Bill Doukas says that different cooks prefer varying amounts of rice, chicken and lemon, but this recipe is a good starting place.

Also, he warns that avgolemono is “a delicacy” and “quite sensitive.” It does not reheat well most of the time, nor can it last long periods of time over heat. It is best to serve it promptly.

Serves 8 full bowls

2 pieces bone-in, skin-on chicken, 1 dark and 1 white, such as thigh and breast
2 teaspoon chicken bouillon
6 large eggs
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1½ cups long-grain rice
Salt and pepper

Place the chicken parts in a large kettle with 12 cups water and chicken bouillon. Bring to a gentle boil, cover, and then reduce to a medium heat for about 20 minutes. Remove the chicken and set aside. Strain the stock with fine-mesh strainer and return to the heat, allowing a gentle boil.

Separate the eggs into whites and yolks in 2 small metal bowls. Beat the egg whites until frothy. Beat the egg yolks until creamy and add to egg white bowl. Transfer the beaten eggs into a large metal bowl. Very gradually add the lemon juice to the eggs, pouring it down the side of the bowl while stirring continuously.

Turn the heat off under the chicken stock and add 1½ cups rice (Alternatively, leave the heat on and cook the rice in the simmering stock until nearly done, then start tempering the egg mixture). Using a ladle, lift a scoop of hot stock out of kettle (avoid the rice grains) and very slowly pour the liquid down the side of the bowl into the egg-lemon mix while also whisking continuously. Gradually repeat this with a second ladle full of hot stock, stirring. Add a 3rd, 4th, 5th, and so on of the stock, always stirring. You can pick up the pace with each ladle transfer. When the stock pot is three-quarters empty, stop, and pour the contents of the bowl into the kettle. Gently stir.

If the egg did not curdle, you have succeeded in making this soup!

Dice the cooked, cooled chicken meat into small cubes and add to the soup. Test to see if the rice is cooked. If not, continue to cook the soup at a very gentle simmer. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add more lemon juice if you like.

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