BrokeAss Gourmet

BrokeAss Gourmet

Chicken Pho

  • Prep Time 0:30
  • Cook Time 0:60
  • Estimated Cost $14

I spent this Thanksgiving weekend drinking wine, eating, laughing, snuggling, eating, hugging, reminiscing, lounging, eating, and also eating. 

We all ate and ate: mass amounts of creamy Brown Butter-Pumpkin Mac and Cheese, rich stuffing, velvety pumpkin pie and a million different kinds of crispy, creamy, browned, meaty comfort-food-y things. I wouldn't trade it for the world.

That said, this week's approach to food is going to have to be a little lighter, if I am hoping to continue to wear my pants through the holiday season. With that in mind, I decided to make pho--the spicy, deeply flavorful, soul-hugging soup of Vietnamese origin, in which noodles swim (I used low-calorie shirataki noodles--usually found near the tofu in most grocery stores--to make further atone for last week's caloric intake, but rice vermicelli is what is traditionally called for), and atop which fresh, toppings, like scallions, bean sprouts and cilantro dance, waiting to be stirred in.

Note: This soup also happens to be a fantastic way to use up that leftover turkey you've been plowing through for the past few days. Simply use the turkey carcass to make the broth, and shred cooked turkey meat to use in place of the chicken meat called for.


  • 1 tbsp vegetable or coconut oil Pantry
  • 2 tsp Chinese 5-spice $1.50 for 1 oz.
  • 2 chicken legs (drumsticks and thighs), skin-on $4
  • 5 cloves whole garlic, (peel-on), smashed Pantry
  • 1 1" piece ginger, finely minced $0.50
  • 1 whole onion, (peel-on), quartered $0.50
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, coarsely chopped $1
  • juice of 1 lemon $0.50
  • 1 tbsp honey Pantry
  • 2 tsp Asian chili sauce (or more to taste) $2 for 12 oz.
  • 2 tbsp Asian fish sauce $2.50 for 14 oz.
  • 2 1/2 tbsp (plus more to taste) soy sauce Pantry
  • freshly ground pepper Pantry
  • 1 lb rice vermicelli or shirataki noodles $1.50
  • optional garnishes: fresh cilantro, sliced jalapeño, sliced scallions, hoisin sauce, lemon wedges, mung bean sprouts

Recipe Serves 4


  1. Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the Chinese-5 Spice and cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute.
  3. Add the chicken legs and brown on both sides, about 3 minutes each.
  4. Add the garlic, ginger, onion, lemongrass, lemon juice, honey, chili sauce, fish sauce, soy sauce, pepper and 2 1/2 quarts of water. 
  5. Cover, bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Allow to simmer for 10-12 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.
  6. Once the chicken is fully-cooked, fish it out using tongs, and run under cold water to cool it down.
  7. Slide the skin off the chicken pieces, and use a fork or your fingers to slide the tender chicken meat off the bones, reserving the chicken bones, skin and gristle.
  8. Return the bones, skin and gristle to the pot, cover and simmer for another 45 minutes.
  9. Strain the broth and return to its pot. 
  10. Taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary.
  11. Increase heat to high and bring broth to a boil.
  12. Add the noodles and boil until cooked through, about 5 minutes. 
  13. To serve, use a ladle to portion broth into bowls. 
  14. Use tongs to add noodles to each bowl. 
  15. Divide the chicken pieces between the bowls, and serve immediatley. 
  16. If desired, garnish with any of the optional garnishes. 

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What They're Saying

Mike Gibson, on Nov 28, 12:06 PM, wrote:

I wish I would have seen this before all our turkey was eaten up.

GLM, on Nov 28, 12:25 PM, wrote:

Try it with chicken!

cathy @ Noble Pig, on Nov 28, 04:03 PM, wrote:

Wow, I have always wanted to make this at home, now I can….thanks for the recipe!!

Michael, on Nov 29, 03:53 PM, wrote:

Two questions: I assume there’s supposed to be water or some kind of broth added. How much and broth or water? Second, where do you use the lemon juice? Thanks!

Gabi, on Nov 30, 10:26 AM, wrote:

Hey Michael! Sorry for the error—I’ve fixed the recipe to answer the questions you had. :)

Mike Gibson, on Nov 30, 11:11 AM, wrote:

We make chicken pho quite often. Julie will even use chicken stock she’s made from an old, roasted carcass. I just saw your tweet referencing this and leftover turkey and had wished I saw it before we ate up all our turkey.

Michael, on Dec 1, 07:24 AM, wrote:

Hi Gabi,

Thanks so much for the update! I absolutely love your recipes and wanted to try this one soon, and just wanted to check to make sure. I can’t wait!

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