you shouldn’t skip, feel free to adjust quantities based on personal preference. After all, a part of the beauty of home cooking is tailoring dishes to one’s liking.

Preparation and Cooking Chicken Pho

While our version simplifies the process, it ensures that the heart and soul of traditional Chicken Pho remains intact.

Preparing the Chicken and Vegetables

Chicken

  • Rinse the chicken pieces (oh a whole chicken in my case) under cold water, with a bit salt rubbing on the skin. Pat them dry with paper towels.
  • Parboiling (optional): In a large pot, bring water to a rolling boil. Add the chicken pieces and let them cook for about 2-3 minutes. This process helps in removing impurities and results in a clearer broth.
  • After parboiling, discard the water and rinse the chicken pieces to remove any residue.

Onions

As a kind of vegetable to enjoy with Chicken Pho, you need to prepare onions first before proceeding other steps, because it would take 1-2 hours to chill and make it less pungent. Dice the onion slice thinly, then rinse with salty water 2-3 times before soaking in cold water and keep it in refrigerator in the next hours, until finishing the broth and starting to assembling the bowl.

For other types of vegetables, rinse and drain them gently.

Preparing the Chicken Pho’s Broth

Charring Aromatic Spices

  • Using open flame (stovetop or grill), char the star anise pods, cilantro seeds, cinnamon stick and onions/shallots halves until the onions/shallots develop a slight blackened exterior. This step imparts an aromatic depth to the broth. If an open flame isn’t available, you can achieve a similar effect by roasting them on a pan.
easy chicken pho recipe
  • After charring them, use a small Cotton Muslin Drawstring Bags (if any) to put all small spices like cilantro/coriander seeds, star anise pos and cinnamon stick in. You can even use a stainless steel tea infuser as well, but because it’s quite small, just add cilantro/coriander seeds in. The rest, you can add them directly to the water to cook the broth.
easy chicken pho recipe - charr spices
Small cilantro seeds could make your broth messy, so you should add them in a drawstring bags or infuser before putting to the broth.

Simmering:

  • Pour around 1.5 litre of water in the pot and gently put your chicken in. Now it’s time to bring it to a boil.
easy chicken pho recipe
  • During the first 20 minutes, periodically skim off any impurities or foam that rises to the surface using a fine-mesh skimmer or a spoon. Once it boils, wait for 30-40 minutes more to remove the chicken pieces out of the pot. It should be cooked through and tender. Set them aside to cool, then shred the meat off the bones or cut it into pieces. Return the bones to the pot to continue simmering if you wish for a richer broth.
  • Add all your charred aromatic spices: cilantro/coriander seeds, cinnamon sticks, star anise pods, onion/shallots to the broth. Let the broth simmer gently for 1 to 1.5 hours.
easy chicken pho recipe - add aromatic spices to broth
Simmer the broth with aromatic spices in 1 to 1.5 hours.

Seasoning:

  • Once the broth is flavorful, strain out and discard the solids.
  • Return the clear broth to the pot and bring it back to a gentle simmer. Season with salt & broth mix (optional, if any). Remember, it’s easier to add more seasoning later, so start conservatively.

Preparing the Noodles

  • For our Pho, we’re using dried rice noodles. You don’t have to soak them, just add pho noodles directly into the cool water.
  • Now bring water to a boil. Once boiling, cook for about 3-5 minutes or until they’re just tender, then turn off the heat. Carefully drain boiling water and immediately rinse with cold water for a firmer texture of the rice noodles.
Boiling Pho noodles
Rinse rice noodles in cold water for a firmer texture.

Assembly

1. Layering:

  • In individual serving bowls, add a portion of the cooked noodles. Top with chicken and onion slices.

2. The Pour:

  • Pour the hot broth over the noodles and chicken in each bowl, ensuring that it covers the ingredients and fills the bowl.

3. Garnishing:

  • Top with sliced green onions, cilantro, and a handful of bean sprouts. Place Thai basil, lime wedges, and sliced chilis on the side, allowing each person to customize their bowl.
  • While eating pho, you can adjust the taste of your bowl by adding hoisin sauce, siracha sauce, chili sauce (e.g Hoi An chili sauce or sweet chili sauce) and pickled garlic slices.
easy chicken pho recipe

With the aroma filling the air and a perfectly crafted bowl of Chicken Pho before you, you’re now ready to experience your simple but tasty homemade Phở Gà.

Tips and Tricks for a perfect Chicken Pho

Even the most straightforward recipes can benefit from some additional insights. Whether you’re a first-time Pho maker or a seasoned cook looking to refine your skills, these tips and tricks will ensure that every bowl of Chicken Pho you craft is nothing short of perfection.

Chicken Choices

  • Type: Free-range or organic chicken often yields a richer flavor compared to regular store-bought ones. The former has had a more natural diet and lifestyle, which can noticeably enhance the taste of your broth.
  • Bone vs. Boneless: While bone-in chicken is recommended for a flavorful broth, you can use boneless chicken for convenience. However, consider adding some chicken bones separately to the broth for depth.

Achieving a Clear Broth

  • Avoid Boiling: A rolling boil can make your broth cloudy. A gentle simmer ensures clarity and also extracts flavors more effectively from your ingredients.
  • Rinsing after Parboiling: Thoroughly rinse the chicken after parboiling to remove any residue. This aids in achieving a clear broth.

