One of the things I love about blogging and tweeting is the new people you get to meet, who are there for pick me ups, gluten free cooking tips, amazing recipes and just general chatter. I’ve made some lovely friends through blogging and I’d be here forever listening all the fabulous lot, but one I will mention is the amazing Caleigh from the awesome Gluten Free[k].
Since 1993, Caleigh has been living with Crohn’s Disease which meant her diet was pretty much dominating her life. However, in 2007 she was diagnosed with Coeliac Disease which was when Caleigh started her amazing blog; Gluten Free[k] and took control of her diet. Now her passion lies in cooking and ingredients which is plain to see if you look at her fabulous recipes on her blog!
So you can understand why I was pretty chuffed when she agreed to guest blog for The Gluten Free Student Cookbook and in turn, give me a fabulous recipe which uses up leftover chicken! So here is Caleigh‘s Gluten Free Chicken Pho recipe!
“Some things really annoy me, bad lane-discipline on roundabouts; the fact that Dr Kennedy manages to be a GP, emergency room doctor, oncologist, fertility specialist and goodness knows what else, yet no-one on Ramsey Street questions how he manages it; splashing tomato sauce on my clothes every time I wear white; and throwing away food
(Sometimes, that last one is unavoidable. Soggy, wilted and mouldy vegetables and strange-smelling meat have to go out. After all, E.coli is so 2007, darling…)
There’s only two of us at home, so we regularly have leftover food after meals. I accept much of the responsibility for this, (my eyes are often too big for our stomachs) but I think that the best value packs of meat in supermarkets seem to be sized for families, so leftovers are inevitable. Now, we could just eat the same thing for a few days but I get bored easily and the husband complains if I try to serve him the same thing more than two days running!
There are some easy ways to mix up your leftovers. Bolognese just needs a dash of chilli sauce, a handful of kidney beans – haricot, black-eyed peas, or even baked beans will also work – and a splash of lime juice, and you have a tasty chilli; whilst the remains of roast beef (or lamb) makes a fantastic cottage (or shepherd’s) pie.
I know that it’s cheaper to buy a whole chicken and portion it yourself than to buy chicken portions from your supermarket but, honestly, how often do you engage in that particular spot of butchery in your own kitchen? I have great intentions, but more often than not, I just roast the whole thing – strip off the meat for adding to meals and use the bones for stock – that means, chicken for lunch and dinner for a few days, so I need to make it interesting! This Pho Ga, a Vietnamese noodle soup, is the perfect way to use up leftover chicken and is a brilliant hangover cure (not that I would know such a thing…)”
Properly authentic Pho (pronounced fu) requires a beautifully clear stock, achieved by par-boiling the chicken carcass, pouring away the water, starting again, pouring away that water, then finally simmering the carcass with spices for 1-2 hours, whilst skimming any foam from the surface of the stock. If you have the time, it is actually quite a therapeutic process, but don’t make any other plans for the afternoon. If you think life it too short for skimming broth, cheat!
- 1litre Chicken Stock (Kallo and Antony Worrall Thompson make gluten free stock cubes, or use ready made stock – most are suitable for Coeliacs – but do check the label)
- 1 Small Onion [unpeeled and halved]
- 2cm piece of Root Ginger [unpeeled]
- 2 tsp Coriander Seeds
- 2 Cloves
- 1 Star Anise
- 3cm Cinnamon Stick (or a big pinch of ground cinnamon)
- 2 tsp Fish Sauce
- 1 tbsp Sugar
- 25g Coriander Leaf
- 200g cooked Chicken [shredded]
- 150g Rice Noodles, cooked according to packet instructions (or a packet of Amoy gluten free Straight to Wok Rice Noodles)
- 1 small Red Onion [thinly sliced]
- 1 Red Chilli [sliced]
- 200g tin of Bean Sprouts [drained] (or 100g fresh Bean Sprouts)
- Whack your grill up to full, open a window and turn on your extractor fan.
- Grill the onion and ginger about 2cm from the grill, turning often, for 15 minutes until they are charred all over (if you have a gas hob, you can do this over the flame, just pop the onion and ginger on a fork so you don’t burn your fingers). This stage is potentially a two-man job, one to char the onion and ginger, the other to frantically wave a tea-towel at the smoke alarm.
- Scrape the charred skins off with a butter knife, but don’t be too thorough, a little charring is ok.
- Slice the ginger into slices, about the thickness of a pound coin.
- Pour the stock into a saucepan and add the onion, ginger, coriander seeds, cloves, star anise, cinnamon, fish sauce and the stems from the coriander leaf (keep the leaves for later).
- Bring the stock to the boil and simmer gently for 15 minutes. Strain the stock through a sieve.
- In your bowls, place your cooked rice noodles, shredded chicken, coriander leaves, red onion, chilli and bean sprouts, pour on your sieved stock and serve.
The best way to eat this is with chopsticks – just slurp away. Oh, and feel free to mix up the accompaniments depending on what you have. No red onion? Spring onion or plain old yellow onion works just as well. No chillies? A splash of chilli sauce will do. No cooked chicken? Pop a chicken breast into the stock as it simmers, it’ll need 10-15 minutes to poach perfectly. Try mange tout, mint, lemon wedges, Thai basil, spinach, pak choi or tender stem broccoli in the soup, they all combine brilliantly with the beautifully fragrant stock.