Russian Chicken and Dumplings Soup

At Bear, a homey Eastern European restaurant in Astoria, Queens, chef Natasha Pogrebinsky serves a pelmeni stew she calls “Siberian Express,” adding marinated mushrooms, brined cherry tomatoes, fresh herbs, scallions, and a soft-boiled egg all to color up the dish’s otherwise beige landscape. But her customers call it something else: Russian Ramen. This chicken-and-dumpling soup also takes advantage of two ingredients more common in Asia than Eastern Europe—sesame oil and cilantro—for a simple but rewarding soup that probes the boundaries of what we think of as Russian cuisine.

Featured in: The Russian Chicken Soup with an Eye on Japan

Russian Chicken and Dumplings Soup Russian Chicken and Dumplings Soup
At Bear, a homey Eastern European restaurant in Astoria, Queens, chef Natasha Pogrebinsky serves a pelmeni stew she calls "Siberian Express," adding marinated mushrooms, brined cherry tomatoes, fresh herbs, scallions, and a soft-boiled egg all to color up the dish’s otherwise beige landscape. But her customers call it something else: Russian Ramen. This chicken-and-dumpling soup also takes advantage of two ingredients more common in Asia than Eastern Europe—sesame oil and cilantro—for a simple but rewarding soup that probes the boundaries of what we think of as Russian cuisine.
Yield: serves 4
Time: 2 hours

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 12 tsp. kosher salt, plus more
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 lb. chicken thighs (about 4)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 lb. ground chicken
  • 1 tbsp. finely chopped dill, plus more to garnish
  • 1 tbsp. finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tsp. ground caraway
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 soft-boiled eggs, halved, to garnish
  • Cilantro leaves, to garnish
  • Thinly sliced scallions, to garnish
  • Toasted sesame oil, to garnish

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, mix the flour with 12 teaspoon salt. Make a well in the center and, using your fingers, stir in 2 eggs and 14 cup water. Scrape the dough onto a work surface and knead until smooth. Transfer the dough to a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 45 minutes.
  2. In a 4-qt saucepan, combine the chicken thighs with the onion, garlic, and bay leaf, and cover with 6 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook, skimming any foam that rises to the surface, until the broth is reduced and the chicken is cooked through, about 45 minutes. Pour the broth through a fine strainer and discard the solids.
  3. Meanwhile, beat the remaining egg in a small bowl and pour 2 tablespoons into a medium bowl; discarding the rest of the egg. Stir in the remaining 1 teaspoon salt, the ground chicken, dill, parsley, caraway, and coriander and stir to combine. Refrigerate the filling until ready to use.
  4. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough into an 18-inch circle, about 18-inch thick. Using a 2 12-inch cutter, cut out 32 circles, re-rolling scraps as needed. Place 1 tablespoon of the filling in the center of each circle of dough, brush the edges with water, and fold in half to form a half moon, sealing the edges. Take the two points of each half moon and bring them together to form a tortelli-like dumpling.
  5. In a large pot of generously salted water, cook the dumplings until they float to the surface and are cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the dumplings from the water and transfer to 4 serving bowls. Ladle the broth over the dumplings and top each with more chopped dill, half a soft-boiled egg, cilantro leaves, scallions, and a drizzle of sesame oil before serving.