This Thai chicken noodle soup known as 'Guay Tiaw Nahm Gai' uses a whole chicken to make the stock then is served with a range of oriental condiments including peanuts, coriander, spring onions, chilli flakes and fish sauce.
1 chicken, rinsed and dried
1 large onion, cut into quarters
5 cloves garlic, with skin, cut into halves
2 carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
4 celery, cut into 5cm lengths
10 coriander stems
20 coriander seeds
10 black peppercorns
1 packet fresh or dried soaked rice noodles
3 cups bean sprouts
1-2 tablespoons dry sherry
2 cups celery, thinly sliced
1/2 cup fried garlic in oil
1/2 cup peanuts, coarsely crushed
1/2 cup coriander leaves, diced
1/2 cup spring onions, thinly sliced
1 pinch dried chilli flakes, to taste
1 pinch sugar, to taste
1 dash fish sauce, to taste
1 pinch salt, to taste
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Put the chicken into a large saucepan. Add water to cover. Take the chicken out again and bring the water to a boil. Add the chicken back in. (This is an easy way to boil the right amount of water.)
When the chicken water has come back to a boil again turn the heat down to a simmer and for 5 minutes. Skim the grey foam off and discard. Bob the chicken up and down and around a bit to get all the foam to rise up.
Add all the ingredients listed down to and including black peppercorns. Let all come to a soft simmer, lean a lid halfway over the saucepan. Let simmer for about an hour no more than that but maybe a little less if you are in a hurry.
In the meantime prepare or make the ingredients remaining on the list.
When the chicken has simmered sufficiently carefully take it out of the saucepan. Let it rest for a while.
Strain the stock through a sieve or cloth into a different saucepan. Add the sherry then taste and add salt to your liking. Keep the saucepan on a low heat if serving right away or put away in the refrigerator once cooled until required.
Carve or shred the chicken; keeping or tossing the skin, depending on your liking or health. Arrange the chicken pieces nicely on a plate.
To serve, boil a good amount of water in a medium large saucepan. Have the stock hot on the stove on a low heat. Arrange all the ingredients close by. Let the guests boil their own noodles (or do it for them) and add chicken, vegetables and condiments to their/your liking.