One-Pot Wonders

Rotisserie Chicken Soup With Pierogi & Lots of Herbs

August 24, 2021
6 Ratings
Photo by MJ Kroeger, prop styling by Suzie Myers, food styling by Ericka Martins
  • Prep time 5 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Serves 6 servings
Author Notes

It's easy to connect chicken soup to feelings of wellness. Perhaps that connection is first created when we are fed some version of chicken soup by our caregivers when feeling ill? I remember eating it as a child with the expectation that it would make me feel better, and 9 out of 10 times, it did. To this day, chicken soup continues to work its magic: classic chicken noodle, schmaltzy matzo ball, spiced sopita de pollo, or gingery lugaw, all make me feel better, but THIS chicken soup is the recipe I make when I am sick.

Instead of a standard noodle or rice component, it features the dreamy little pillowy potato dumplings of my forefathers: pierogi. That’s pierogi-plural, no “s”, and pierog-singular, if you were wondering. They can be found in the freezer section of most supermarkets and also both fresh and frozen at most Eastern European delis or markets where they may be called Varenyky (Ukrainian) or Vareniki (Russian). I prefer the potato and cheese variety, but if you’d rather have cabbage or cheese or meat dumplings in your soup, there are many different types available.

When I’m not feeling well, the last thing I want to do is get out a cutting board and do a lot of prep, so with this recipe, you won’t do more than 5 to 10 minutes of prep and there is zero knife work. You will become best friends with your kitchen shears, though, as you use them to score an onion and cut soft herbs into the soup. If you only have one bunch of herbs, use that whole bunch, but keep it soft with parsley, dill, green onions, chives, cilantro, basil, etc. Cut these herbs as small or as large as you’d like. I personally like them to be a little bigger, and as they cook down, they act as a green vegetable in the soup. When I am sick with a head cold, I go heavy on the ground black pepper and LOVE crunching into a whole peppercorn with a bite of potato pierogi, but when my stomach is or has been hurting and I need nourishment, I omit the pepper entirely and opt for a gentler, milder version. Do whatever makes you feel better! —Jessica Romanowski

What You'll Need
  • 1 whole store-bought rotisserie chicken
  • 6 thick or 8 thin celery stalks
  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon (or more) whole black peppercorns
  • 2 teaspoons (or more) kosher salt
  • 1/3 bunch dill
  • 1/3 bunch parsley
  • 1/3 bunch scallions
  • 12 fresh or frozen pierogi (potato & cheese or potato & onion)
  1. Remove the strings from the chicken. Using kitchen shears, cut the chicken in half lengthwise or into quarters. Place in a large 4- to 5-quart pot.
  2. Break the celery stalks in half with your hands and add to the pot. With the shears, cut the top and roots off the onion, then cut an “X” into the top and bottom of the onion. Continue to score the onion by cutting “X”s into the sides while rotating it, then add to the pot. Leave a small space between each “X” so you don’t cut squares out of the onion. Add the peppercorns, then cover with water.
  3. Cook over high heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until boiling. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, skimming at the 30-minute mark, for 45 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  4. Using tongs, transfer the chicken to a cutting board. Remove and discard the celery and onion. Add the salt to the broth and return to a boil. Let the chicken cool slightly, then separate the meat from the bones and shred the meat.
  5. While waiting for the broth to boil, cut the dill, parsley, and scallions into the broth with the shears. Do not include large stemmy pieces; stick with the leaves, fronds, and smaller softer stems.
  6. Add the chicken meat and pierogi, stir gently to combine, and boil for 3 minutes, until the pierogi float and are heated through (an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should register 160°F if you feel like using your thermometer).
  7. Remove the pot from the heat. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper as needed.
  8. Do Ahead: The soup can be made 3 days ahead. Let cool, then transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator. Reheat over medium-low heat, stirring gently so as to not break up the pierogi, and enjoy as needed until you feel better or it’s gone—whichever happens first. The broth and chicken (without the herbs, scallions, and pierogi) can be made 3 months ahead. Let cool, then transfer to an airtight container and freeze. Bring the soup to a boil, then stir in the herbs, scallions, and pierogi. Cook, stirring gently, until the pierogi are cooked through.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Anna
  • Jessica Romanowski
    Jessica Romanowski
  • jdkjd
  • Allison Ghamo
    Allison Ghamo

5 Reviews

Anna December 6, 2021
YUM! Accidentally bought cilantro instead of parsley but had already been to the store twice so just used it. Delicious! Added beans, corn, and crushed tomatoes two days later for a whole different soup!
jdkjd August 26, 2021
Why would you cook an already cooked chicken for 45 minutes? Wouldn't you remove the meat, cook the bones, and then add the meat back in with the pierogi?
Allison G. August 29, 2021
You are getting a lot of flavor from the skin & shmaltz as well as the bones. You could remove bones, skin & fat and use all 3 😊
tbalx September 2, 2021
I had the same thought. I'd only use the skin with the herbs/onion to make the broth but adding the bones is a really good idea since all the meat comes off anyway.
Jessica R. September 5, 2021
Hello! Because the store-bought rotisserie chicken has been stored in my refrigerator after purchasing, I use the entire bird cut in half to flavor the broth then remove the meat from the bones, which is easier to do completely with the chicken hot or room temp as opposed to cold. Also, It's a little easier to remove the carcass from the broth with tongs when the meat is on it. You are welcome to pull the meat off and use the skin and bones to make this soup if you'd like, and strain everything, it's just not the way I do it when I am feeling sick. If you do this I would still add the cold chicken into the soup about 5 minutes before the pierogi to make sure the broth is boiling again when the dumplings go into it.