Yield: 6 servings
1 large bone-in chicken breast with skin
8 cups water
1 medium white onion, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper
1 tsp. sea salt
1 cup white or brown rice (or orzo)
to taste, freshly ground black pepper
3 lemons, juiced
optional for garnish, lemon zest, finely grated
optional for garnish, celery leaves
Place whole chicken breast, including skin, in a large stock pot with onion, celery, carrots, bay leaf, pepper and salt. Cover with water and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover and cook for 1 hour.
Remove chicken and set aside to cool. Place stock pot in refrigerator to cool soup base. While broth is cooling, remove chicken from the bone and cut into ½” cubes.
Set aside until soup is assembled.
When broth is cool, excess fat should congeal on top. Skim off this fat, then strain broth to remove vegetables and bay leaf. Place broth in medium stock pot over high heat. Bring to a boil, add rice or orzo, reduce heat to low, cover and cook until rice is tender, about 20 minutes. If using brown rice, cooking time will be longer, approximately 35 minutes. If using orzo, cooking time will be less, approximately 10 to 12 minutes.
In a medium glass bowl, whisk the eggs with lemon juice. Slowly add 2 cups broth to egg and lemon mixture, continuously whisking so eggs don’t begin to cook too quickly and form lumps. The process should take about a minute. Slowly add egg and broth mixture back to soup, while stirring continuously. Finish soup by adding chicken. Cook another minute to warm chicken and serve. Garnish with lemon zest and celery leaves if desired.