Chicken Pho (pressure cooker)

Hi everyone,

Right before Christmas, I treated myself to a “pressure cooker”. I “quote” because in the effort to save counter space, I purchased a 5 in 1 Fast Slow Cooker  from Breville which features slow cooker, saute, steam, pressure cooker and warm functions. I have never owned a pressure cooker before and while critics may say that this is not a legit pressure cooker, I have nothing to compare it with but I am super happy with the pressure function of this product!

Breville Fast Slow Cooker!
Breville Fast Slow Cooker!

Recently I came across an article on Serious Eats for pressure cooker chicken pho. I love pho otherwise known as Vietnamese noodle soup. This is comfort food for me, a large bowl of carby goodness (rice noodles) topped with meat and steaming hot broth. I have always toyed with the idea of making my own pho broth but the thought of standing over the pot for 12 hours skimming off layers of foam was not appealing to me. When I came across this recipe, I was stoked, pho after 20 minutes in the pressure cooker? Sign me up!

Chicken Pho!
Chicken Pho!

I was pleasantly surprised with how tasty the broth was after only 20 minutes in the pressure cooker! It had a nice clean flavour, but found that it lacked a bit of depth. However, when I had the leftovers the next day, the flavours had settled in more and the soup tasted richer. Next time I make this, I will prepare the soup the day before and let it sit overnight in the fridge to give the flavours more time to meld together. I will also add some chicken wing tips which is fatty and contains collagen to create a silkier, and richer broth. 

Chicken Pho (original recipe from Serious Eats)

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 2 medium onions, split in half
  • 2 inches of ginger, sliced
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 3 star anise pods
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 2 whole chicken legs*
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce, plus more to taste
  • 2 quarts of water
  • 2 tablespoons rock sugar or raw sugar, plus more to taste**
  • garnish – lime, bean sprouts, sliced onions, chili peppers, thai basil, mint, green onions
  • 4 servings of pho noodles prepared according to the package (rice noodles)

*The original recipe called for 6 – 8 drumsticks.
**I didn’t have any rock or raw sugar. Brown sugar would be next ideal sugar. I didn’t have any either so I used white sugar.

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in a pot, when hot, place the onions and ginger into the pot. Cook without moving until the onions and ginger are well charred. ***
    Onions and ginger
    Onions and ginger

    Charred onions
    Charred onions
  2. Add the charred onions and ginger into the pressure cooker pot along with the chicken legs, cilantro, star anise pods, cinnamon stick, cloves, fennel seeds, coriander seeds, fish sauce, sugar and water.
    Chicken legs
    Chicken legs

    Combine all ingredients in the pressure cooker pot
    Combine all ingredients in the pressure cooker pot
  3. Seal the pressure cooker and set for 20 minutes.
  4. When the soup is ready, release all the steam from the pressure cooker before removing lid. Remove chicken legs. Cool and shred the meat off the bones.

    Cooked chicken legs
    Cooked chicken legs
  5. Pour soup through a strainer into a pot. Heat up soup and season to taste. Add more fish sauce as required.

    Strain stock into a pot
    Strain stock into a pot
  6. Place prepared pho noodles in bowls. Top with shredded chicken, onion slices, and green onions.

    Noodle bowls ready for soup!
    Noodle bowls ready for soup!
  7. Prepare condiment dish – lime, bean sprouts,thai basil, mint and other types of herbs you like with pho.

    Condiments
    Condiments
  8. Pour hot soup over prepared noodle bow. Serve and enjoy!

    Chicken Pho!
    Chicken Pho!

***In the original recipe, the oil was heated up in the pressure cooker and the onions and ginger were charred in the pressure cooker pot. In this “fast slow cooker” that I used, the sauté function doesn’t heat the pot to a high enough temperature so I opted to char my onions and ginger in a separate pot.

Hope you enjoyed this recipe! Happy cooking ! – J

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