hallelujah! nigel slater's chicken pho soup and bit of a roast chicken revelation!

Nigel Slater's chicken pho soup
You may have been aware of my recent tribulations when my taste buds took a bit of an involuntary sabbatical. I was beside myself, they hadn't even left a forwarding address. I'm not entirely sure where they went nor what they did. Curses!

I can only hope that they had better have enjoyed themselves and that it was all worth it; (perhaps with the taste bud equivalent of louche living and dancing on the tables) because god knows I was miserable without them!

Since my taste buds have returned and appear to be in full working order I have been nurturing them with the complex and subtle flavours of south east Asia. I have become a little obsessed with all sorts of noodle soups, fragrant with spices and laden with a little meat and vegetables. Largely because I like this sort of food but also because I am playing a sort of quid pro quo with the recalcitrant taste buds; if I can feed them good things than perhaps they won't abscond without warning.

Nigel Slater's honey, soy and mirin
roasted chicken thighs
Nigel Slater's chicken pho soup is the perfect case in point. It is the quickest of soups from my favourite of food writers, which is both soothing and refreshing. Chicken thighs are lightly marinated in a mix of honey, soy (I used ketjap manis, which is Indonesian soy sauce sweetened with palm sugar) and mirin, (sweetened rice wine), and then roasted. Frankly this was a bit of a revelation. Sod the soup! I could have quite happily torn into a whole roasting tin of some of the best thighs I have ever had to good fortune to gnaw upon. They were delicious - not too sweet, intensely savoury, with crisp skin that tasted like chicken-skin toffee.

It may be that the ketjap manis had added an extra caramel layer of flavour and I know it sounds a bit peculiar, but it tasted absolutely divine. I may well roast my next Sunday chicken in this way.

The broth (I used homemade chicken stock - it was worth it!) is steeped with a star anise, some fresh ginger and lime juice. Into which I bunged some red chard from the garden and some cooked noodles. It was that easy, that quick and tasted bloody amazing.

I can confidently say that my taste buds were rather happy too, they are gallivanting here at home, as we speak. Hallelujah and definitely something to be thankful for!


Hannah said...

Your pho looks so moreish. Glad your tastebuds etc are all back to normal!

Jaime said...

Hi Rachel!! So glad to hear your taste buds are back! That was certainly an X-file. Throughout the whole of winter I was craving noodle soup for breakfast. Nigel has such lovely simple recipes and this sounds like a keeper. xx

Marmaduke Scarlet said...

Cheers Hannah. Very moreish - I think I have become a bit obsessed. I have to remind myself that I need to try new recipes as I can't have an entire blog based on one pho recipe!

Marmaduke Scarlet said...

Jaime - I think you may have given me an idea of a future blog post with your X-Files comment. Perhaps a story about the last time I got kidnapped by aliens (I hate it when that happens!) :)

Emily Blair said...

This looks absolutely amazing! (and very colorful!) Delicious! Em

BavarianSojourn said...

This looks beautiful! I hope you don't mind, but I have included it in this month's Foodie Round up over at BritMums... Best wishes. Emma

anyonita green said...

Mmmmm that is a bowl of Pho! Wow! :)