I’ve always been a big fan of making stock in the slow cooker; it’s an easy way to use kitchen scraps like bones and veggie bits. But it recently occurred to me that I could save a couple of steps (and dirty dishes!) by cooking a whole soup in the slow cooker rather than cooking each component individually. No transferring piping hot broth from the pot to a strainer and then back to the pot! No sullying of a pan and colander just to cook noodles! And the broth that results from cooking the whole chicken with the spices is so, so much better than store-bought. —Courtney Casero
For the Soup
3 lb chicken (giblets removed, patted dry with paper towels)
whole green onions, halved
1 inch piece of ginger, crushed
rice vermicelli or bean thread noodles
For the Table Salad
shallot, thinly sliced and fried
cilantro, coarsely chopped
whole basil leaves
whole mint leaves
thinly sliced green onions
mung bean sprouts
jalapeños, sliced into thin rings
Hoisin, sambal, and fish sauce
In This Recipe
Place chicken, green onions, ginger, and cloves in slow cooker. Season with salt and pour in enough water to cover. Cook on LOW for 4-6 hours.
Once chicken is fully cooked (you can use a pop-up timer, if you like), remove chicken from slow cooker and place in a large bowl of ice water until cool enough to handle. Drain the chicken and place on a work surface. Remove and discard skin, then shred the meat into bite-sized pieces. Set shredded meat aside.
Return chicken bones to slow cooker, and continue to cook on HIGH for 30-40 minutes (this is a good time to prepare the table salad, if you haven’t already!) Leaving broth in slow cooker, discard bones and strain the broth with a handled mesh strainer or kitchen tongs. Stir in fish sauce and taste broth for seasoning.
Add noodles to broth and set slow cooker to warm. Cover and let sit 4-6 minutes, stirring every now and then. Once noodle are cooked, remove them from broth with kitchen tongs and divide among 6 bowls. Top noodles with chicken and then ladle broth over each bowl. Serve with table salad and whatever condiments you fancy.