Wednesday, December 11, 2013

My Family's Favorite Greek Chicken Soup

Last night I received a cute email from my friend in Texas. (I miss her!) She requested my recipe for Greek Chicken Soup, so I decided to post it here for her and anyone else who would like to try it out. :)

I was introduced to this most delicious soup at an authentic Greek restaurant in the lovely city of Farmington Hills, Michigan, when I was a nanny for a full-blooded Greek family. They are such great people and I'm so grateful for the time I spent with them. Thanks to their introduction, I fell absolutely head-over-heels in love with Greek Chicken Soup!

Thus, I was giddy when I found a Greek Chicken Soup recipe in a cookbook Greg and I received as a wedding gift! :) After making it for a few years, I was ecstatic to discover that my husband and our children truly love the soup as much as I do! Yay! It is, without a doubt, my little family's favorite soup on the planet. :) Over the years, I have tailored that recipe to be what I use today. So, I guess the recipe I've listed here is technically MY recipe! ;)

This is the basic Greek Chicken Soup recipe - not doubled or tripled. When I make it for my family, I usually triple it. If we're having guests over for dinner, I definitely quadruple it. I've been making this soup for 16 years and we never tire of it—and I don't even put MSG in it! Ha ha :) No, seriously, I know a lot of foods out there are "addictive" to our tongues because of the MSG in them. I cook completely MSG-additive-free. If you'd like to read more about the possible health issues caused by MSG, click on the Mayo Clinic's link: Monosodium Glutamate.

Most importantly, please don't worry if your soup doesn't work out exactly right the first time you make it...it seriously took me a couple of years to "perfect" this yumminess! :) Without further ado, I'd like to introduce you to:

Greek Chicken Soup
(Gluten Free)
  • Serves 4
  • Give yourself a good hour to complete this masterpiece...Because no one wants to spend a bad hour making soup, now do we?! Ha ha ;)

Ingredients:

  • 1 large can (46-49.5 ounces) chicken broth (I use Swanson's 100% Natural Goodness® Chicken Broth.) *You can use small cans instead. Just figure out the ounces with a calculator. You'll want to stay around 46-50 ounces.
  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (I use frozen chicken breast portions, or frozen chicken tenders. I previously used the Tyson brand, but now that two of my kids have to eat completely gluten-free and avoid cross-contact, I can't use their chicken anymore. If Tyson were willing to make their chicken gluten-free—or at least clearly state that it is gluten-free, I would be happy to start buying from them again!) *You can add more chicken if you desire.
  • 1 cup rice (We like Calrose Rice the best!)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch in 1/4 cup water
  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 tablespoons (i.e., 1/4 cup) lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Up to 1/8 teaspoon pepper—season to taste

Directions:
Note: After the eggs have been added to the soup, don't heat on high or the eggs will curdle.

  • Start cooking rice. (We use a rice cooker.)
  • Place chicken broth and chicken in a large pot. Cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. (If you are using frozen chicken, it will take a little longer to get broth to the boiling point.)
  • Once broth is boiling, reduce heat to medium-low and poach chicken until barely cooked through, about 8-10 minutes. *Do not over-cook it, or the chicken will be rubbery. But don't under-cook it either. The chicken should be white inside. It's usually ready when the chicken floats to the surface of the broth.
  • Remove chicken and shred it with forks. Set aside. *If you want a lower-fat version, slide a mesh strainer through the broth and dump the fat in the garbage.
  • While the chicken is cooking, do the following: in a medium-sized bowl, dissolve cornstarch in water. Whisk in eggs, lemon juice and oregano until very smooth.
  • Add cooked rice into hot broth.
  • With a ladle, remove about 1 cup of hot broth from pot. (Try to keep the rice out of it, but it's not a big deal if some rice gets in there.) Gradually (i.e., a small stream) whisk hot broth into egg-lemon-oregano-cornstarch mixture.
  • Return egg mixture to pot, while whisking/stirring constantly. *Don't stop whisking/stirring (even for a second!), or the eggs will curdle.
  • Heat soup gently (around medium+ heat), stirring constantly, until soup is thickened and creamy. (I usually cook it a solid 10-12 minutes. If it's semi-runny, you need to keep cooking it.) Season with pepper to taste. (I don't usually add additional salt, as it's salty enough from the chicken broth.)
  • Return shredded chicken to broth mixture once the eggs have cooked thoroughly. Stir completely and remove from heat.

Enjoy! :)

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