“Go to someone’s house and eat with him… the people who give you their food give you their heart.”
Avgolemono! Delicious & Fun to Say
I think we can all agree that food has a way of bringing people together, a way for families to learn and save traditions, a way to show those around you that you love them.
Many of my own childhood memories are centred in the kitchen… many different kitchens, or pantries or even gardens… always somehow related to food. As a kid when we lived in the country on the St Lawrence River, we had a huge vegetable garden and for some reason every summer I was assigned the task of harvesting green beans. I hated green beans by the end of each summer… hated them… but the memories I’m left with now of sitting on the big wraparound porch with my Mum and sister snapping those same beans fills me with joy. Similarly, sitting at my Sittoo’s huge yellow kitchen table rolling grape leaves with her will remain some of the most cherished hours of my life.
In a previous post I talked about how thrilled I was that one of my nephews asked me to teach him how to roll grape leaves. My own son learned to make Syrian Rice years ago as it was (and remains!) his favourite dish. The passing on of these traditions is the backbone of what families are made of by my way of thinking.
Last week my niece texted to tell me she was going to be home from school and that she would love for us to get together and “cook and drink wine and chat.” Girl after my own heart! Of course, I said yes immediately and we planned to make this soup together.
We’ve made many cakes and pies together for years and not too long ago we made pasta from scratch together. It’s not so much what we’re cooking that matters… .. but rather that we ARE cooking together! And the really nice part about this particular get together was that I found I was picking up a trick or two from her!
If you were to travel to Greece, maybe sitting on a terrace in front of a taverna, the avgolemono sitting in front of you would have taken hours to cook. The broth would have been made from scratch, and as delicious as that would be, it’s not always reasonable to expect to have that kind of time. Without sacrificing a single bit of flavour this method will take you a fraction of the time, making it a quick and easy meal for any weeknight.
Enjoy & Namaste!
- Olive oil for the pot
- 6 chicken thighs and 2 chicken breasts (boneless, skinless) cut into bite sized chunks
- 6 cups no salt added chicken broth (homemade is always best but store bought will also do)
- 1 small onion, diced
- ⅔ cup long grain rice (I use brown, but white works too)
- 1 large carrot, grated
- 2 eggs
- ⅓ cup lemon juice (fresh is always best)
- Flat leaf parsley or fresh dill to garnish
- S&P to taste
- Sauté chicken pieces in small batches in a large stock pot over medium high heat until beginning to turn golden.
- De-glaze pan with about 1 cup chicken broth, pouring deglazed bits in with chicken which is set aside.
- Add another drizzle of olive to pot and heat.
- Sauté onion until translucent about 5 minutes.
- Pour remaining 5 cups of chicken broth into pot
- Add rice and bring to a gentle boil, cook until rice is tender, about 15 minutes.
- Add carrot and chicken to stock allowing stock to return to a gentle simmer.
- Whisk together 2 eggs and lemon juice.
- Continuing to whisk egg mixture add about 1 ladle full of hot broth slowly. It is important to take the time to do this step slowly so that you don't wind up with scrambled eggs in your gorgeous soup.
- Add another ladle full and whisk some more.
- Now you can add the warmed egg mixture to the pot, pouring slowly stirring the soup the whole time.
- You will see the soup lightening in colour to a soft creamy pale yellow.
- Heat gently for a few more minutes and serve warm garnished with either parsley or dill and plenty of fresh ground pepper