Greek Chicken Soup with Egg, Lemon, and Orzo
Crispy Chicken Skin Garnish
Yep, that is a big crispy piece of chicken skin on the side of the soup bowl. This is a heartier version of the classic Greek Egg Lemon Chicken Soup, Avgolemono.
Here, the irresistible tangy pale lemon soup is chock-full of orzo (rice-shaped pasta) and shredded chicken breast. Fresh snipped dill, a good dose of pepper, a drizzle of fruity olive oil, and that crazy chicken skin take it over the top. Is crispy chicken skin the new bacon?
- 1 c. dried orzo
- 7 c. homemade chicken broth and shredded chicken breast (recipe here)
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 large eggs plus 2 egg yolks
- 1/4 c. to 1/2 c. fresh squeezed lemon juice (to taste)
- 2 T. cornstarch (optional, see below)
- kosher salt and fresh ground pepper (to taste)
- lemon wheels
- fresh dill
- fruity olive oil
- cooked chicken skin
Cook orzo al dente according to package instructions, about 9 minutes. Meanwhile in a soup pot, bring chicken broth with a bay leaf to a boil.
Drain the orzo, rinse and set aside at room temperature while preparing the soup.
Whisk eggs together in a medium bowl. Gradually whisk in lemon juice until frothy. Temper the egg/lemon mixture by slowly adding three 4 oz. ladles of hot broth, one at a time, while whisking continuously.
Lower the heat on the broth. Remove the bay leaf. Add the tempered egg/lemon mixture to the soup pot and continue to whisk until combined into a pale yellow soup.
Make a slurry by mixing cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of cold water. Add the slurry to the soup and continue to whisk until the soup thickens.
Add the orzo and shredded chicken to heat through, stirring occasionally. Take care NOT to bring the soup to a boil as it may curdle the eggs. Season with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile crisp the cooked chicken skin on a sheet pan in a 350°F oven for about 10 minutes.
Ladle soup into warm bowls. Garnish with fresh ground black pepper, lemon wheels, snipped dill, a drizzle of olive oil, and crispy chicken skin (on the side of the bowl).
Some recipes do not add cornstarch to thicken the soup. The result is a thinner soup, a tad more elegant and less hearty, but no less tasty. To make a lighter soup, simply omit the cornstarch in the recipe, as shown in the photo below.
Καλή όρεξη! (Kalí óreksi!)
Unorthodox Greek Recipes
Grilled Salmon Dolmades, Pine Nut Lemon Sauce (recipe here)
Classic Greek Salad with Peaches (recipe here)