Classic Jewish chicken soup is a glorious thing. This version takes cues from many bowls of soup enjoyed over the years at the original 2nd Ave Deli, one of New York City’s most famous Jewish delis. Traditionally, there are “golden coins,” dollops of chicken fat that rise to the top of the soup and don’t get skimmed off. My nod to the fatty goodness of the golden coins is to top each serving with generous dots of extra virgin olive oil.
- 2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts, rinsed and patted dry
- Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for the golden coins
- 2 large carrots, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into ¼-inch-thick slices (about 2 cups)
- 4 celery stalks, chopped (about 1½ cups)
- 1 large onion, cut into large dice (about 2 cups)
- 7 cups chicken broth*
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
- Take the chicken out of the refrigerator about 20 minutes before cooking so it can come to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 425 F. Generously season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper.
- In a large, ovenproof skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over high heat. When the oil slides easily across the pan, add the chicken skin-side down and cook, untouched, for 1 minute. Transfer the skillet to the oven and cook until the chicken shows no sign of pink when pierced near the bone, about 30 minutes. Flip each breast and set the skillet aside until the chicken is cool enough to handle. Chop or shred the meat into bite-size pieces (these can go back in the skillet), discarding the skin and saving the bones in your freezer for a future batch of chicken broth.
- In a large pot, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil over high heat. When the oil shimmers, add the carrots, celery, onion, and a pinch of salt, and cook for 1 minute. Reduce the heat to medium, cover, and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour in the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes. Add the chicken (including the juices it released in the skillet) and dill and simmer for 5 minutes more. Add salt to taste.
- To serve, ladle into bowls and dot the top of each serving with a couple of ½-teaspoon “golden coins” of olive oil.