Chicken Soup with Trahana
Chicken soup, Greek penicillin (!), is one of the most delicious winter dishes. Most people know it in its restaurant interpretation, as chicken soup avgolemono, with rice and the classic egg-lemon liaison. This old recipe, from northern Greece, calls for trahana, a delicious, sour grain product that is one of the oldest agricultural products in continuous use throughout Greece and the Balkans. The tartness of the trahana makes up for the absence of lemon in this unusual soup. To find trahana and other great Greek ingredients, go to my online store here.
- 1 chicken 1 ½-2 kilos (3.3.-4.4lbs) approx., cut into portions
- 10 cups water
- 1/3 cup extra virgin Greek olive oil
- 2 large onions finely chopped
- 1 full tsp. sweet paprika
- ½ cup sour trahana
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Feta in cubes as garnish optional
Place the chicken in a large pan with water. Let it come to a boil and add the salt. Lower the heat to medium-low and boil the chicken until the meat starts falling of the bones, approx. 1-1½ hours. Skim the water while boiling and discard the foam. Remove the chicken from the stock with a slotted spoon and let cool. Remove the skin and bones and cut the meat into pieces.
Heat the oil in a medium sized pan and sauté the onions over low heat until they wilt, approx. 7-8 minutes. Add the paprika and continue cooking for a few more minutes. Add the onion mixture and chicken to the stock and stir.
Add the trahana, season and boil on low heat for 12-15 minutes. Serve plain, or garnished with cubes of feta and a drizzling of olive oil.