Time was, we were addicted to this dish at New
York’s Second Avenue Deli. The restaurant’s gone
now, but we continue to make this simple comfort
food at home: a whole chicken, stewed with
vegetables, served with noodles and the broth.
Makes 4 to 6 servings
1 tablespoon olive oil
One 4- to 5-pound whole chicken, giblets
and neck removed, trussed with butcher’s
twine (see page 249)
3 carrots, peeled and cut into
2 medium leeks, white and pale green parts
only, split lengthwise, the inner layers
washed carefully of any sand, then sliced
into 2-inch pieces
2 celery ribs, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 parsnip, peeled, cut into 2-inch sections,
and each cut into lengthwise quarters
1 bay leaf
About 6 cups chicken broth, or enough just
to cover the bird in the pot
1 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces dried egg noodles
1 tablespoon chopped dill fronds
1- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add
the olive oil, then the trussed chicken breast side
down. Brown well for about 2 minutes, shaking
and nudging to make sure the skin isn’t sticking.
Turn the chicken breast side up and continue
cooking until golden, turning on all sides and
basting often with the pan juices, about 8 more
2- Transfer to a Dutch oven that will hold the
bird snugly; it must not swim around. Add the
carrots, leeks, celery, parsnip, and bay leaf, sticking
the vegetables down around the chicken. Pour in
the broth; add the salt and pepper. Set over medium-
high heat and bring to a simmer.
3- Cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook at a
very slow bubble until the vegetables are tender
and a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest
part of the thigh without touching bone registers
165°F (our preference) or 180°F (the USDA
recommendation), 50 to 65 minutes. Using large
tongs to pick up the chicken and a spatula to support
it from underneath, transfer to a cutting or
carving board for 10 minutes before carving. If
desired, skim the fat off the broth.
4- Raise the heat to high and bring the liquid in
the pot to a full simmer. Add the noodles and dill,
stir well, reduce the heat to medium, and cook until
the noodles are tender, about 5 minutes. Serve
in large bowls with the broth, noodles, and vegetables
ladled over the cut-up pieces of chicken.
Slow cooker method:
Follow step 1. Once the chicken has been
browned, place it and the remaining ingredients
except for the noodles and dill in a slow cooker.
Cook on high for 31 ⁄2 to 4 hours. Remove the
chicken from the slow cooker (the bird may fall
apart), pour the cooking liquid and vegetables
into a large saucepan, then bring to a simmer
over high heat. Add the noodles and dill, reduce
the heat to medium, and cook until the noodles
are tender, about 5 minutes.
If you use a larger stewer (7 to 8 pounds), truss
it and brown as directed in steps 1 and 2 in a very
large skillet. Transfer it to a very large Dutch oven
and then add the broth (without the vegetables);
you may need to use up to 10 cups broth. Bring
the broth to a simmer over medium-high heat,
cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 30
minutes. Then add the vegetables, salt, and pepper
and continue with the recipe from step 4.
Variations: Omit the celery and parsnip and
add 2 large turnips, peeled and diced, or 1 large
rutabaga, peeled and diced, in their stead.
Substitute 1 tablespoon chopped sage leaves
for the dill.
Finish the cooking broth with 2 teaspoons rice
vinegar or lemon juice just before serving.