Avgolemono - Greek Chicken and Rice Soup
This soup is one of the most comforting dishes I can think of. It reminds me of sick days spent at my grandparents in Brunswick and eating at tables covered with lace tablecloths underneath thick sheets of plastic.
1 whole chicken
2 brown onion
2 sticks celery
1 cup uncooked arborio rice
Salt and pepper to taste
3 egg yolks
2 lemons, juiced
1 teaspoon cornflour
Dill to serve
Start by making the broth. Put the chicken into a large saucepan, and cover well with water, approx 3 liters. Add in one onion, peeled and cut in half. The carrots and the celery, also cleaned and roughly chopped. Bring the stock up to the boil then turn down to a simmer. Cook for 1½ hours or until the chicken is cooked through, skimming the surface of the broth regularly as it cooks.
Once the chicken has cooked through, remove it from the stock. Allow it to cool before shredding the meat off the bones, put to one side. Strain the vegetables out of stock, and then return the stock to the stove.
Bring the stock up to the boil. Hopefully, there is around two litres of liquid by this stage, if not, reduce until there is. Then, add in the rice, this will take about 20 minutes. When the rice is almost cooked, in a bowl, take the egg yolks and whisk them with the lemon juice and cornflour until combined. Gradually, while continuously whisking, pour in a couple of ladles of hot broth to the egg mix. Slowly pour the hot egg mixture into the rest of the stock now, making sure the stock is not rapidly boiling, or the eggs will split. Stir while the egg mix thickened the soup, once that has happened, take it off the heat.
Season the soup with more lemon if needed and salt. To serve, place a handful of shredded chicken in a bowl with soup ladled over the top. Garnish with some chopped dill and pepper.