Greek lemon chicken and rice soup! I made it for the 53rd -ish time for two clients yesterday and thought I should finally share it. Then I realized I have already shared an avgolemono soup recipe. That one uses a whole chicken and takes way more time. The version that I cook for my weekly clients is easier and faster. The whole chicken recipe is more for when you’re staying home on a Sunday, have time to make stock, strain, reduce, etc. etc. and would like your whole house to smell of homemade chicken soup for the day.
It is my assumption that most of you reading this are looking for the easier faster version too. Enter: the pressure cooker or “Instant Pot” for those of you that enjoy brand names. I use boneless skinless chicken thighs, but you can use breast if you’re into that kind of thing. Any shorter grain white rice will do, but I like basmati. The most important part of this soup is the lemon and egg. In Greece, this mixture is called avgolemono which refers to a sauce. The sauce is used on meats and vegetables and in soups. Hence, “avgolemono soup”. Tempering so you don’t scramble the eggs is key, so work with patience there. Other than that, it’s all easy!
I’ve also included some workarounds if you don’t own an Instant Pot (Pressure Cooker) or want to go low carb or “semi-homemade” style.
Avgolemono Soup- Quick and Easy Pressure Cooker (Instant Pot) Recipe
1 Qt Chicken Stock
1 ½ – 2 lb. Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs
2 C Cooked Rice
2 Lemons, juiced and zest (plus more as needed)
Salt to taste
Cook the chicken thighs in the stock in a pressure cooker for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the rice if you need too. I cook ½ C basmati with 1 C chicken stock or water in a rice cooker or simmer while covered on the stove top.
Whisk the eggs, lemon juice, and zest together until thoroughly combined and smooth.
When the twenty minutes is up, you can release the pressure or wait for it to slow release. Remove the cooked chicken and set aside.
Set the pressure cooker to “saute” or “brown” with the lid open. (Pressure cookers vary. Instant Pot says “saute” and mine says “brown”. Really, you could just set it to cook anything. You just want the stock to be at a high simmer)
Using a ladle, drizzle a bit of the stock into the egg mixture while quickly whisking. Continue doing this until the egg mixture is roughly the same temperature as the stock in the pot. Then turn the pressure cooker to warm and slowly drizzle the egg mixture back into the pot while quickly whisking.
Add the cooked rice.
Tear the chicken into bite size pieces and add to the pot and stir over low heat until the chicken is heated through and the soup slightly thickens. Do not let the soup heat any higher than a low simmer.
Season with salt to taste and adjust with more lemon as desired.
No Pressure Cooker- Cook the stock and chicken in a covered pot on the stove top. Keep at a low simmer until the chicken shreds apart easily. Continue with the recipe. Keep the stock at a high simmer when tempering the eggs and a low simmer when adding them back into the pot.
Low-Carb- Omit the rice.
Quicker and Easier- Skip the chicken cooking process altogether and add cooked chicken at the end, but you are more “assembling” than “cooking” at that point. Sometimes, I guess you gotta.