Chef Frank's chicken soup

Soul-Satisfying Chicken Soup

Chef Frank adapts his grandmother's chicken soup recipe for Epicurious.

On this episode of Epicurious' 4 Levels videos, Chef Frank Proto roasts a whole chicken, makes his own dumplings with the chicken fat and employs soft herbs for freshness.

Chef Frank shares pro soup terms that chefs use in the kitchen while demonstrating his process:

  • Fond: the brown bits at the bottom of the pan after roasting chicken, the foundation for a lot of good sauces and stocks.
  • Mirepoix: a fancy word for celery, carrots and onions.
  • Pincage: lightly browning your tomato paste.

Watch the video for each step and get the recipe below.


Chef Frank's Chicken Soup

Yields 4-6 servings


For the chicken stock:

Yields 3-4 quarts

  • 2 chicken carcasses or 2 pounds chicken wings
  • 1 medium carrot, roughly chopped
  • 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 rib celery, roughly chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 2 sprigs parsley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons black peppercorns

For the soup:

Yields 4-6 servings

  • 1 whole chicken or 5 chicken thighs (I prefer thighs. The breasts tend to get stringy when you put them in soup.)
  • 2-3 tbs chicken fat
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 2 ribs celery
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 2 yukon gold or similar waxy potatoes
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 3 sprigs parsley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 pound orzo or rice
  • 1/4 cup pecorino romano, grated
  • Salt
  • Black pepper

For the dumpling dough:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or melted chicken fat
  • 1 cup water or chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup pecorino, grated
  • 1 egg
  • Salt
  • Black pepper


For the chicken stock:

  1. Roast the chicken at 350 F until golden brown.
  2. Add to a stockpot and cover with cold water. Make sure to deglaze any brown bits from the bottom of the roasting pan and add to the pot.
  3. Bring to a simmer and skim any fat and scum the top. Let simmer for 1 1/2-2 hours.
  4. Strain and reserve.
  5. Skim off chicken fat for use in the final recipe. Ice down if you are going to use it later.

For the soup:

  1. Season the thighs and roast at 350 F until brown.
  2. Heat the chicken fat in a stockpot on medium.
  3. Add the onion and garlic. Sweat until soft.
  4. Add the carrots and celery. Sweat for 3-5 minutes.
  5. Add the roasted chicken and all juice to the pot. Cover with the reserved stock.
  6. Add the tomatoes and bring to a simmer.
  7. Tie the herbs into a bouquet garni and add. Let the soup simmer until the chicken is tender.
  8. Remove the chicken and let cool. Once cool remove the skin and bones and shred.
  9. Add the potatoes and simmer for 15 minutes.
  10. Add the dumplings and cook for 10 minutes.
  11. Remove the bouquet. Season with salt and pepper.
  12. Serve with the shredded chicken, chopped parsley and pecorino.

For the dumpling dough:

  1. Combine all of the dry ingredients.
  2. Combine egg, olive oil and chicken fat. Add dry ingredients and mix to form a soft dough.
  3. Using a teaspoon, drop into the soup.

Learn the basics of stock, soups and sauces in our Culinary Arts program.

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