A great soup has to have a great broth, and this one is delicious. The original recipe called for making the stock from roasted chicken wings, but drumsticks were much cheaper and yielded so much meat that we didn’t have to cook meat separately for the soup.
Recipe adapted from Serious Eats.
- 2 1/4 lb. (about 5) chicken legs
- 1 large yellow onion
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1 1/2 cups (4 oz.) dried orecchiette (or other shape) pasta
- 1/4 bunch (fresh herbs, removed from stems
- 1 lemon, cut into wedges
Preheat the oven to 550° and adjust the rack to the center position. Cover a rimmed baking sheet with foil, but do not oil or spray with cooking spray (it will smoke in the oven). Evenly spread the chicken legs on the baking sheet. Roast until golden brown, about 30 minutes.
Remove from the oven and drain any rendered chicken fat into a heatproof dish and reserve. Pour about 1/2 cup of water on to the sheet tray and scrape up any browned bits that may be stuck to the bottom. Transfer the legs along with the water and dissolved browned bits to a 3-quart sauce pot. Cover with 1 1/2 quarts of water.
Bring to a boil over high heat, then let boil vigorously for 15 minutes. Reduce to a simmer, then cook gently for 2 hours, adding water as needed to maintain the 1 1/2-quart volume.
Meanwhile, heat a 12-inch sauté pan over high heat. Peel the onion and cut crosswise into thick 1-inch slices. Char the onion slices in the hot pan until blackened on both sides. Add onions to stock and simmer an additional 1 hour.
After chicken stock has simmered for a total of 3 hours, remove the chicken legs to a plate and pass the stock through a fine mesh strainer. Discard the solids and return stock to pot. Season with salt and pepper. Remove the meat from the legs and set aside.
In a pot of salted boiling water, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain and toss with the reserved chicken fat.
Portion the chicken into the bottom of 4 serving bowls. Add the pasta and herbs to each bowl. Top with hot chicken stock. Finish with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, to taste. Serve right away.