As for now, I'll post some tips/tidbits about making pho, and specifically phở gà.
- Don't cut corners when it comes to the chicken. Use a whole chicken if you can, because the meat will have more flavor, as will the soup (bones->stock).
- Parboil the chicken in plain water before making the broth, to get rid of impurities. Rinse pot and chicken after boiling.
- Skim the top of the broth often while simmering, as scum and nasties will rise and float.
- Don't be afraid to adjust spices to your preferences. Chicken pho usually has way less spices than its more famous beef cousin, phở bò, but I like the spices that usually go in the beef version.
- Char and rinse onions and ginger (if using) before adding to pot. This releases more flavor.
- While you're at it, toast yo spicesssss!
- They say the less cloudy the broth, the more superior the pho.
- If you're using fresh bánh phở (rice noodles), you only need to put them in boiling water for half a minute. If you're using dried noodles, boil for approx 4-5 minutes, keeping a close eye on it.
- Pull chicken meat out of the broth after it's cooked, or it'll disintegrate from extended boiling. Have your broth boiling RIGHT before plating(bowling? roflcopter), which will reheat the meat and soften/loosen your noodles a bit.
Random food fact: Star anise contains anethole, the same ingredient which gives the unrelated anise its flavor.