It’s officially cold and flu season…*cough cough, sniff sniff* I thought I was making it by this season with no cold symptoms on the horizon. That was until the day before I had to return to work after my two week winter vacation. All of a sudden I was achey and all around under the weather. Maybe my subconscious was running wild with the thought of returning to my desk…but whatever the reason I still was feeling pretty crummy. That’s where this Healing Vietnamese Style Chicken Noodle Soup and saved the day.
My days of living with my always doting mother who spoiled me with affection and comfort food when I felt sick are gone now that I am living on my own. This meant I needed to learn how to be self-sufficient even when feeling sick. About a year ago I came across a recipe for a chicken soup recipe that boasted it had special healing powers for colds, hangovers, and even broken hearts. I made it and was instantly in love. I started making it regularly whenever I did not feel well or just needed a wholesome home cooked meal.
The heat in the soup will clear out your sinuses and the warmth will melt your heart. Of course I made quite a handful of modifications during my repeated attempts. By now, it has taken on a life of its own but; I still agree whole-heartedly with the original cook’s statement that it has some all-healing powers.
For those of you who take this recipe on while fighting a bout of the sniffles I wish you well!
…all for the love of the dish
- 2 bone in chicken thighs
- 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
- 1 box rice noodles
- 12 cups of water
- 4 ½ tbsp. granulated chicken bouillon
- 2 carrots (peeled)
- 2 celery sticks with leaves on them (halved)
- 2 shallots cut in quarters
- ½ small onion (I used Vidalia) cut in quarters
- 3 dried Thai chilis
- 2 garlic cloves, cut in half
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tsp rice vinegar
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- ¼ tsp each: ginger, fennel, anise, turmeric, black pepper
- 1/8 tsp cinnamon
- Cilantro (optional)
- Heat 2 tsp of olive oil in a large stock pot over medium/high heat. Add the shallots and onion to the pot. Cover and let them cook for about 5 minutes.
- Add the chicken thighs to the pot. brown on both sides (about 3-4 minutes each).
- Add the water, bouillon, whole carrots, halved celery, garlic cloves, 2 dried Thai chilis, soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar and all the spice to the pot. Stir and then bring to a boil.
- Once boiling, cover and let simmer for 1 hour.
- Pour the soup through a strainer (be sure to put another pot or large below...do not pour your soup down the drain...yep I've done it before :)) keeping only the broth. Then remove the chicken thighs from the strainer. Cut into chunks and add back to broth. All other ingredients in the strainer can be disposed of.
- Put the broth with chicken pieces in your large stock pot back on the stove. Add the remaining Thai chili (this time break it in half to release some heat) and your whole chicken breast.
- Poach the chicken breast in the broth for about 20 minutes then remove and cut into chunks before adding it back to the soup.
- Add your rice noodles and cook for no more than 5 minutes.
- Top with cilantro if you like and serve!