“I cook with wine, sometimes I even add it to the food.” – W.C. Fields
It is well known in Jewish communities if a member of the family fall sick with a cold or flu that making a big pot of their famous chicken soup will surely comfort and take the place of any antibiotic, it has been scientifically proven. This recipe would have to be the Greek families answer to achieving the same satisfying result. I recently made this on one of Melbourne’s cold winter days and for my daughter who was unwell and had trouble keeping anything down. This soup was perfect with the addition of lemon juice giving it a light freshness yet incredibly wholesome. (She ended up having two BIG soup bowls without persuasion!)
This soup goes perfectly with warmed crusty sourdough bread or bread of your choice.
NOTE: I prefer to first roast the chicken, onion and carrots for added pack of flavour but you could just as easily throw everything in one large pot with the water and cook away.
- 1 large free-range chicken
- 6 litres of water
- 2 medium carrots, roughly chopped
- 2 medium onions, peeled and chopped in half
- 2 sticks of celery, chopped
- 1 knob of ginger, peeled and sliced
- 2 fresh or dried bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon of whole mixed pepper corns
- 1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 3/4 cup of short-grain rice
- 1/4 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 3 eggs
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup of brandy or white wine (or substitute with chicken stock or water)
- Pre-heat oven at 200°C
- Rub chicken all over with nutmeg, salt and pepper, place on roasting dish, add carrots and onions around chicken. Drizzle olive oil over the chicken and vegetables, pour the brandy or wine in the roasting dish and roast approximately for an hour and a ½ or until chicken is just cooked and golden.
- Take chicken out of the oven and put the chicken, carrots, onions and all the juices from the roasting pan in a large pot.
- Combine the celery, ginger, bay leaves, peppercorns and water to the pot and bring to the boil then reduce and simmer for approximately 1 1/2 hours.
- Carefully remove chicken from the pot and reserve for later, strain the stock through a sieve, discarding the vegetables. Cool the stock and gently skim the fat from the stock.
- Bring the stock to the boil then rain in the rice and cook for approximately 15 minutes or until the rice is just tender remembering to stir occasionally. Add salt and pepper to your liking.
- Just before ready to serve, whisk eggs and lemon juice in a bowl until frothy. Gradually whisk in 2 cups of the hot stock into the bowl of egg and lemon juice then gradually whisk this mixture into the remaining simmering stock and rice mixture until heated through making sure not to overcook as you are wanting for a creamy, silky finish.
- To serve…In a soup bowl add thin slices of cooked chicken breast and ladle soup over chicken, garnish with young celery leaves. Enjoy!