When you roast the chicken parts first, you end up with a rich broth with extra layers of flavor and a beautiful brown color. Reducing it makes it even richer. Do try to find chicken feet for this; they really add body and depth to the final result.

Game plan: Be sure to make the broth at least two to three days before the big dinner. This may look like a lot of work, but you can make the broth well in advance and freeze it. And it’s really not active work; you’ll just need to be around for the long simmering, checking in now and then to skim it. The final dish is no work at all. Simply pour boiling, seasoned broth over the sliced scallops, which will be perfectly cooked by the time you bring the bowls to the table.

This recipe was featured as part of our 2006 Neo-Classic Holiday Dinner menu.

  • Yields: 8 servings (about 2 quarts stock)
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Total: 6 hrs 30 mins, plus overnight for cooling
  • Active: 30 mins

Ingredients (13)

For the stock:

  • 6 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch chunks
  • 4 large yellow onions, peeled and quartered
  • 8 pounds meaty chicken parts (a good mix of backs, necks, feet, legs, wings), rinsed and dried
  • 4 celery stalks (try to include an inner one with leaves), cut into chunks
  • Stems from 1 bunch Italian parsley
  • 1 (2-inch) piece ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 20 cups (5 quarts) water

To serve:

  • 16 “dry-pack” sea scallops, tough muscles removed
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • 1 bunch chives, finely chopped


For the stock:

  1. Heat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Place carrots and onions in a large, heavy roasting pan. Set chicken parts on top in a single layer. Slide the pan into the oven and roast for 30 minutes, or until chicken is browned. Turn chicken parts over with a big fork or tongs so that they brown evenly, and roast for another 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.
  3. Place celery, parsley stems, ginger, and peppercorns into a large stockpot. Add chicken and roasted vegetables, but do not wash the roasting pan.
  4. Place the roasting pan on the stove over medium-high heat. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring frequently, for about 2 minutes or until paste turns brick red. (Be very careful not to burn the tomato paste.) Stir 2 cups of the water into the pan and bring to a boil, scraping the bottom with a wooden spoon or spatula to loosen any browned bits. Pour into the stockpot. You’ll still have some good stuff in the roasting pan, so deglaze again with another 2 cups of the water and pour into the stockpot.
  5. Pour the remaining 16 cups (4 quarts) water into the stockpot, or enough to barely cover the chicken. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, then turn the heat down to low, partially cover the pot, and simmer gently for 3 hours. Keep an eye on the pot to make sure it isn’t boiling—you just want steady bubbles in the center of the pot. Occasionally skim any of the gunk that rises to the surface with a slotted spoon or a ladle.
  6. Strain broth through a fine mesh sieve into a clean pot or heatproof container. Then strain it again through a colander lined with a double layer of rinsed cheesecloth into a clean stockpot. Leave broth on the counter for 1 hour to cool a little more, then refrigerate it overnight.
  7. The next day, scrape off the fat and the murky layer of broth at the top and discard it. (You’ll know you’ve removed it all when you get to the clear gelled broth.) Bring broth to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat so that you have a steady simmer, and reduce broth by 1/4, skimming as necessary.
  8. Cool stock and refrigerate for up to 3 days, or freeze.

To serve:

  1. Blot scallops dry with paper towels and place them in a single layer on a small baking sheet or plate; freeze for 20 minutes, so that they’re easier to cut. Slice each scallop into 4 thin rounds and refrigerate.
  2. When you are ready for dinner, bring broth to a boil and add salt. Divide sliced scallops among 8 soup bowls, fanning them across the bottom, and season them with salt and white pepper. Ladle 1 cup of broth into each bowl, stir, and garnish generously with chives.

Beverage pairing: Domaine Fourrier Bourgogne Blanc, France. White Burgundy is great with both roast chicken and scallops, so it naturally works with both together. The wine need not be too complex or rich, as the dish has plenty of that. Rather, this white has a fine acid structure, good clear flavors of lemon and apple, and minerality to add texture to the smoothness of the dish.