Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Turkey Avgolemono

Back to this week's turkey. Or at least, what is left of it.

I've never been able to just toss out what remains of a turkey after I've carved all the meat off it. I have to make stock out of it. It seems to be a compulsion of sorts. One that I think my mother shares, as she will start a pot of chicken stock on my stove moments before catching a plane back to her home in London. She seemingly can't leave the country without first ensuring that any leftover rotisserie chicken that might be lurking around in the fridge are properly simmering in a pot. I have to mention that this habit of hers, making and then abandoning stocks, nearly set fire to the kitchen once.

Anyway, before I enter full on ramble mode, let's get on to what I did with my turkey stock. As much as I love good ol' fashioned traditional turkey noodle soup, I need to mix it up a little sometimes. I need some turkey avgolemono.

Literally meaning 'egg-lemon' in Greek, this soup is essentially that; rice (or orzo) in a stock thickened with egg and flavored with lemon juice. I discovered it while working for a Greek chef named Fifi almost a decade ago, she served it in her restaurant from time to time and it always ran out before the dinner rush ended, usually because the floor staff were eating so much of it.

I eventually got the Cliffs-Notes version of her recipe and have been able to replicate her soup. While this recipe calls for chicken it works equally well with turkey.

Not so Humble's Turkey Avgolemono:
8 cups turkey stock
1 cup uncooked white rice (preferably short grain)
4 eggs
1 egg yolk
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup lemon juice (though I usually add a bit more)
2 cups cooked and roughly chopped turkey meat (optional)

Bring the turkey stock to a boil and add the rice. Simmer covered for 20 minutes, stir in the turkey and remove from heat.

In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, egg yoke, olive oil and lemon juice until smooth. Temper the egg mixture by slowly adding one cup of the hot soup while whisking continuously. Pour this mixture back into the pot and stir gently. The soup should have a smooth, creamy appearance now. Salt and pepper the soup to taste. Serve garnished with parsley or dill and a drizzle of olive oil.

If the soup is reheated or stored the texture will change ever so slightly, so it is best served immediately. However, don't let that that stop you from eating leftover Avgolemono, the flavor will still remain the same.

1 comment:

  1. My mom's half Greek and we used to eat avgolemono all the time. She did make it from Turkey as well and it was great. I'm so glad to see an agvolemono recipe that doesn't include cornstarch. It ruins the texture in my mind. Doing it with whole eggs does require a bit more care but the result is so much better!


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