chicky soup

the corner grill in bowling green is not only known for the food that kills a hangover, but also for the amazing staff. grumpy and honest by night (to fend off the angry drunks), smiling and friendly and chatty by day. most servers will get to know you, the cooks will gladly make you a pancake shaped like pac-man upon request, and some might sit with you while you eat it. most go to eat their food and talk politics, mostly locals that are angry with the new parking laws or things more or less important. old men gather in the morning around 7am and get their coffee and complain about their wives or gossip about their lives. lawyers come on their lunch break for a quick grilled cheese and slice of pie. back in my younger and wilder days, i frequented this little greasy spoon nightly (yes, nightly) for dinner. i got off of work late and didn’t have time to make dinner. plus, all of my friends worked there. this diner i loved so much had cheap fried egg sandwiches, pancakes, burgers, burnt coffee, and soups. the typical diner fare.

what was not typical diner food was a favorite soup of mine which appeared on the menu only thursday nights. this was by far the most exotic and well-tended item on the menu.”chicky” was the american way of saying “chicken avgolemono”, a greek soup consisting of shredded leftover chicken, salty and slow cooked broth, sour lemon, tempered eggs, and aborio rice. this soup is super filling and the flavors are simple and satisfying. eggs in the broth are simply a way to thicken the soup and add richness without adding cream.

we made ours without the aborio, but if you wish to use it, simply sautee the rice in a little butter before adding to the stock and cooking for recommended time. continue with the rest of the recipe after rice is completely cooked.

this recipe serves 4

chicky soup

2 roasted chicken breasts or other leftover chicken meat, shredded finely

4 cups chicken stock (i made mine, you could use pre-packaged)

juice from 1 lemon

2 eggs

pinch of salt

method: over med/high heat, get stock to a boil. here is where you would add the aborio if using, cooking until just tender. throw in chicken and let boil for 5 minutes or so with the lid off. this will steam the water out leaving a very flavorful liquid. allow to slightly thicken and liquid to absorb into chicken. if you really like a thick soup, use immersion blender to puree chicken into soup.

in separate large bowl, whisk eggs and lemon juice together.

carefully ladle hot soup one ladle at a time into egg mixture, whisking eggs very quickly. this will slowly bring the eggs up to the temp of the soup without scrambling them. continue until eggs are good and hot. add mixture back into pot and let everything cook over medium heat for 10 minutes or so.

serve with fancy bread, or a grilled cheese on wonder bread. whatever.

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