Making this dish should be as easy as sticking a chicken foot in your mouth. Is that easy? Do you fear the foot? Then do not worry, this Thai rice noodles with Chicken recipe is new and improved, 100% chicken foot free!
This Thai Rice Noodle with Chicken recipe can seem a little complicated, but trust me, the four steps to get there are all relatively simple and the end result is amazingly fresh and delicious.
2 Quarts Water (Roughly 2 Liters)
10 Pieces of Lime Leaf
2 Sticks of Lemon Grass
1 Slice of “Thai Ginger” or Galangal (Alpinia galangal), about 1 tablespoon
See Pictured “Thai Flavor Pack”
Start heating the water and add the lime leaf, diced or chopped lemon grass and Thai Ginger.
Even though this ginger-like rhizome can go by different names, Thai Ginger is also known as greater galangal or in Thailand known as “Kah”. Although, this varietal of rhizome is similar to Ginger, it has a distinct lemony zip that is different than ginger.
My resident expert (aka my wife) says that if you cannot find it, it is better to not substitute the more common ginger root, just skip it. For further clarification, see here for more information about Alpinia galangal: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alpinia_galanga
Despite this, I have a feeling that if you are able to find the fingerroot, you will also be able to find “Thai Ginger”, most likely being placed near one another in your local Asian food market. One other possibility I suggest, is to substitute the powdered form of the root. However, remember that like ginger, it can add its own unique spiciness to the dish, so do not overdo it if you worry about spicy heat or different intense flavors.
Start by boiling the water for at least 30 minutes to an hour. Allow the aromatics to impart their flavor into the water. After they have been leeched of their flavors, strain the water to remove all of the aromatics. Especially because none of them are pleasant to eat because they are rather fibrous.
8.5 oz. (250 ml) Coconut milk
Start by heating the coconut milk up to a boil in a larger sized sauce pan. The reason for this is you will use this pan to cook the remainder of the soup, including the chicken and water.
Turn the heat down so that there is a gently boil. Boil the coconut milk for 5 minutes. Because the boiling allows a separation of oils and solids which is considered essential for the flavors to bind (see boiling coconut milk picture).
2 medium-sized chicken breasts or 4 chicken thighs de-skinned and deboned
1 whole head of garlic, approximately 8 cloves
3 to 5 pieces of fingerroot
2 to 3 large shallots
1 – 5 dried Thai red chilies
Start by grinding these ingredients. The traditional Thai way is to use a large-sized mortar and pestle. In the likelihood that you do not have this, you can use a blender or grinder which is capable of doing this. Not a powder, but grind these ingredients into small pieces.
Peel the garlic and shallots to remove the outer skin. Thoroughly wash and clean the fingerroot. The skin is very thin and will not be noticeable when ground. Remove the stems from the chilies.
In my opinion, I recommend adding at least a little bit of spice. But if this is not for you, then I would substitute 1 to 4 teaspoons of paprika to give it some extra pepper flavor and a nice red color.
Start by adding these ingredients to the coconut milk. Next, add some of the aromatic water, as the mixture may be too thick to easily stir. Cook this coconut and water mixture over low heat for at least 30 minutes to an hour. Finally, add all of the aromatic water after the 30 to 60 minutes to thin out the sauce.
Although it may not be easy, if you are able to get the fresh version of the white rice noodle, I recommend it. If not, that is okay. Nevertheless, the preference is for a rice noodle with the thinness of angel hair or vermicelli pasta. Towards the end, cook the pasta as you are finishing the Kanom Jin sauce, in Thailand called Kanom Jin Nam.
Also, during the simmering of the soup during the various steps, you will have time to prepare your vegetables. Importantly, I highly recommend the traditional ones of bean sprouts, sliced long bean, cabbage and hoary basil or lemon basil (pictured). Per person, I recommend the approximate amounts:
½ Cup of Bean Sprouts
¼ Cup of Sliced Long Bean or Green Beans
¼ to ½ Cup of Sliced Cabbage
¼ Cup of Hoary or Lemon Basil
The amount you add depends on how hungry you are and how much you like to eat your vegetables. For me, I always like to put a lot.
You can also put in shredded carrot or whatever sliced or chopped vegetables you like to eat. And if you do not have or do not like lemon basil, then regular basil works well, too.
On the bottom of the bowl, place a serving-size amount of noodles. Then on top of this ladle about 2 cups of the sauce.
Personally, I like to serve the rest of this dish family-style. For example, have a large serving dish with the various vegetables placed on the dinner table. So you can add vegetables to your liking and dig in!
Delicious and relatively simple steps to make Thai Rice Noodles with Chicken.
This recipe is also very easy to make vegetarian, just leave out the chicken. The rest of the recipe is all vegetable and noodle. But still very hearty.
If you like this Thai Rice Noodles with Chicken recipe, see the story behind it. For a long time I never ate Thai Rice Noodles with Chicken before because it was filled with chicken feet, but it does not have to be that way, as seen here, *Chicken foot free!