- 1 whole chicken
- 1/2 cup rice
- 6 cups water
- 1 lemon, squeezed (use a juicer if possible to juice completely)
- 3 teaspoons salt
- freshly ground black pepper (add a liberal amount)
- 2 eggs at room temperature
- Bring the chicken, rice and 6 cups of water to a boil in a large pot with lid. Cover pot and reduce to simmer. Cook for an hour. Remove chicken and put it aside to cool until it can be handled.
- Add the lemon juice, salt and a good bit of freshly ground pepper to the broth and turn off heat.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs.
- Pour a thin stream of the hot broth into the eggs while whisking the eggs briskly until you have added at least 2 cups of broth or so to the eggs.
- Add the egg-broth mixture back into the soup pot in a stream while whisking the broth.
- Pull apart the chicken and add it back to the pot, discarding bones and skin.
By now, you may have noticed that I love easy, quick meals. So when I realized I only had a few items in my refrigerator to make dinner with – eggs, chicken and lemons – and I was too lazy to run to the store, I had to get creative. I remembered the Greek, chicken lemon soup, called “avgolemono” my friend Kiki had brought over once when I had the flu, and called her for the recipe.
I thought my Cream of Mushroom Chicken Bake was the easiest and best tasting recipe of all time, but this avgolemono soup has it beat! As Kiki says, “Greeks love making it because there is such a big return on the low effort.”
Let’s just say I was not expecting the response I got from a meal born out of laziness, that I threw together half heartedly with so few ingredients.
My husband demanded I make this soup every week, saying it was the one of the best things I’ve ever made. My kids ate it up and begged for more and we all fought for the last spoonful from the pot. They even asked me to make it again the next day (this is from a family that hates leftovers – my little one wanted to open a restaurant called “Leftovers”, so we could serve them to customers and never have to eat them again).
Add plenty of black pepper to this soup. You can use brown basmati rice if you prefer. It’s best to juice the lemons with a juicer, rather than by hand to extract all the juice. If you squeeze the lemon by hand, you may need to add more lemon. Best served with sliced bread on a cold night.