Yemenite Chicken Soup

Chicken soup is so famously restorative it's almost a cliché. But Chef Jenn Louis's recipe for Yemenite chicken soup reinvigorates the old standard with a spice mix that’s at once complex, punchy, and easy to make.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 15 min
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 6 servings
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Hawaii Spice Mix

1/2 teaspoon whole cloves

1 1/2 teaspoons coriander seeds

1 tablespoon black peppercorns

1 tablespoon cumin seeds

1 1/2 teaspoons caraway seeds

1 tablespoon green cardamom pods

2 teaspoons celery seed

1 1/2 tablespoons ground turmeric

1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon fine sea salt

Chicken Soup

1 large onion

2 ribs celery

3 cloves garlic

3 medium carrots, peeled

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup Hawaii spice mix, add more to taste

1 1/2 quarts chicken stock

1/2 bunch parsley

1/2 bunch cilantro, plus more for garnish

2 pounds skinless chicken thighs, drumsticks, or whole legs

Kosher salt

2 Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced, about 2 cups

1/2 cup tahini, for garnish


  1. Hawaii spice mix: Toast cloves, coriander, black peppercorns, cumin, caraway, cardamom pods, and celery seed in a dry skillet over medium heat until fragrant, 1–2 minutes. Shake occasionally to prevent burning. Remove from heat, then set aside in a bowl to cool completely.
  2. Grind spices finely, adding in turmeric, cinnamon, and salt. Sift through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl. If not using right away, store the blend in a tightly sealed container for up to one month. Makes ½ cup.
  3. Chicken soup: Roughly chop onion, celery, garlic, and carrots. In a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, sauté vegetables in oil until soft and onions are translucent, 8–10 minutes. Add Hawaii spice mix and stir to combine.
  4. Add stock to the vegetables. Roughly chop parsley and cilantro (including stems) and add to the pot. Bring soup to a gentle simmer. Meanwhile, season chicken with salt on both sides and add to the pot. Cover and simmer 30 minutes. Add diced potatoes and cook another 15 minutes, until chicken pulls from the bone and potatoes are tender.
  5. Assembly: Place a piece of chicken into a bowl. Ladle vegetables around the chicken, followed by a ladle of broth. Garnish with fresh cilantro and a drizzle of tahini. Serve hot.