Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A Greek Standard

I always like the idea of Avogolemeno soup, a fresh Lemony flavored chicken and rice mixture that's a regular in Greek diners and I assume throughout Greece. Delicate chicken broth is thickened with a liaison of egg and lemon juice.
The other night I woke up and starting spinning the channels and found an old Food Network re-run (back from when the network was more about recipes than lifestyle). A youthful Rocco DiSpirito and a pre-iron chef Cat Cora were making dishes with citrus. Cat shipped up a pale yellow simple pot of avogolemeno. It was time to try.
I put a whole chicken in 12 cups of water along with a quartered leek, 2 bay leaves, and a peeled carrot and brought the liquid to a boil. Then the broth simmered for about an hour. The broth is strained and returned to the heat. When it returned to a boil I added in 1 large chopped onion that had sauteed just until soft in 3 TB of olive il an d2/3 cup of arborio rice. After 20 minutes on medium low (when the rice was nearly cooked) I turned the heat to a low simmer and added in the chicken I had chopped (removing bone and skin) from the bird that made the broth. Meanwhile I whisked 2 eggs with 1/2 cup of lemon juice. Whisking all the while I added in 2 cups of the hot broth (slowly so the eggs have tim to warm up) until combined and then stirred the lemon juice mixture back into the soup along with 1 TB of salt.
The soup is creamy, bright, and fresh -- a perfect summer soup.

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