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Author Notes: 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
- 1 3 lb chicken (giblets removed, patted dry with paper towels)
- 6 whole green onions, halved
- 1 1 inch piece of ginger, crushed
- 6 whole cloves
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 16 ounces rice vermicelli or bean thread noodles
For the Table Salad
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced and fried
- 1/2 cup cilantro, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup whole basil leaves
- 1/2 cup whole mint leaves
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
- 1 cup mung bean sprouts
- 1-2 jalapeños, sliced into thin rings
- Lime wedges
- Hoisin, sambal, and fish sauce
- 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.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe with a Smarty Pants Trick or Technique