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Thursday, March 13, 2014

Healthy Flavorful Chicken & Noodles Soup

This recipe was always my go to when someone I knew was sick or when I am having a "spa" mood.  That interpreted means.. I am being really healthy and eating light, usually a week after a cleanse, this is a meal I make.  
I'd like to call it the clean and fresh updated version of Chicken Noodle Soup.  I first made this around '97 and this was before I ever had Pho.  It probably was a Martha Stewart recipe, not sure.  Now and especially living in Seattle, there is a lot of Pho around and I would say this soup is similar to a thai noodle soup.  What I love about this soup is the freshness of it all.  I also love how it's served.  The hot broth infused with a thai sauce, which is tasty and delicious but not overpowering, is poured over a bed of cellophane noodles topped with red onion, scallions and the pulled chicken which produced the lovely broth..  that then is ladled into individual bowls and you then garnish with fresh, cold veggies. So when you eat the soup you have the hot broth, fresh herb brightness and the crunch of a cucumber, pepper and bean sprouts.  All which impart an incredible fresh deliciousness.  If you are gluten-free.. this is a great meal for you.  Hello, noodles!  

Super easy to make, the only thing that takes time is chopping and assembling all the accompaniment ingredients.  I love this for entertaining at lunch or light dinner.  This soup will easily serve 10 -12 people.

Flavorful Thai Chicken & Noodle Soup

1 Organic whole Chicken (often called broiler chickens) 


1 c Nam pla (fish sauce) 
3 Garlic cloves; crushed 
2 T Peeled fresh ginger; grated using a rasp or fine minced
3 T Freshly squeezed lime juice 
2 T Dark brown sugar 
1 t Red-pepper flakes
1/4 water

1/2 lb Cellophane noodles


1 sm Red Onion.. halved and sliced lengthwise
1 bunch of Scallions.. trimmed and sliced
Fresh Mint.. pull leaves from stem .. (3-4 leaves per person)
Fresh Cilantro.. tough ends trimmed (1 tender stem with leaves per person)
2 c Mung Bean Sprouts
1 long English Cucumber.. peeled & halved lengthwise & cut on the diagonal 1/2" slices
2 Orange Yellow or Red bell peppers.. halved and sliced lengthwise in julienne 
2 Limes.. cut into wedges (1 wedge per person) 


Place chicken in a large pot and cover with cold water.  Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low.  Simmer uncovered for 30 to 45 minutes, depending on size of chicken. 
Remove chicken, and discard the skin and bones (I freeze bones for future bone broths), reserve broth. Cut chicken into large pieces, set aside in fridge til ready to use.

While Chicken is cooking prepare...

In a medium bowl, whisk together the fish sauce, crushed garlic, ginger, lime juice, brown sugar, red pepper flakes and water. Set aside.  

Prepare all as above and place in individual bowls (except onion and scallions) for garnish.  Set aside.

Soak noodles in warm water for 15 minutes and drain well. (do this 15 min or right before serving) 

Bring chicken broth (reserved in pot) to a simmer. Stir fish sauce mixture into simmering broth.  


Place noodles in the bottom of a large serving bowl, arrange chicken on top, then add the sliced onion and scallions. 
Ladle hot chicken broth mixture over chicken and noodles. 

Serve immediately.  Garnish with cold vegetables and limes. 

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