Chicken Pho with Sweet and Sour Berry Sambal
1.2 lt (2 pt) good chicken stock, ideally home-made 1 bunch spring onions, sliced thinly, white and green tops kept separate 1 carrot, sliced thinly 1-2 Thai birds eye red chillies, halved, deseeded, to taste 5 cm (2 in) piece root ginger, peeled and sliced thinly 3 cloves garlic, sliced thinly 2 small fresh or dried kaffir lime leaves 2 tsp Thai fish sauce (nam pla) 1 tbs ketjap manis or soy sauce 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) boneless, skinless chicken breasts 1 x 200 g pack choi sum, leaves shredded, stems cut into bite-sized pieces 100 g (4 oz) bean sprouts, rinsed and drained Handful coriander leaves, torn roughly 1 x 300 g pack chilled cooked rice noodles
For the Sambal:
225 g (8 oz) strawberries, sliced 175 g (6 oz) raspberries 100 g (4 oz) caster sugar 2 tbs rice vinegar 2-3 Thai birds eye red chillies, chopped roughly with seeds 2 cm (¾ in) piece root ginger, peeled and chopped finely 1 small onion, chopped finely
1 Add the stock to a large saucepan then add the white spring onion slices, carrot, chilli, ginger, garlic, lime leaves, fish sauce and ketjap manis or soy sauce. Bring to the boil, stirring, then add the whole chicken breasts, cover and simmer gently for 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Test by piercing the centre of one of the chicken breasts. There should be no hint of pink juices. 2 While the chicken pho simmers, add all the sambal ingredients to a saucepan, heat gently until the sugar has dissolved then boil rapidly for 10 minutes until the fruit is soft and pulpy. Break up the fruit if needed with a vegetable masher then spoon into a dish and leave to cool.
3 When the chicken is cooked, lift the pieces out of the pan with a draining spoon then tear into fine shreds on a chopping board using a knife and fork. 4 Add the choi sum leaves and stems to the broth and cook for 2 minutes then add the bean sprouts and coriander and cook for 1 minute. 5 Divide the noodles between 4 deep serving bowls, top with the chicken shreds then ladle over the broth. Top with spoonfuls of the sambal to taste. Any leftover sambal can be kept in a screw-topped jar in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Don’t throw the chicken carcass away after you have had a roast chicken. Take all the meat off the bones, then add the bones to a saucepan. Add 1 roughly chopped onion, 2 sliced carrots and whatever extra odd veggies you have in the fridge – a slightly soft tomato, half a pepper, half a leek or a little swede or parsnip. Cover with cold water, add salt and pepper and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for 1 to 1½ hours then strain. Cool and freeze the stock in handy-sized portions in the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost before use.