Preparation Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 80 Minutes
Cut: Boneless chicken
1 small onion, quartered
1 piece fresh ginger (2 inches long)
5 clove garlic, skin left on
8 cups (2 L) chicken broth
2 Tbsp (30 ml) brown sugar
3 Tbsp (30 ml) fish sauce
1 piece cinnamon stick (3-4 inches long)
1/4 tsp (1.25 ml) chili paste (optional)
1 lb (450 g) boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 lb (225 g) rice noodles
8 oz (225 g) bean sprouts
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
4 green onions, sliced
2/3 cup (160 ml) fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 cup (125 ml) fresh Thai or Italian basil
1/4 cup (60 ml) fresh mint leaves
Tip:The broth can be made ahead and kept in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for 3 months. Make a double batch of the broth to save time the next time you crave this soup.
Heat oven to 375F. Put onion, ginger and garlic on a cookie sheet and roast for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
In a large pot, combine chicken broth, brown sugar, fish sauce, cinnamon stick, chili paste, roasted onion, ginger and garlic. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
Add chicken breasts to broth and poach for 20 minutes or until meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast reads 165F (74C). Remove chicken, cool and slice. Strain broth into another pot and set aside.
Blanch noodles in a pot of boiling water (about 1 minute), strain and divide into 4 bowls. Top with sliced chicken, red onion, green onion, bean sprouts, cilantro, basil and mint. Pour broth into each bowl. Add suggested condiments, as desired.
Condiments: chili sauce, hoisin sauce, lime wedges, cilantro, basil, mint, grated carrot, crushed peanuts, red pepper flakes.