Sunday, June 19, 2011

Avgolemono (Greek Chicken Soup). Family Recipes!

Today I finally put on my big girl pants and went on a group bike ride!  30 miles...awww yeaaahhh (long for me) !  

I've been terrified to ride with anyone because I know my bike handling skills are terrible and I don't want to crash into everyone or make them have to wait for me at every hill (or turn or light..etc).

Luckily, I made the dudes at Surf City Cyclery promise to not make fun of me or leave me on the side of the road.  They lived up to their promise and even put up with me forgetting to put my front wheel on correctly and dropping my chain on the ride (where the chain of the bike literally comes off due to bad shifting!)
The guys at this shop are seriously amazing at knowing about bikes and amazingly nice, so if you are a newbie like me and live in So Cal, go make friends with them!  And buy stuff.

The Town of Skala
This is also a recipe post day!  This one is kind of special to me since it's something I grew up eating:  Avgolemono  (Greek Egg Lemon Rice Soup).  It seriously takes comfort food to a whole new level!

We grew up eating this because my dad is from Skala Sikaminias, Greece - a small fishing / farming town on Lesvos.  I've been to a billion different Greek restaurants and have seen this soup in many versions, but of course, I think the way my family does it is the best!  My dad actually passed away in February 2010 from cancer, so...this is my father's day tribute post (even though I'm sure he'd be appalled to know that I have a blog haha...he was pretty old school about things...I could go into more detail about my dad passing and his life, but that's a separate, and more emotional post I'm not really ready to write :( ).  

** make this, you'll need at least 3-4 hours and be cool with making your own broth.  
I suspect this will not be the most used recipe on my blog, but believe me, it's worth the wait :).  

I totally stole this pic off someone else's blog
Avgolemono (Egg Lemon Rice Soup...nearly literal translation!)

Chicken Thighs, Wings, Necks (any pieces you can boil for the broth...what you pick will depend on how much chicken you want for the soup)
1-1.5 Cups Rice
3-5 Lemons and/or Bottled Lemon Juice, to taste
2 Eggs
Salt, to taste

1) Boil Chicken pieces in a large stock pot.  Fill with enough water to cover pieces.  Add the strained (no seeds) juice of 1-2 lemons, or the equivalent squirt from a lemon juice bottle.  Add about 50% of the salt (at least a teaspoon).

2) Boil for about 3 hours on medium heat.  Add water during the cooking process if too much boils off.
3) Remove big pieces of chicken/bone from pot.  
4) Pour contents of stock pot into a large bowl through a strainer to strain out smaller pieces of chicken that were left in the pot.  Throw away strained pieces of chicken.  Pour strained stock back into the stock pot.   Chill broth until you can skim fat off the top.  Add water until the pot is about 5/8 full.  Heat up broth.  Add small pieces chicken to broth from the large chicken pieces in step two.  This will be the chicken for the soup.

5)(IMPORTANT STEP to make egg smooth in broth
Beat two eggs in a large bowl until evenly blended.  Spoon large spoonfuls of hot stock while blending the egg/stock mixture.  As the blend gets more soupy, you can add larger portions of stock each time you blend.  When the large bowl is nearly full, begin pouring from the bowl to the stock pot, blending the soup in the stock pot with a stirring spoon as you pour.
6) Add rice to soup - about 1 cup of rice for every 6 or so cups of broth.
7) Let the rice cook 30 minutes on medium heat on stovetop.
8)  Add additional lemon and salt to taste (it should be a LOT of both) and cook for an additional 15 minutes.  

Enjoy  =).

PS:  You can probably use already made canned chicken broth if you want.  But come's fun to cook like you imagine great grandma did!    Live a little!  

On the question side:  What family recipes do you like to cook (or eat)?

Any things your family made that everyone else liked but you thought was gross?  


  1. I could totally make this! If there's anything Nigeria has plenty of it's rice and chicken. Although the only chicken safe for us to buy is frozen chicken from Brazil. Plus I just remembered I don't cook. I'll tell Oli to make it :D

  2. My mother isn't much of a cook - whenever I tell people I'm Italian they always ask/assume I ate a bunch of "old country" food growing up and really, my father, the American-French-Canadian always cooked.

    I'll have to make this one I love lemon - but definitely on a weekend! 3-4 hours is nearly impossible on a weekday.

  3. My family on my mom's side is Swedish and they eat things like lutefisk and pickled herring at holiday gatherings.

    Personally? I'd rather suck on a turd than eat slimy pickled fish.

    That soup looks really interesting! Kind of like egg drop soup...but Greek?

  4. Your Dad would be proud of you for being proud of your heritage and sharing it with everyone! My mom never cooked, literally, so my childhood diet was very weird. When my grandpa was around, he would teach me how to make Mexican food, and sometimes my Dad and Grandma will tell me how to make things. It is funny how I revert back to what I ate as a little kid a lot: spaghetti with plain tomato sauce and many variations of eggs(not together). I guess comfort food is whatever reminds you of home. Congrats on the successful bike ride!

  5. I can't do saurkraut, bleh. just to gross for words. That soup though sounds yummy!

  6. If I ever have the time I will have to try making this recipe. It is one of my favorite soups.

    I grew up in holiday, Florida which is very close to tarpon springs where there is a large Greek community. My family and I used to go there almost weekly to go to different Greek restaurants there. Going to tarpon springs for lunch or dinner contain some of my favorite memories before my grandma passed away and Imoded out of state. I love the lemon chicken soup. I always ordered it when we went.

    I'm sure your dad is smiling as you talk about your heritage and how proud you are of it. Family recipes are priceless.

  7. Great job on the 30 mile ride. That is awesome. Family food is definitely Lasagna. Yummy!

    Your soup looks amazing. Thanks for the recipe share.

  8. @Xaarlin
    @ Xaarlin- I grew up in Dunedin!

  9. I'm Polish, so definitely pierogis, borsch, golumpkis, potato pancakes, chicken soup...etc!

  10. Oh sweet goodness, I LOVE lemon rice soup, but I never thought about making it home. Now I just might!

    My family is a giant bunch of Polish peeps, so we eat a ton of homemade pierogis. Giant dumplings filled with potatoes and cheese? Carb-lovers heaven.

  11. Fantastic sounding soup! I'll get the husband right on that (he does the quality cooking around here; I do microwaved quesadillas and--oh the shame, but my kids dig it--the boxed mac and cheese).

  12. Can't wait to make this warm delicious goodness.