Tuesday, January 8, 2013

On the menu: Greek food Pt. 1

A little chicken soup - Greek style

We're off and running on our Greek Week- we made soup, tried to say some new words in Greek and made an awesome art project - we'll post those tomorrow.  First, let's talk about our soup.  If you've never had it before, let me assure you that Greek food is delicious.  There are a lot of healthy ingredients and simple flavors made with age old techniques that bring out the best in them.  I will make one or two different recipes this week.  The first one we made was comfort food - chicken soup.  I think every culture has a version of chicken soup, the Greek version is called Avgolemono and is thickened with egg and has a beautiful lemony flavor.  This would be the perfect soup for cold and flu season!  I'm putting some in the freezer for "just in case".  Here's the recipe-

Avgolemono Soup-

For the recipe you will need:
  • 3 lbs chicken. I used a whole chicken with most of the fat (and the gross bits) removed
  • 8 cups water
  • 1/2 bunch parsley.  I only had freeze-dried so I used 1/3 cup
  • 1 medium onion - very finely chopped
  • 1 tsp salt (or more to taste)
  • 1/2 cup long grain rice.  I wish I used a little more, maybe 3/4 c
  • 1 large carrot- very finely chopped.  Mine were already shredded so it made them so much easier to chop.
  • 1 stalk celery.  I didn't have celery and didn't want to go to the store.  I thought about using some spinach so it's in the picture but I was afraid it would change the taste too much and I chickened out :)
  • 2 lemons- use the juice and zest
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
1.  Put chicken, water, onion, parsley and salt in large pot and bring to boil.  Simmer 45 minutes.
2. Remove chicken and parsley.  My parsley had pretty much dissolved, but if you used the larger parsley discard it.
3. Add rice, carrot and celery to broth and cook for about 20 minutes. 
4. When chicken is cool enough to handle, remove from the bones and chop into small pieces.  Set aside.
5. Add lemon juice and zest to soup when rice is cooked.
6. Beat the eggs and cornstarch together in bowl.
7. While whisking eggs, slowly dribble in a ladleful of the hot broth to temper the eggs.  Continue whisking and adding hot broth until 2 ladlefuls have been added.
8. Slowly add the egg mixture to the soup and stir well.  Add chicken back in and season with salt and pepper if needed.

This was really tasty!  My son ate a few spoonfuls and enjoyed it until he got some chicken (for some reason he doesn't eat chicken anymore) and my daughter, of course, wouldn't even try it.  My husband, brother and I really enjoyed it and I'm looking forward to leftovers!!

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