Recipe: Chicken Wing Soup

UPDATED 11/18/2021 for clarity and to reflect some revisions to my method!
chicken wing soup VII

A few years ago, I discovered the Chicken Wing Soup at a local restaurant called Danny’s. The place is a small institution, and their soup is incredibly popular, now having a permanent spot in their soup-and-salad bar. I wasn’t content to only eat the soup when I go to Danny’s, though, so I created a recipe for it, which I then tweaked several times, over several blog posts. I figured it was time to gather all those thoughts into a single page on the blog, so here it is!

(Note: as indicated in the recipe, I make a gluten-free version of this soup by using gluten-free flour. When I started making this The Wife wasn’t diagnosed celiac yet, so I started using regular old wheat flour. I have detected no difference in texture or flavor by making this change. I experimented with thickening the soup at the end of cooking with cornstarch instead of a flour roux, but I simply prefer the roux. Also, I have over the last several years started doubling my original amount of roux, which is reflected in the instructions below. An earlier version of this recipe called for one stick of butter; now I’m thinking, “Why send one stick of butter to do a job when I can send two?”)

And now, the recipe!


1 to 2 lbs cooked chicken (Any chicken will do. You don’t have to use all-white breast meat; in fact, I prefer thigh meat, because it’s moister. If you have a leftover rotisserie chicken or other roasted chicken, you can use that. The more chicken, the thicker the soup.)

1 small onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
2-3 potatoes, (I use white), diced

2 sticks butter
1 cup flour (I use a gluten-free blend)

64 oz Chicken stock, home-made or from a carton (Home-made is better but I can get lazy)
2 cups whole milk or half-and-half

Hot sauce. (How much depends on you…but if you make this soup mild, I will never speak to you again!)

Salt and Pepper, to taste.

I only use two pots when making this soup: a crockpot, and another large pot or pan for sauteeing the aromatics.

1. Put the chicken and the diced potatoes into the crock pot. Douse all with hot sauce, one tablespoon or two, and then lid the pot and turn it on.

2. In the pot on the stove: Medium heat. Melt the butter, and stir in the flour. Stir until smooth and the butter-flour roux is light brown in color.

3. Add the aromatics, starting with the garlic by itself for thirty seconds or so and then all the rest. Add salt and pepper (I use very little salt, but quite a bit of pepper.) Stir over medium heat for several minutes to sweat out the flavors of the aromatics. Don’t turn up the heat yet! You want to sweat the aromatics, not saute them.

4. When the aromatic veggies start to wilt and look tender, add the chicken stock and the half-and-half. Turn heat up to medium high, and keep stirring while the soup comes to a boil. Add in hot sauce, tasting as you go. (Remember, you already put some hot sauce in the crockpot.) I go by color: this soup should be orange. If it gets too red, you might want to cut in a bit more milk.

5. Bring the soup just to a boil to thicken it, and then pour it into the crockpot, over the chicken and the potatoes.

6. Cook on low for 6-8 hours, or high for 3-4. You can serve any time the potatoes are done to your liking.

7. Serve in bowls and top with croutons! Lots of croutons, so they absorb some of the soup and get all chewy. Yummmmm.

This soup reheats really well, so feel free to make it, keep it in the crock, and reheat it for your tailgate parties!