I really like Pho Ga as an occasional alternative to traditional Pho, but oddly, it never really occurred to me to make it until I saw this recipe. This turned out really well, and was a bit easier than some of the other Pho recipes I’ve made at home, so I can see it becoming part of the rotation. The recipe recommends adding chicken bones/wings to the stock-making process, but I didn’t do that (mostly because I read past it, but I probably wouldn’t have purchased extra wings, either).
2 unpeeled yellow onions, quartered
Three 1/2-inch-thick slices of unpeeled fresh ginger, smashed
4 quarts cold water
One fresh 3 1/2-pound chicken, quartered
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons sugar
Additional spices (optional): Cinnamon, star anise, black cardamoms, coriander seeds, fennel seeds or cloves (I used all, except possibly the fennel)
1/4 cup Asian fish sauce
1 pound dried rice noodles, a linguine shape (bánh phở) if you can find them
1 large scallion, thinly sliced
mung bean sprouts
torn basil leaves
jalapeños, thinly sliced
Heat the oven to 400°F. Put the onions and ginger on a baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes, or until softened and lightly browned.
Cook the chicken: Fill a large stockpot with the water and bring to a boil. Add the roasted onions and ginger, and the quartered chicken, salt, sugar and any of the optional spices and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to moderate and simmer until the chicken is cooked, about 30 minutes.
Transfer the quartered chicken to a plate and let cool slightly. Remove the meat from the bones and refrigerate. Return the skin and bones to the stockpot and simmer for 2 hours longer. Strain the chicken broth into a large soup pot and cook over high heat until reduced to 12 cups, about 15 minutes. Stir in the fish sauce; adjust to taste.
*Prepare noodles: In a large bowl of warm water, soak the noodles until pliable, about 20 minutes. You can also prepare the noodles according to the package instructions, if they differ. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Drain the noodles, then add them to the saucepan and boil over high heat until tender, about 3 minutes. Drain well. Divide the noodles between 6 large bowls and sprinkle with the scallion.
Finish and serve the soup: Add the reserved chicken to the broth and simmer until heated through. Ladle the broth and chicken over the noodles. Serve with the bean sprouts, basil, lime wedges, jalapeños, chili-garlic sauce, hoisin sauce and crispy shallots.