• Avgolemono (The Chicken Soup Manifesto)Source: The Chicken Soup Manifesto

A silky, rich Greek chicken and lemon soup with egg and rice that will warm you up from the inside.

Serves
4

Preparation

20min

Cooking

40min

Skill level

Easy
By
Average: 3.4 (15 votes)
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I learned the recipe for this soup from a woman who immigrated to the US from Greece when she was nine. She taught me that whether I chose to shred the cooked chicken in the soup, or serve it on the side, either would be correct. She used skinless chicken or chicken with skin, but would discard the skin after cooking. Her family would use either orzo, rice or pastina, and variations were welcomed.

The soup consistency was always the same, though. She was adamant that the soup should not simmer too hard or have too much liquid because the richness and silkiness would be lost. Traditionally, this recipe was used as a sauce to drape over cooked chicken, instead of being served as a standalone soup. Take gentle care when reheating, as too high a heat will cook the egg in the soup and the silky texture will be lost. More chicken is used to make the broth than is needed for the soup, so save the remaining legs and thighs for another use or double the soup recipe to use all the meat. Traditional garnishes are dill and black pepper.

Ingredients

  • 1 1.35 kg (3 lb) chicken, quartered
  • 1.9 litres (64 fl oz/8 cups) water or chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 yellow onion, cut into 1 cm (½ in) cubes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 100 g (3½ oz/½ cup) white long-grain rice
  • 3 large eggs
  • 75 ml (2½ fl oz) lemon juice, plus extra to taste
  • dill, to garnish

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.

Instructions

1. Place the chicken in a large pot and add the water or stock. Add the salt, the onion and bay leaves and bring to a very gentle simmer. Weigh down the chicken with a plate or two, making sure it is fully submerged and cook for 20–30 minutes until a thermometer inserted into thickest part of leg and thigh and thickest part of the breast reads 74°C (165°F). Using a fine-meshed sieve, separate the chicken, onion and bay leaves from the broth. Place the chicken on a baking tray or plate and leave to cool at room temperature and discard the onion and bay leaves. 

2. Bring the strained broth to a simmer, add the rice and cook for 7–9 minutes until just tender.

3. Meanwhile, use an immersion blender or blender to mix the eggs and lemon together until completely combined, then set aside. Using your hands, shred two chicken breasts into small pieces; this should yield about 350 g (12½ oz/2 cups) shredded chicken. Set aside.

4. When the rice is tender, ladle a few spoonfuls of the hot broth into the egg mixture. Add more broth, a spoonful at a time, until the egg mixture is warm. Adding too much hot liquid to the eggs will curdle them, so do this step slowly.

5. When the egg mixture is warm, you should have around two cups of liquid. Turn off the heat and drizzle the egg mixture into the hot broth, stirring constantly with a whisk. The soup should thicken and become silky. Add the reserved chicken and season with salt. Add lemon juice to taste and garnish with dill to serve.

 

Recipe and image from The Chicken Soup Manifesto by Jenn Louis, Published by Hardie Grant (RRP $45.00)