2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (total weight about 1 lb/455 g)
1 large white or yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
2 in/5 cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut into fine matchsticks
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp red pepper flakes such as Aleppo, Maras, or Urfa
a pinch of saffron* or 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
6 cups/1.4 L water*
2 tsp chicken bouillon
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
2 cups shredded cabbage such as Napa
1/4 cup/60 ml fresh lemon juice
zest of one lemon
1/4 cup/2.5 g loosely packed fresh dill, tender stems and leaves, finely chopped
1/4 cup/5 g loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley, tender stems and leaves, finely chopped
fine sea salt
- Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan or stockpot over medium-high heat. Place the chicken thighs, skin side down, on the oil, and sear until the skin turns light golden brown, 9 to 10 minutes. Flip the chicken thighs over and sear for 2 minutes until the flesh turns opaque. Transfer the chicken to a plate.
- Add the onions to the oil and sauté over medium-high heat until they soften and turn translucent, 4 to 5 minutes.
- Add the ginger and sauté for 1 minute.
- Add the coriander, red pepper flakes, and saffron, and sauté until fragrant, 30 to 45 seconds.
- Return the chicken with any juices to the onions. Add the water, bouillon, and black pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat and reduce to a simmer. Cover with a lid and let cook for 45 minutes.
- Transfer the chicken to a plate, separate, and shred the meat. Discard the skin and bones and return the chicken meat to the saucepan.
- Add the cabbage, lemon juice, and lemon zest, and continue to simmer, covered with a lid for 15 minutes.
- Fold in the dill and parsley. Taste and season with salt. Serve the soup hot or warm. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator.
- A pinch of saffron is about 15 to 20 strands. The saffron can be replaced with turmeric.
- If you don’t have bouillon, use 6 cups/1.4 L chicken stock.
- At the end of cooking, you should have 8 cups of soup; if the volume drops, add more water to bring it back up.
- For the lemon zest, I use this citrus zester.
- The chicken bouillon can be replaced with low-sodium chicken stock.
- Cilantro can be used in place of parsley or along with it.