June 22, 2009

phở gà

I've been reading Fat: An Appreciation of a Misunderstood Ingredient, with Recipes, which by the way you should run out and buy, and in it I learned that science has recently proven that a compound in chicken fat, specifically chicken fat, strengthens the human immune response. Your Jewish gramma wasn't just whistling Dixie. We knew this anecdotally, since tallasiandude responds really well to chicken soup when sick, but it was cool to see the science behind it.

Anyway, in an effort to fight off the illness we both can't shake, we have been eating a LOT of chicken soup in this house lately. Like 3 big batches in the last week and a half. And though I do adore the tallasiandude's recipe for chicken vegetable soup, there's apparently only so much I can eat at a go. So I decided I would make chicken pho for the next batch, and see if I could pull it off.

I googled (thanks to Andrea Nguyen's post for the correct Viet characters which I shamelessly copied and pasted, and to Steamy Kitchen's post for the recipe I followed), ran out for ginger and bean sprouts, and had at it while I was working today.

It came out OK, but it wasn't even CLOSE to flavorful enough. It smelled absolutely dreamy, but the taste wasn't anywhere near that heady, strong, savory luxury that I love in pho ga.

I could maybe put in more onion, but really I followed the recipe almost exactly. The only thing I can think of is that I didn't hack up the chicken with a cleaver, therefore depriving my broth of all the bone marrow. Steamy Kitchen makes a point of going on at some length about the marrow and what it adds to the broth. But to be completely honest, I am not the most coordinated girl and I am scared of cleavers. I get the willies watching the guys in the Chinese market hacking stuff up, and those guys know what they're doing.

Maybe I can get a really sharp cleaver, and hold down the object to be cloven with a long meat fork or something.

Because even though it was certainly edible and warming with lime and sriracha added to it, the pallidness of my phở gà just made me sad. Something has to be done, at least until someone opens up a Vietnamese restaurant within 5 miles of my house. Anyone? Anyone?

Posted by foodnerd at June 22, 2009 09:04 PM
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