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Chicken noodle soup
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Gently poaching a whole chicken with fragrant herbs and spices adds layers of flavour – and will fill the kitchen with a delicious smell, too.
1 small chicken (about 1.2kg)
2 sticks lemongrass, bashed
80g fresh root ginger, 3⁄4 thickly sliced, ¼ finely chopped
1 bunch salad onions, trimmed and halved, 2 finely sliced with whites and greens separated
6 garlic cloves, peeled
2 star anise
1 tsp fine salt
25g pack coriander, leaves and stalks separated
235g pack pak choi, cut into quarters
2 red chillies, finely chopped
200g pack folded rice noodles
1 lime, juice, plus extra wedges to serve if liked
2 tbsp fish sauce, plus extra to serve if liked
1. Put the chicken in a large saucepan or flameproof casserole dish. Add the pepper, lemongrass, thickly sliced ginger, halved salad onions, garlic, star anise, salt and coriander stalks. Pour over enough water to cover (about 2.5-3 litres), cover and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer very gently for 1 hour until the chicken is cooked through, the juices run clear and no pink meat remains.
2. With 2 large spoons, carefully lift the chicken from the broth; set aside on a board to cool. Meanwhile, strain the cooking liquor through a sieve into a large bowl, discarding the aromatics. Clean the pan, tip the liquor back in and set over a high heat. Reduce by about 1⁄3 until you have about 1.5 litres left.
3. Meanwhile, when the chicken is cool enough to handle, pull the meat from the bones and slice or shred into bitesized pieces, discarding the skin and bones. When the broth has reduced, add the salad onion whites, finely chopped ginger, pak choi, 1⁄2 the chillies and 3⁄4 of the chicken. (Cover and chill the rest of the chicken for up to 24 hours or freeze for up to 1 month to use in sandwiches, pasta dishes or risottos.) Simmer for 5 minutes, until the pak choi is tender and the chicken piping hot. Cook the noodles according to pack instructions.
4. To serve, divide the noodles between 4 bowls. Take the broth off the heat, squeeze in the lime juice and add the fish sauce, then ladle over the noodles. Scatter over the salad onion greens and remaining chilli, then tear over the coriander leaves. Enjoy straight away with extra fish sauce and lime wedges to squeeze over, if liked.
Typical values per serving:
This recipe was first published in October 2021.