Customizing for Dietary Restrictions

  • Gluten-free: Ensure that all added condiments are gluten-free. Also, rice noodles are naturally gluten-free, making them perfect for this diet.
  • Vegetarian/Vegan: Swap the chicken for tofu or a medley of mushrooms, and use a vegetable broth base.

Elevating Flavor

  • Adding Vegetables: For an even richer broth, consider adding vegetables like daikon radish or carrots during the simmering process. These can be removed later with the other solids.
easy chicken pho recipe

Storage and Leftovers

  • Broth: It’s best to store the broth separately from the noodles and chicken to prevent the noodles from turning mushy. The broth can be refrigerated for up to five days or frozen for up to three months.
  • Rice Noodles: If you’ve cooked extra noodles, store them in a container after cooling and toss them with a tiny bit of oil to prevent sticking. They’re best consumed within a day or two.

Frequently Asked Question (FAQ)

While these tips and tricks offer a guide to refining your Chicken Pho from my easy recipe, remember that the best recipes evolve with personal touches. Experimenting is the key to finding the perfect balance that suits your palette. This Easy Chicken Pho recipe doesn’t ask for any difficult technique, together with my basic ingredients list, give it a try at your home and create your own Chicken Pho flavor!

easy chicken pho recipe

Easy Chicken Pho Recipe

Yield: 4 bowls
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

This recipe seeks to preserve the essence and depth of Chicken Pho while ensuring it's accessible to anyone, regardless the location.

Ingredients

Main Ingredients

Aromatic Spices for the Broth

Fresh Herbs and Vegetables

  • A handful of cilantro/coriander and green onion
  • 1 sweet onion
  • Thai basil, mung bean sprouts, lettuce, etc. based on the availability in your region

Instructions

Step 1. Preparing the Chicken and Vegetables

  • Chicken: Rinse the chicken pieces (oh a whole chicken in my case) under cold water, with a bit salt rubbing on the skin. Pat them dry with paper towels.
    Parboiling (optional): In a large pot, bring water to a rolling boil. Add the chicken and let them cook for about 2-3 minutes. After parboiling, discard the water and rinse the chicken pieces to remove any residue.easy chicken pho recipe
  • Onions: As a kind of vegetable to enjoy with Chicken Pho, you need to prepare onions before proceeding other steps, because it would take 1-2 hours to chill and make it less pungent. Dice the onion slice thinly, then rinse with salty water 2-3 times before soaking in cold water and keep it in refrigerator in the next hours, until finishing the broth and starting to assembling the bowl.how to chop an onion

Step 2. Preparing the Chicken Pho's Broth

Charring Aromatic Spices:

  • Using open flame (stovetop or grill), char the star anise pods, cilantro seeds, cinnamon stick and onions/shallots halves until the onions/shallots develop a slight blackened exterior. If an open flame isn't available, you can achieve a similar effect by roasting them on a pan.easy chicken pho recipe
  • After charring them, use a small Cotton Muslin Drawstring Bags (if any) to put all small spices like cilantro/coriander seeds, star anise pos and cinnamon stick in. You can even use a stainless steel tea infuser as well, but because it's quite small, just add cilantro/coriander seeds in. The rest, you can add them directly to the water to cook the broth.easy chicken pho recipe

Simmering:

  • Pour around 1.5 litre of water in the pot and gently put your chicken in. Now it's time to bring it to a boil.easy chicken pho recipe
  • During the first 20 minutes, periodically skim off any impurities or foam that rises to the surface using a fine-mesh skimmer or a spoon. Once it boils, wait for 30-40 minutes more to remove the chicken pieces out of the pot. It should be cooked through and tender. Set them aside to cool, then shred the meat off the bones or cut it into pieces. Return the bones to the pot to continue simmering if you wish for a richer broth.
  • Add all your charred aromatic spices: cilantro/coriander seeds, cinnamon sticks, star anise pods, onion/shallots to the broth. Let the broth simmer gently for 1 to 1.5 hours. If you use pressure cooker, the duration will reduce to 30-45 minutes.

Seasoning:

  • Once the broth is flavorful, strain out and discard the solids.
  • Return the clear broth to the pot and bring it back to a gentle simmer. Season with salt & broth mix (optional, if any). Remember, it's easier to add more seasoning later, so start conservatively.

Step 3. Preparing the Noodles

  • For our Pho, we're using dried rice noodles. You don't have to soak them, just add pho noodles directly into the cool water.
  • Now bring water to a boil. Once boiling, cook for about 3-5 minutes or until they're just tender, then turn off the heat. Carefully drain boiling water and immediately rinse with cold water for a firmer texture of the rice noodles.
  • Rinse rice noodles in cold water for a firmer texture.boiling noodles for pho

Step 4. Assembly

  • In individual serving bowls, add a portion of the cooked noodles. Top with chicken and onion slices.
  • Bring the broth to a rolling boil. Pour the hot broth over the noodles and chicken in each bowl, ensuring that it covers the ingredients and fills the bowl.
  • Top with sliced green onions, cilantro, and a handful of bean sprouts. Place Thai basil, lime wedges, and sliced chilis on the side, allowing each person to customize their bowl.
  • While eating pho, you can adjust the taste of your bowl by adding hoisin sauce, siracha and pickled garlic slices. easy chicken pho recipe

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 404Total Fat: 9.6gCholesterol: 60mgSodium: 1970mgCarbohydrates: 40gFiber: 5gSugar: 8gProtein: 30g

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