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thomas keller’s chicken dumpling soup

February 8, 2012

chicken dumpling soup

I could apologize for being a slacker, but more likely I should probably accept that gone are the days of being able to do it all in one evening and be at peace with knowing that I’ do things on a different schedule now. In Switzerland, my commute was 5 minutes at most and I always left on time, which meant that I could cook dinner, go to the gym and blog all in one evening. What a novelty!

Of course, my time in the kitchen is still as valuable to me as ever and I keep my camera handy, so I promise there are recipes to be shared and I will get them to you–just not at the pace I could once keep. This one was a recent one that stole my heart and Mr. KC’s. Word of warning: Quick chicken dumpling soup this is not. I chose it because I thought “Huh, soup? That’ll be easy.” I started it at 8pm on Saturday night having just come home from a long day of errand-running and gym-going. I promised Mr. KC it would likely be on the table by 9 and we could enjoy a glass of wine, dinner and a movie. At about 8:30 I realized I really need to start reading recipes and that we would need to order pizza if we wanted to eat before 11. I ended up splitting the recipe into two steps and would recommend the same. I’ve adjust the directions accordingly.

Is it worth the effort? Heck yeah.

Thomas Keller’s Chicken Dumpling Soup

from ad hoc cookbook



  • 8 tbsps unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup plus 3 tbsp all-purpose flour


  • 1 tablespoon (1/2 ounce) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup thinly sliced carrots
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped celery
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped onion
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped leeks
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 quarts Chicken Stock
  • 5 stalks celery, cut into thin, diagonally-cut slices*
  • 3 large carrots, cut into even, bite-sized pieces*
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 1 large garlic clove, crushed, skin left on
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup (about 4 ounces) roux
  • 2 cups cooked shredded chicken (dark or white meat)
  • 1/4 cup minced chives
  • 1 tablespoon champagne vinegar
*separate from the 1 cup of celery and carrots listed previously


  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon minced chives


 step (day) 1: make soup base and roux: approximately 90 minutes

  1. Melt the butter in an 8- to 10-quart stockpot over medium heat.
  2. Add the carrots, celery, onions, and leeks, season with salt, and cover.
  3. Reduce the heat to low and cook very slowly, stirring occasionally, 30 to 35 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
  4. Add the chicken stock to the vegetables and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes, then strain the soup base into another pot and discard the vegetables.
  5. To make the roux: Put the butter in a small skillet or saucepan and set it over medium heat. When it is almost melted, whisk in the flour and cook, whisking constantly and adjusting the heat as necessary so the roux bubbles but does not brown (3-4 minutes). Transfer to a bowl to cool. Will keep refrigerated for up to 2 weeks. Please note: this makes 2/3 of a cup and the recipe only calls for 1/2 cup. You will have some leftovers.There’s a good deal of waiting time here, so I recommend while you wait, you prep your ingredients for step 2 (i.e. shred chicken, chop carrots and slice celery )

step (day) 2: make dumplings and finish the soup 60-90 minutes

make the dumplings:

  1. Fill a wide deep pot with salted water and bring to a simmer.
  2. Set up a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
  3. Combine the water, butter, and 1 teaspoon of the salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium, add the flour all at once, and stir rapidly with a stiff heatproof or wooden spoon until the dough pulls away from the sides of the pan and the bottom of the pan is clean.
  5. The dough should be glossy and smooth but still moist; enough moisture must evaporate from the dough to allow it to absorb more fat when the eggs are added.
  6. Continue to stir for 4 to 5 minutes, adjusting the heat as necessary to prevent the dough from coloring; a thin coating of dough will form on the bottom and sides of the pan–that’s okay!
  7. When you start to notice a little steam rising from the dough and a faint nutty aroma of cooked flour, you’re done.
  8. Immediately transfer the dough to the mixer bowl. Add the mustard and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and mix for a few seconds to incorporate the ingredients and release some of the heat.
  9. With the mixer on the lowest speed, add the eggs one at a time, beating until the first egg is completely incorporated before adding the second and incorporating it.
  10. Then add the chives and incorporate. Remove the bowl from the mixer.
  11. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  12. Shape the dumplings using two soup spoons to shape and then drop them into the simmering water.
  13. Cook the dumplings in batches to avoid crowding the pot and allow them to cook evenly.
  14. Once the dumplings rise to the surface (about 5 minutes) remove one and break it open to make sure it is cooked. If it is, then remove all with a slotted spoon, transfer the dumplings to the baking sheet, and cook the remaining dumplings.
  15. Once the dumplings have cooled, cut into desired size (I ended up quartering mine).

finish the soup:

  1. Celery: If you haven’t already, cut each stalk crosswise on the diagonal into thin slices about 11/2 inches long. As you get to the wider lower part of the stalk, adjust the angle of your knife to keep the pieces relatively the same size. You need about 1 1/2 cups celery for this recipe (reserve any extra for another use). Cook the celery in a large pot of boiling salted water until just tender. Drain, cool in an ice bath, and drain again.
  2. Carrots: Cut carrots lengthwise into quarters and then crosswise into bite-sized pieces. As each carrot widens, adjust the size of the cut to keep the pieces bite sized. You need about 1 1/2 cups carrots for this recipe (reserve any extra for another use). Put the carrots in a saucepan, add the honey, bay leaf, thyme, garlic, and a pinch of salt and pepper, and cover with cold water. Bring to a simmer and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the carrots are tender but slightly resistant to the tooth. Drain and transfer to paper towels.
  3. Bring the soup base to a simmer and whisk in the roux a little at a time until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon; you may not use all the roux. Simmer for 30 minutes, skimming often—this is necessary to remove all impurities from the roux. (The soup will continue to thicken as it simmers.)
  4. Add the dumplings, chicken, carrots, celery, and chives to the soup and heat through. Season with the vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.

Serve in a large serving bowl and sprinkle with parsley leaves.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. February 8, 2012 3:28 pm

    Nice post and I love your blog! Stop by and say hi 🙂

  2. February 8, 2012 10:22 pm

    Mouth watering soup =)

  3. February 10, 2012 5:13 pm

    Dumplings & soup = happiness.
    Very Impressive by the way.

    • February 10, 2012 5:23 pm

      You can never go wrong with dumplings and this recipe does not disappoint. Highly recommended!

      • February 10, 2012 5:29 pm

        Will definitely give it a go on a wintery evening. Thanks for the recipe.

  4. February 18, 2012 5:30 am

    Loving this recipe so much. I made it at my grandma’s house. The combination of recipes goes well with each other and the taste is certainly admirable. and http://www.coffeefashion .com also have interesting recipes that you’ll surely want to try!

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