I was very happy how this came out. I couldn't find star anise so I used a t of chinese five spice powder instead. I really liked the flavor. I put some egg noodles in the crockpot near the end and I thought they went nicely with it. The only thing I didn't like was the broth was pretty fatty, I tried skimming the fat, but you can only do so much with that. I think next time I make this, I will use a leaner meat, like chicken breast.