While avgolemono is often referred to as a Greek dish, the method of combining lemon juice, egg, and broth and heating it until thickened is common not only in Greek kitchens, but also in Turkish, Arab, Balkan, and Sephardic Jewish cuisines as well. This technique is known by many names in these different cultures, but the principle of using these three ingredients to create a tangy, unctuous is the same.
It is my understanding that this soup in Greece would typically be made with a whole chicken, stewed and shredded, but this recipe is much quicker and simpler. Just fry up the aromatics, simmer the chicken, toss in some cooked rice, and carefully add the eggs and lemon, heating until the broth thickens.
Next time you’re hankering for chicken soup, give this recipe a try. It might just replace that chicken noodle in your comfort food repertoire.
1 lb. chicken breast, cut into ½” cubes
1 medium yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
6 cups chicken broth
1 bay leaf
Juice of 1 lemon (~¼ cup)
2 eggs (3 if you want it extra thick)
2 cups cooked rice
Parsley, to garnish
Cook onions and garlic in plenty of olive oil over medium heat until the onions are translucent. Add the broth, bay leaf, and chicken, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat back to medium and simmer uncovered until the chicken is just done. Remove from heat.
In a separate bowl, beat together eggs and lemon juice until uniform. Temper this mixture by pouring a thin stream of broth from the pot while whisking. Once tempered, the egg and lemon mixture can be poured into the main pot, again while stirring. The soup should take on a nice pale color and more unctuous flavor.
Mix in the cooked rice and add more lemon or salt, if desired.
Serve garnished with chopped fresh parsley.