Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 1 hour
Makes: 4 servings
This soup will cure whatever ails you.
2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, about 5
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 fennel bulb, trimmed, quartered and sliced 1/4-inch thick, fronds finely chopped
2 lemons, halved the long way and sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 onion, quartered and sliced 1/2-inch thick
1 small hot pepper, such as serrano, halved, seeded, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, whole, skin-on
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 star anise (optional)
4 ounces udon noodles
1. Roast: Rub chicken with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Settle chicken, skin-side up, on a large baking sheet. Set aside 1/2 cup finely chopped fennel fronds. Heap all remaining ingredients (except noodles) onto the pan, and toss with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Roast at 425 degrees, stirring vegetables occasionally, until they are beautifully caramelized, about 35 minutes.
2. Crisp: Pull pan out of oven. Avoiding garlic and star anise, portion half the vegetables into 4 large soup bowls. Scrape remaining vegetables and 2 of the chicken thighs into a large saucepan. Return sheet pan to oven and let remaining chicken crisp, about 25 minutes.
3. Simmer: Meanwhile, pour water into the saucepan to cover chicken by 1 inch. Stir to break up chicken. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, 25 minutes.
4. Boil: Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Stir in noodles; cook until tender but firm. Drain. Rinse under cool water to stop cooking. Portion a nest of noodles into each of the soup bowls.
5. Slice: When roast chicken is beautifully crisp, pull it out of the oven. Remove and discard bones. Slice meat into 1-inch wide strips. Portion strips, skin-side up, into the soup bowls.
6. Serve: Strain broth, discard solids. Reheat and add salt if need be. Ladle hot broth into each bowl. Garnish with fennel fronds. Serve steaming hot. Feel better?