Editors' Picks

Chicken Stoup

October 12, 2010
Chicken Stoup
My mother has lots of signature dishes, but one of my favorites is also one of her simplest: she calls it chicken "stoup," because it's a hearty chicken soup with more meat and veggies than broth. ("Stew" plus "soup" equals "stoup" -- get it?) You can see a modified version that my mother submitted to one of our first recipe contests here.
Over the years, I've adopted it as a staple, perfect for when the weather starts to turn chilly, as it is now. My stoup has evolved to be somewhat different from my mother's -- for example, I never include potatoes, and I go pretty heavy on the lemon juice, dill and black pepper at the end. I do believe it's worth the effort of buying chicken on the bone and cooking it right in the soup before taking it off the bone in order to create a really rich, reinforced broth. Sometimes I add a little pasta -- fusilli, farfalle -- right at the end (I cook it separately in plenty of salted water, until just al dente), but that's up to you.
Chicken "Stoup"
Serves 4 to 6
  • 2 lbs. chicken pieces, on the bone (dark meat is best, but you can use a mix if you'd like)
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 1 large sweet onion, peeled
  • 2 cups homemade or good quality chicken stock
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 1 lemon
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Crusty bread for serving
1. Remove the fat from the chicken pieces, saving it if you like to make your own schmaltz or something. Put the chicken in a large soup pot. Cut one of the carrots into large chunks and add these to the pot with the chicken. Cut one stalk of celery and half the onion into similar sized chunks and add to the pot. Add the chicken stock and then enough water to submerge the chicken and vegetables. Add a generous pinch or two of salt. Bring to a boil over high heat and then lower the heat so that it simmers gently. During the first 5 minutes, skim any of the foam that accumulates on the surface with a shallow spoon. Cook the chicken for about 10 minutes, just until it's firm and opaque. Transfer to a plate, cover loosely with foil, and let the chicken cool for a few minutes while you continue to simmer the stock, partially covered.
2. Remove the chicken from the bones and reserve the meat, returning the bones to the pot. Re-cover and simmer the stock for at least 45 minutes more. Remove the bones and the vegetables with a slotted spoon and discard, and then strain the stock through a fine mesh sieve into a clean pot.
3. Cut the remaining carrots and celery into bite-sized chunks, and then do the same with the onion. Return the stock to a simmer and taste for seasoning, adding more salt if necessary. Add the carrots and onion to the pot and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the celery and cook for another 3 minutes, then stir in the dill, a good amount of lemon juice and several grindings of black pepper. 
4. When you're ready to serve the soup, tear or cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces and add it to the pot. Simmer for a minute or so, just until the chicken has a chance to reheat. (Be vigilant here -- this is the step that determines whether your chicken is tender or dry.) Taste once more for salt, and then serve immediately in shallow bowls with some good, crusty bread.
Order now

A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).

Order now

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • WJCinNJ
  • goldenjava
  • chacha
  • wingirl
  • chinapans
Food52 (we cook 52 weeks a year, get it?) is a food and home brand, here to help you eat thoughtfully and live joyfully.


WJCinNJ February 9, 2011
I really liked the addition of the dill and lemon. That was new to me. Made a big pot over the weekend and this single guy has been eating well all week.....:)
goldenjava October 26, 2010
I made this for dinner two nights ago and my family and I love this recipe. I added some steam rice in the soup to make it a full hardy meal. The dill just adds a tremendous flavor to the soup. LOVE LOVE LOVE it! Thank you.
chacha October 19, 2010
Do you think leeks would fit in here somehow? Or some sort of vegetable like wild greens?
wingirl October 17, 2010
I just started making chicken soup with "Soup chickens" - the older hens - and the broth couldn't be better - requires removing a layer of fat - but the depth of flavor is outstanding. The meat needs a long cook to be soft enough and I don't use that much of it in the soup - texture is not the very best. Merrill - have you ever used "soup chickens"? Do you have a favorite type of chicken for soup? I told my daughters how Japanese children often have soup for breakfast and we have now rolled this hearty broth into our before school breakfast menu - they like it with carrots and either tiny stars or thick egg noodles.
chinapans October 17, 2010
Yum! I have always wanted to make chicken stock but it seems like such a big deal. This recipe made it very manageable.
mcs3000 October 14, 2010
Genius name. Will make it once the fog returns. Thank you, Merrill + Merrill's Mom!
Bob Y. October 13, 2010
This is very much my mother's chicken soup too minus the lemon and double the dill. She would also add parsnips with the carrots - adds a delicious sweetness to the broth. Parsnip was also always a part of the "soup greens" often sold at NYC markets and supermarkets.
mklug October 13, 2010
Sounds yummy, and just right for right now, when it's brisk at night but not yet time for serious ballast. I leave potatoes out of my mom's chicken stoup too--somehow they just seem to add nothing and are a little dispiriting. But I do throw in some wide egg noodles.
Merrill S. October 12, 2010
Thanks! Hope you get a chance to try it out.
iuzzini October 12, 2010
Mmmm! We always load our chicken soup with dill too and now I can't wait to try it with lemon! Also- I leave the skin on my onion(s) to make it the most pretty golden hue.
Merrill S. October 12, 2010
That's a great tip about the onions skin. I'd forgotten about that technique, which I learned in culinary school years ago!
Merrill S. October 12, 2010
Make that "onion skin!"
TasteFood October 12, 2010
The addition of dill and lemon sounds bright and intriguing. This is exactly what I want for dinner tonight.