Lemony Chicken & Rice Soup

Lemony Chicken & Rice Soup with Sumac Croutons | I Will Not Eat Oysters
Lemony Chicken & Rice Soup with Sumac Croutons | I Will Not Eat Oysters Lemony Chicken & Rice Soup with Sumac Croutons | I Will Not Eat Oysters Lemony Chicken & Rice Soup with Sumac Croutons | I Will Not Eat Oysters Lemony Chicken & Rice Soup with Sumac Croutons | I Will Not Eat Oysters Lemony Chicken & Rice Soup with Sumac Croutons | I Will Not Eat Oysters Lemony Chicken & Rice Soup with Sumac Croutons | I Will Not Eat Oysters Lemony Chicken & Rice Soup with Sumac Croutons | I Will Not Eat Oysters

 

The Greeks call it Avgolemono. It’s a rich lemon and chicken soup with rice thickened with eggs. No cream or dairy at all yet it’s unbelievably creamy and smooth. Said to cure all illnesses, I just find it incredibly tasty. Sephardic Jews call it Agristada and use this egg-lemon-stock base as a sauce. Since good Jews, not me, don’t mix meat and dairy for religious reasons, this sauce is used instead of cheesy ones for chicken or meatballs. Forget where it comes from for a second. It’s freaking delicious. And because I can’t go a day without bread, I’ve made sumac croutons to top this glorious bowl of liquid gold. My husband’s super Greek mom would murder me if she knew that. It’s definitely not traditional, but this is my food world internet page. So I can do what I want. Right? Omit the croutons if you’re a purist. But I will unfriend you.

 

Lemony Chicken & Rice Soup

with Sumac Sour Dough Croutons

4-6 servings

2 skin-on bone-in chicken breasts
salt & pepper
1 1/2 Tb olive oil
1 large onion, cut in half
2 ribs celery, cut in half
2 small carrots, cut in half
8 cups chicken stock
 
3/4 cup long grain rice
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
4 Tb fresh lemon juice
 
3 eggs
 
3 thick slices sour dough bread, cut into 1″ cubes
3 1/2 Tb olive oil
2 tsp sumac
1/4 tsp salt
Season the chicken breast well on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Sear the chicken skin side down for about 3-4 minutes until golden brown and releases easily from the bottom of the pot. Flip the chicken and sear the bone side, add the onion, celery, and carrots. Sear for about 4 minutes to let some color develop on the veg. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to a simmer, cover the pot, and cook the chicken in the stock for 20 minutes.

Pre-heat oven to 400˚F. Toss the sour dough with the olive oil and sumac. Spread on a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt. Toast in oven for 10-12 minutes until golden brown and crisp. Set aside.

When the chicken is cooked through, remove it into a a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Fish out and discard the onion, celery, and carrots from the stock. Leave the heat on low. Add the rice, salt, and pepper and mix well to make sure it hasn’t stuck to the bottom. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes to cook the rice.

Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, take the meat off the bone, discard along with the skin, and shred the chicken to desired size. I like keeping it in fairly large pieces. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.

When the rice has cooked through, add in the lemon juice. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs until homogenous. To temper the eggs, very slowly, ladle in the hot soup while whisking constantly. You want to bring the temperature of the eggs to the temperature of the soup. Continue doing this until you have at least 6-8 ladle fulls of hot soup combined with the eggs. Pour the egg/soup mixture into the pot while whisking. The soup will lighten in color and thicken beautifully. Let the soup come back up to a very gentle simmer, then turn the heat off immediately. Add the shredded chicken. Taste the soup for seasoning and adjust accordingly.

Plate the soups in serving bowls, top with croutons and a sprinkle of sumac and pepper. Enjoy!

9 Comments

  • Reply November 27, 2014

    S.

    Your mother-in-law is Greek and yet you think the best feta is bulgarian?!

    • Reply November 30, 2014

      iwillnoteatoysters

      I’m Israeli. That’s where the Bulgarian feta comes in. I do love all feta.

  • Reply January 8, 2015

    Joy Bela

    i don’t know how i went this long without discovering your blog. i’m bookmarking this now and making it on saturday. it’s EXACTLY what i want. so gorgeous. thank you!

  • Reply January 10, 2015

    Agnieszka

    This sounds absolutely delicious and I am about to make it. Just one doubt: is there a “safe” way to reheat it next day? I like to make bigger batches for next days take-to-work-lunch…

    • Reply January 12, 2015

      iwillnoteatoysters

      Thanks! Unfortunately, it doesn’t look too pretty after reheating. I’ve microwaved it before or slowly reheat it on the stove top. It’s still delicious and safe, just not as pretty since the soup does separate a bit.

  • Reply May 19, 2015

    FoodGeekGraze

    lol @ “i will unfriend you” (not quite an LOL, but loud enough to wake up my dog).

  • Reply October 30, 2015

    Betty Denman

    Enjoyed your lemon chicken and rice soup!

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