Slow-Cooker Rotisserie Chicken Pho Ga makes the most of your rotisserie chicken, whether store-bought or homemade. A slow simmer in broth, spices, and aromatics extracts amazing flavor from the roasted chicken bones.
Pho ranks among the top 10 of my list of favorite foods. I love this soup because it’s loaded up with herbs, aromatics, and other yummy things that steep in the broth like a delectable tea, becoming even more delicious as you eat. Since my instagram feed is peppered with almost weekly posts about pho, I figured that it was high time to put up another recipe. This one exploits the simplicity of starting with a rotisserie chicken.
Slow-Cooker Rotisserie Chicken Pho Ga: a 2-step process
This recipe falls into the “Saucy Two-Step” category of the Flipped-Out Food Playbook. I like to make the broth, strain it, and store it in the refrigerator on the first day, and then finish making the soup on the second day. Working ahead make this recipe very easy and low-stress. And bonus: that rotisserie chicken means that you’ll have plenty of chicken meat to use for an easy dinner on Day 1.
About that chicken…
Rotisserie chickens are truly amazing.
Phil and I frequently spring for a rotisserie chicken—which we lovingly refer to as “frickin’ chicken”. These chickens are actually a fantastic deal: our local wholesale club (Costco—I’m not an affiliate, just a fan) famously carries them for $4.99 a pop. If you consider that the average, run-of-the-mill roasting chicken sets you back around $10, you can see that this is one case in which you’re not paying extra for the convenience of having the chicken cooked for you.
I always consume my rotisserie chickens backwards. By this, I mean that I pick the meat off the bones first thing and store it in the refrigerator: I use it in any number of meals, from Curried Chicken Salad to Chicken Tetrazzini—and, of course, in soups like this Slow-Cooker Rotisserie Chicken Pho Ga.
The very next thing I do is to put the bones in a big pot or the slow-cooker to make broth.
Making Slow-Cooker Rotisserie Chicken Pho Ga broth
By making chicken broth with the bones right away, you’re ensuring that you get every drop of flavor and every possible bit of value from your rotisserie chicken.
The crown jewel in rotisserie chicken broth-making is the stuff in the bottom of the container. It’s not all fat: it’s mostly collagen, which is what makes for truly fantastic broth.
After adding the chicken bones to the slow-cooker, I make sure to get all of that flavor out by filling the container several times with warm water and adding the liquid to the bones in the slow-cooker along with some chicken broth or a bouillon cube, dried mushrooms, aromatics, and spices.
After that, it’s a matter of leaving the crockpot alone for at least 8 hours, and even up to 24. When it’s done, every last bit of chicken essence will be extracted from the bones. I strain the solids out of the broth and then either use a fat separator or refrigerate the broth, simply scraping the fat off the top the next day—and I have to admit, I use the second option more often than not because it’s so easy.
Once the broth is strained and degreased, you can either store it in freezer containers (I’ve kept mine for 3 months without any issues) or move forward with making your chicken pho soup.
Completing your Slow-Cooker Rotisserie Chicken Pho Ga
To finish the soup, I like to simmer the broth for about 30 minutes with sliced onion and cilantro stems (if you’re a cilantro hater, obviously leave that out). While the soup simmers, I prep my garnishes and nuoc cham:
Then, I add some of the chopped rotisserie chicken to the broth to warm through during the final 8 or so minutes, which is also when I start cooking the pho noodles. When the noodles are drained, I set them out buffet-style along with the garnishes, sauces, bowls, spoons, and chopsticks. It’s fun (and low-maintenance!) to let everyone serve themselves.
That’s all there is to it! Break this recipe up into 2 days and it couldn’t be easier.
I’m sharing my Slow-Cooker Rotisserie Chicken Pho Ga with:
- #CookBlogShare, a great food blogger recipe-share at Easy Peasy Foodie.
- #CookOnceEatTwice, for recipes that are just as good left-over as they are when you made them, hosted by Searching for Spice.
- #RecipeOfTheWeek hosted by A Mummy Too.
- #BrillBlogPosts, a link party with a variety of lifestyle reads hosted by Honest Mum.
- 1 rotisserie chicken carcass (with juice from the container)
- 1/4 cup dried shiitake mushrooms (optional)
- 2 lemongrass stalks minced (tender inner portion only)
- 2 tbsp ginger root peeled and cut into slices
- 5 star anise seeds
- 1 tbsp allspice berries
- 1 onion halved
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2 cups chicken broth (or substitute a bouillon cube)
- 1 kaffir leaf (a.k.a. lime leaf; optional)
- 6 cups chicken broth (strained and degreased, from above)
- 1/2 large onion sliced into thin quarter rings
- 3 tbsp cilantro stems (chopped; optional)
- 2 cups cooked rotisserie chicken
- 16 oz pho rice noodles (I like medium-sized noodles)
- 1/4 cup fish sauce
- 4 tbsp fresh lime juice
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 tbsp chili-garlic sauce
- 2 garlic cloves finely minced
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 cup cilantro chopped
- 1 cup Thai basil leaves (leave whole; tear over soup when ready to eat)
- 1 cup scallions sliced
- 2 limes cut into wedges
- 1 jalapeno thinly sliced (seeded if you want less heat)
- nuoc cham (see Recipe Note #1)
Place chicken carcass into slow-cooker with remaining chicken broth ingredients. Carefully fill rotisserie chicken container with warm water and pour into slow-cooker. Repeat enough times to completely cover the carcass. Set slow-cooker on low for a minimum of 8 hours and up to 24.
Fish out chicken bones and any large solids with a skimmer; discard. Strain the broth through a fine-mesh strainer. Degrease the broth (see Recipe Note #1). Refrigerate, or proceed to the next step.
Heat the degreased chicken broth in a stockpot with the sliced onions and cilantro stems. Simmer for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the garnishes and bring the water for the pho noodles to a boil. Cook the noodles according to package instructions. Drain.
Mix the ingredients for the nuoc cham in a jar. Shake to combine.
5–8 minutes before serving, add the cooked chicken to the simmering broth to heat through. Serve soup with noodles and garnishes to taste.
- If you hate the very idea of fish sauce, skip it and squeeze lime over the soup. Add a splash of tamari for more umami and salt.
- To degrease the broth, you can either run it through a fat separator or cool the broth, and then refrigerate overnight. The next day, you can scrape or skim the fat from the top of the broth.
- Freeze any leftover broth in air-tight freezer containers for up to 3 months. (Be sure to leave about an inch of space between the surface of the broth and the lid.)
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