This is my own creation and comes from always having leftover chicken. I remember the first time I made it: we were all going to friends for the weekend and I promised to bring "soup" for Sunday lunch--4 adults and 4 little children. Both generations cleaned their bowls. I've never before written out the recipe so, this is its debut in the written word.
Also, there is no reason not to use leftover chicken from some other meal--even a store bought rotisserie chicken. —Veronica
Test Kitchen Notes
Tasting this chowder, we were reminded how combining lemon and cream somehow makes the cream seem creamier, and the lemon more fragrant. With the dill, the broth is surprisingly delicate and is a lovely counterpoint to the large, rustic chunks of sweet carrot, chicken and potato. - A&M —The Editors
6 adults or 4 adults & 4 children
4-5 lb. chicken
yellow onion, peeled and halved
medium yellow onions
large stalks celery
very small new red potatoes or 4 large ones
all purpose flour
homemade or organic chicken broth
1%, 2% or whole milk OR light cream
creme fraiche (if you use 1% or 2% milk)
fresh minced dill or 1 tsp. of dried dill
Preheat oven to 325 degrees
Rinse and pat dry the chicken. Sprinkle cavity with salt & pepper. Squeeze both halves of the lemon into the chicken cavity, then insert the remains and the onion. Sew up the cavity with skewers and cooking twine, dragging the twine around the "ankles" of the bird, making a secure little bundle.
Place chicken in a roasting pan OR on a rack in a roasting pan. Smear with the butter, sprinkle with more salt and pepper and put into oven. Cook for 20 minutes, baste and cook for another 20 minutes. Baste and then start checking and basting after every 10 minutes until the juice of the pierced thigh to body joint runs clear ie: no pink in the juice. (Because you will not be "presenting" the chicken it's not necessary that the skim browns.) Place chicken on a platter to cool. When it is cool enough to handle, remove all the meat from the bones, tearing it into bite size pieces. Discard the skin and if you wish to make your own chicken stock, save the bones.
Peel onions and chop into bite size pieces.
Scrape carrots and cut lengthwise into at last 4 strips. Then cut the strips into 1 1/2-2 inch sticks.
Slice celery stalks in half and then cut, on the diagonal, into sticks similar in length to the carrot sticks.
Wash and scrub potatoes. Cut little ones in half, alternately cut large ones into quarters.
In a large saucepan (4 qt.) melt the butter and add the prepared vegetables. Over low/medium heat, gently cook (sweat) for approximately 5 minutes.
Add the flour and stir well for another 5 minutes.
Slowly pour in the chicken broth/stock stirring the whole while. Simmer while stirring for another 5 minutes. You should have an only slightly thickened (but chunky with the vegetables) soup at this point.
Add the milk (and the creme fraiche if you're using 1% or 2% milk), the dill and the lemon rind. Cook for another 5 minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper if desired.
Add chicken to the pot and stir well. Turn off the heat and let sit for an hour or longer. Reheat before serving.