Monday, March 9, 2015

International Cooking Challenge: Greece -Greek Lemon Chicken Soup

We return to our International Cooking Challenge tonight with a culinary visit to Greece. 

We had a grand Greek feast for New Year's Eve,  and none of us are strangers to Greek food.  A while back,  The Boy had a Greek Lemon Chicken Soup at one of our favorite restaurants,  and I've been hankering to try it ever since. Now is the time!

The Girl is already practically a scholar on Greece (thanks, Percy Jackson,  for spurring that interest!). She could teach us all a lesson,  I think. (Wait until we get to Egypt... that's one she really knows a lot about!)

When The Girl tried the lemon chicken soup, she started jumping around the kitchen with joy.  Both kids suggested that we should have this soup again tomorrow night.  I don't know about that, but I think for sure it will enter our standard repertoire.

It was very easy and went together quickly, which is also a plus.

Greek Lemon Chicken Soup
(modified from The Kitchen McCabe)

1 large chicken breast
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp dried dill (or fresh dill, if you have it)
water to cover chicken
1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 large onion, diced
3/4 c carrots, shredded
4 c chicken broth
1/3 c orzo
2 eggs
Juice from one lemon
dash white pepper

Place chicken in a stock pot and cover with water.  Add oregano, thyme, and dried dill to the water.  Bring to a low boil and cook until chicken reaches 165 F internal temperature, about 10-12 minutes.  Remove from water and set aside to cool.  When cool, chop into small pieces.

Reserve 1 c of the poaching liquid and discard the rest.  Use the same stock pot to heat the oil.  Saute the onion in the oil for about 5 minutes, until soft, but not brown.  Add shredded carrots and cook for an additional 2 minutes.  Add the reserved poaching liquid and 3 1/2 c of the broth.  Bring to a boil and add the orzo.  Cook for about 10 minutes, or until the orzo is tender.

Put the remaining broth in a blender or an immersion blender cup.  Add the 2 eggs and the lemon juice.  Blend until frothy.
Tempered egg & broth

Temper the egg broth mixture before adding to the soup by spooning 1/4 c of each liquid into a separate bowl and whisking well.  Repeat until 1 c of each broth have been added.  Do not let the egg liquid boil, or the eggs will curdle.  No one wants scrambled egg soup.
Creamy delicious soup

Slowly whisk the tempered egg broth mixture into the rest of the soup.  Season with a dash of white pepper.  Do not boil, but keep warm until serving.   If you have fresh dill, add a little at the end.

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