noodles of your choice to serve (e.g. egg noodles, rice stick noodles, vermicelli noodles)
1 cup bean shoots
¼ sliced Chinese celery, to serve (optional)
roughly chopped coriander (cilantro), to serve
roughly chopped spring onion (scallions), to serve
extra fish sauce, to serve
1 whole chicken
1kg (2 lb) chicken wings
6 garlic cloves
6 coriander (cilantro) roots
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 stalk lemongrass, bruised
4cm piece ginger, sliced
3 spring onions (scallions)
2 Chinese celery stalks*
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp sea salt
1 tsp sugar
½ cup vegetable oil
8 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 long red chilli, thinly sliced
1/3 cup white vinegar
Remove the legs, wings and breast fillets from the whole chicken (see video for detailed instructions). Keep the legs for another purpose. Reserve the breast fillets to cook later. And place the wings and carcass bones in a large (at least 5L/5.2 QT capacity) stock pot.
Cut the chicken wings through the joints and add those to the stock pot as well. Cover with 4L (4.2 QT) of water and place over high heat. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes to allow the scum to rise to the surface. Then turn off the heat. Remove the chicken pieces and rinse. Discard the water.
Put the chicken pieces back into a clean pot and cover with another 4L (4.2 qt) of clean water. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 90 minutes, skimming the surface every so often.
While the broth is simmering, you can make your garlic oil and chilli vinegar.
For the garlic oil, heat the vegetable oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and gently fry for about 2 minutes or until just starting to turn golden. Pour into a heat-proof jar or bowl and set aside until ready to serve.
For the chilli vinegar, combine the chilli and vinegar in a small bowl and set aside.
Now back to the broth, use a mortar and pestle to pound the garlic, coriander roots and peppercorns to a rough paste. When the stock has simmered for 90 minutes, add the paste along with the lemongrass, ginger, spring onions and celery. Simmer for a further 20 minutes. Then add the reserved chicken breasts and continue simmering for another 10 minutes or until the chicken breasts are just cooked.
Transfer the chicken breasts to a cutting board. Strain the broth and discard the solids. Add the fish sauce, salt and sugar to the hot broth. Season with extra fish sauce or salt to taste.
Use a rolling pin or pestle to pound the chicken breasts to loosen them before cutting or shredded them.
To serve, warm up the broth. Cook the noodles of your choice according to packet instructions. Briefly cook the bean shoots along with the noodles. Divide the noodles and bean shoots among serving bowls. Top with chicken, Chinese celery (if using), spring onion and coriander. Serve with fish sauce, garlic oil and chilli vinegar so that each person can add their own seasoning before eating.
– Chinese celery is a lot milder in flavour than regular celery. If using regular celery, then use just ½ a stem, sliced.