Sunday 14 August 2011

Chicken Soup with lemon and egg sauce, Kotosoupa Avgolemono (Κοτόσουπα Αυγολέμονο)

Every time I say to my English friends that I am having chicken soup as a main meal, they think I am weird as all the soups here are quite thin and would probably serve as a light lunch at best. Greek chicken soup is a proper meal and very tasty and soothing for the stomach as well. It’s usually a winter food, but being that I have a cold these days and it is not that hot in the UK I decided to make it today. Recipe is for 4-6 servings.


1 whole chicken (1500gr roughly)
4 ½ lemons
13 spoons of soup rice
2 eggs
Olive oil
Salt and Pepper


Place the chicken in the pot together with 10 cups of water and put it to the boil, together with 1 spoon of olive oil and 1 teaspoon of salt. I use a pressure cooker where it needs 10 minutes. On a normal pot, it takes 30 minutes on a medium heat and you would need to add 1 extra cup of water.
In the meantime whisk the whites of 2 eggs, once frothy, add the 2 egg yolks , whisk and then add the juice of 2 ½ lemons. Leave aside for now.
Once the chicken is ready, remove it of the pot and place it on a tray. Transfer under the grill until golden and crispy on the top.
With the stock from the chicken, add the rice and 1 spoon of salt, stir and put back to the boil until the rice is cooked, usually it takes 12 minutes. The rule with the rice is 1 spoon of rice for every cup of water you added at the beginning, but I like my soup more “meaty” so I always add 2-3 extra spoons. Whilst the rice is cooking, remove 2 ladles of the soup in a little ball and place it aside until it cools enough, but not completely. Then add that to the egg and lemon mix slowly whilst whisking.
Once the rice is cooked, add the egg and lemon mix inside the pot one spoon at the time, whilst whisking. Apparently you should only whisk clockwise cause otherwise the egg might cook inside the soup and you will end up with small bits of egg inside the soup, that’s what my mum and grandma have told me and that’s what I do. I tend to not mess with them! Make sure you constantly stir otherwise the egg might cook. Once you have mixed it, then it should be ready to serve.
A lot of people tend to flake the chicken and add it in the soup, but I like it aside with a bit of “ladolemono”. That is a sauce made out of the juice of 2 lemons and 4 spoons of olive oil stirred. This is very widely used in the Greek recipes overall.
Serve the soup with some pepper on the top and the chicken with the lemon and oil mix aside. Don’t forget the bread and the feta cheese!


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