AVGOLEMONO (Greek chicken soup with eggs, lemon and rice, for six)
For the stock:
a whole roasted chicken carcass, meat removed and reserved
2 teaspoons salt
4 celery stalks, roughly chopped
2 carrots, roughly chopped
2 onions, peeled and halved
3 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
12 sprigs fresh dill
1 tablespoon dill seeds
salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
For the soup:
8 cups chicken stock
3 cups cooked chicken meat reserved from the stock or 2 pounds raw boneless chicken breasts
½ cup long-grain Basmati white rice, well rinsed and dried in a strainer
juice of 2 lemons
4 large eggs
white pepper to taste
snipped fresh dill for garnish
1. Combine the chicken carcass in a stockpot with salt and water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes. Skim and scum that rises to the surface of the stock.
2. Add the flavoring ingredients to the stock and simmer, partly covered, for 1-1/2 hours or more. Strain through a sieve into a bowl and discard the solids. Degrease the stock.
3. Bring the stock back to a boil in the stockpot and cook for 10 minutes to concentrate the flavor. Taste carefully for seasoning. Reserve stock. Stir the rice into the stock and boil for 15 minutes, until the rice is tender.
4. In a bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and eggs. Whisk several ladlefuls of hot stock into the mixture in the bowl, then whisk the bowl mixture back into the stock in the pot. Add the shredded chicken and cook the soup over moderately low heat, whisking and being careful NOT to let it boil, for 3 minutes, or until the chicken is heated through and the soup has thickened slightly. Add white pepper, salt and lemon juice to taste and serve garnished with dill.
- If the soup becomes too thick, it can be thinned either with more stock or with water.
- If you want to make the soup with an uncooked chicken: Rinse the uncooked bird under cold tap water, remove any excess fat and and any giblets stashed in the cavity, and place the chicken in a pot with 1 tablespoon salt and water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, partly covered, for 30 minutes. Lift the chicken from the pot to a plate (reserve the stock) and set the bird aside until it is cool enough to handle. Discard the skin, remove the meat from the bones and shred the meat. Once the meat has cooled completely, cover and refrigerate it until you’re ready to finish the soup. Return the bones to the pot and continue with the recipe at step 2.
- If your leftover chicken carcass doesn’t have enough meat on it to finish the soup: Buy 2 pounds of boneless skinless chicken breasts from your grocery, salt them and add them to the degreased stock at the end of step 2. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and poach the chicken until the juices run clear, about 20 minutes. Remove the chicken with a slotted spoon to a plate to cool, then shred it. Proceed with step 3.
adapted from The Best of Gourmet, 1998