Yia Yia's Avgolemono


It took some time to get my mother-in-law to share her coveted Greek recipes. This is a family favorite. Serve with freshly ground pepper and warm, crusty bread.

Prep Time:
10 mins
Cook Time:
1 hrs 50 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs
8 servings


  • 1 (2.5 pound) whole chicken

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 onion, quartered

  • 2 carrots, cut into 2-inch chunks

  • 3 stalks celery with leaves, cut into 2-inch pieces

  • 8 cups water

  • ¾ cup uncooked orzo pasta

  • 2 eggs, separated

  • 2 lemons, juiced


  1. Place the chicken, salt, onion, carrots, celery, and water into a stock pot. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until the chicken is tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Skim away any scum that forms as the chicken simmers.

  2. Strain and reserve the broth in a clean pot. Pick the meat from the chicken, discarding the bones, skin, and vegetables. Cut the meat into small pieces, and set aside. Bring the broth to a boil over medium heat and stir in the orzo pasta. Let simmer 20 minutes.

  3. While the orzo is cooking, beat the egg whites to stiff peaks, then whisk in the egg yolks until completely incorporated. Measure out 2 cups of the simmering broth, and combine it with the lemon juice. Slowly pour the lemon mixture into the eggs while whisking continuously until incorporated.

  4. When the orzo is nearly done, return the chicken meat to the soup, and cook until reheated. Stir in the egg mixture, stirring gently until incorporated into the soup. Serve immediately.

Cook's Note

Be sure you add the hot broth to the egg mixture very slowly to temper the eggs. If you add it too quickly, the eggs will curdle.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

246 Calories
11g Fat
20g Carbs
18g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Calories 246
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 11g 14%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 84mg 28%
Sodium 324mg 14%
Total Carbohydrate 20g 7%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 18g
Vitamin C 9mg 43%
Calcium 42mg 3%
Iron 2mg 9%
Potassium 277mg 6%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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