Hearty, simple and extra comforting, this Greek lemon chicken soup is without doubt the perfect dish for a cold winter’s day! ‘Kotosoupa Avgolemono’ is classic delicacy made basically with chicken, which is boiled until tender, rice and finished of with a delicious egg-lemon sauce, which is added in the chicken broth. This is the authentic recipe for Greek lemon chicken soup, a trademark dish that has nourished generations.
The secret ingredient for this heartwarming Greek lemon chicken soup (Kotosoupa Avgolemono) is the Avgolemono – an egg-lemon sauce, that is often added in Greek recipes and especially soups and acts as a thickening agent, giving the soup a unique creamy texture and tangy lemony flavour. This Greek lemon chicken soup recipe includes the traditional recipe for preparing an egg lemon sauce. Although the basic Greek recipe is relatively simple, my experience has shown that it can be really tricky. If you have ever tried making ‘Kotosoupa Avgolemono’ or any other Greek recipe which includes Avgolemono before, you must know that lots of things can go wrong leading to a disaster. The most common mistake is that the Avgolemono curdles and gets lumpy. Here are some tips to help you achieve the desirable creamy texture for you Greek lemon chicken soup:
The eggs should be at room temperature, so that they are not shocked and curdle from the hot broth
The soup should be warm but not boiling hot. When you are done cooking your soup remove the pan from the stove and let it cool for 5-10 minutes or add 1/2 a cup of cold water to halt the boiling process
You need to add enough broth so that the egg mixture is at the same temperature as the broth of dish you are preparing
The egg whites are more likely to curdle, as they tend to thicken up more quickly than the egg yolks when warmed so be sure to whisk vigorously and add the broth slowly.
1 chicken (1- 1.2 kg/ 35-40 ounces)
1 red onion, peeled
5 cups of water
150-200g short-grain rice, like Arborio (6-7 ounces)
2 large eggs
juice of 1 lemon
2 carrots (optional)
salt and freshly ground pepper
To prepare this traditional Greek lemon chicken soup, wash thoroughly the chicken and place in a deep pan. Push the chicken with your hands down to the bottom of the pan, add the onion, whole (and the carrot), pour in the water (the water should cover the chicken) and season. Place on high heat, put the lid on and bring to the boil; turn the heat down and boil the chicken for about 1 hour and 15 minutes (the chicken is ready, when the meat can be removed easily from the bones). While the chicken boils, some white foam will probably surface on the water. Remove that foam with a slotted spoon.
Remove the chicken from the broth and strain the broth. Add the hot broth in a pan, add the rice and season with salt and pepper and boil, until done.
In the meantime, if the chicken is cool enough to handle, pull the meat from the bones and discard the skin. Dice the meat into bites.
To prepare the egg lemon sauce for this Greek lemon chicken soup, crack the eggs into a bowl and whisk, until foamy; add the lemon juice and whisk again. Add into the bowl a ladle of hot soup and whisk quickly. Add one more ladle and whisk again, so that the eggs get warm. Pour the egg mixture back into the pot, whilst constantly stirring, put the lid on and leave for 3-4 minutes.
Serve this delicious Greek lemon chicken soup, while still warm; ladle into bowls, top with the diced chicken and sprinkle with freshly ground pepper or paprika. Enjoy!