This traditional Greek soup is one of my favorite comfort foods. It contains the necessary fat and nutrition you need for the long cold winter nights. I was brought up with this soup. Half of what I am is literally this soup. The other half is made from feta of course.
This soup’s main ingredient is the avgolemono, the strong combo of avgo=egg and lemoni=lemon. It is what makes this soup amazing. When your soup is ready, and cool enough, you whisk separately an egg with lemon juice firmly, adding slowly spoonfuls of soup into the mixture. When it is warm enough you pour it into the soup pan. And it is quite a procedure, because you need to be careful when whisking the egg with the soup. If the soup is too warm then the egg will be cooked unevenly and you will have white pieces inside your soup. Well, nobody wants that in a Greek recipe. Let firstly the soup cool down, but again not completely. You don’t want to have the opposite, raw egg inside. Avgolemono gives a unique taste and texture in the soup and it is one of the many characteristics of Greek cuisine you can’t find anywhere else. The more you do it, the more you will learn it. Of course you will have some unsuccessful attempts in the beginning, but this way you learn better. Trust me.
When it comes to the chicken, many people don’t like to eat the skin, they think it is unhealthy and fat. Well, it is. But we love it, and the chicken we use here in the North is not really bred up in a village in Greece, where its skin would be full of fat (and with extra extra intenseA taste). So, we tend to leave the skin on. Sometimes we do take out the meat from the breasts or the legs, so that no bones are in the soup, but mostly we get dirty and eat everything (well, I do – proud heritage of my father – my mother hates it).
So, read carefully and act accordingly to your needs when it comes to the chicken, but don’t forget to cook this soup as soon as you can! Your friends and family will be grateful to you.
Serves 4 people, Time needed: 60min
4 chicken breasts or 8 chicken legs
1 cup waxy rice (glasse)
1 farmer’s egg
juice from 1 biological lemon
fresh ground pepper
1 cube chicken broth
1 lt boiled water
Take a medium soup pan and cover the bottom of the pan with olive oil. Not too much though. Enough to fry the chicken breasts. Clean your chicken very good and take out the skin if you think it is too fat (we obviously didn’t!). Let the oil burn a bit in medium heat and before you add the chicken, sprinkle it with salt and pepper. Add the breasts and fry them for 5-6 min. Add boiled water till chicken is covered. Approximately 1 lt. Let chicken boil for 30 min.
Take out the boiled chicken and let it rest on a plate. Now it is a good moment to take the meat out of the chicken for the soup. We mostly like to get dirty and eat everything (!), so we keep the breasts or the legs whole. Bring the soup into a boil and add the chicken stock for extra flavor (rice absorbs a lot of salt) and add the rice. Let it cook for 20-25 min till soft. Add the chicken back in the pan.
Now it is time for the avgolemono. In a small bowl whisk 1 egg and the lemon juice till fluffy. Let the soup cool down first a bit and then add a spoonful of soup, whisking quickly. Add one more spoonful and repeat. When the egg is dissolved with the soup and warm enough, pour it back in the pan, stirring slightly.
Add some more salt and pepper if needed. Serve with fresh bread and some feta.