Avgolemono Chicken Soup with Rice

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If ever there were a soup to banish the winter blues, it’s avgolemono, the classic Greek soup made with lemon and eggs.

One of my favorite Greek dishes is avgolemono, the classic egg and lemon soup with chicken and rice. It’s comforting yet light and easy enough to whip up on a busy weeknight. The only “cheffy” part of making avgolemono soup is tempering the eggs, which help to thicken the broth to a silky consistency. You need to gradually warm the eggs with some of the hot broth before adding them to the soup so that they don’t scramble (you don’t want egg drop soup!). I make the process easy by whizzing the eggs and lemon juice with some of the rice and broth in a blender; this tempers the eggs and creates a creamy, stable base that never curdles. Before serving, I like to add a splash of heavy cream to the soup – it’s not traditional but I think it balances the tanginess of the lemon. It’s fine to leave it out if you’d like to make the soup a bit lighter and/or more lemony.

What You’ll Need to Make Avgolemono

Avgolemono soup ingredients

Step-by-step Instructions

Place the chicken on a plate and season all over with the salt. Let sit for 15 minutes.
salting the chicken
Meanwhile, in a large pot, bring the broth, rice, white pepper, dill sprigs, and bay leaf to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the rice is al dente, about 5 minutes. bringing the chicken broth and rice to a boil

Remove the pot from the heat and add the chicken.

adding the chicken to the broth

Cover and let sit until the chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes.

poached chicken

Discard the dill sprigs and bay leaf. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board, let cool slightly, then chop into bite-sized pieces.

chopping the poached chicken

Using a slotted spoon, transfer about 3/4 cup of the rice to a blender. Add the lemon juice, eggs, and yolks to the blender as well.

rice, eggs, and lemon juice in blender

Process until smooth, about 30 seconds.

blended egg, lemon, and rice mixture

Using a soup ladle, transfer about 3/4 cup of the broth to the blender and process until smooth, 10 seconds (be sure to leave the hole in the lid open and cover with a kitchen towel to allow the steam to escape). Add another ladleful of broth to the blender and process again.

egg, lemon, and rice mixture with some broth blended in

Slowly pour the egg mixture into the pot, stirring until evenly combined. Add the cream and bring to a gentle simmer over low heat. Do not boil. (The soup will be a bit frothy at this point; don’t worry, the froth will settle as it simmers.) Taste the rice to see if it’s cooked through. If it needs a few more minutes, gently simmer the soup until the rice is cooked.

stirring the blended mixture into the broth

Right before serving, stir in the chopped dill and the chicken, then taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. If the soup is too lemony, add more cream. If the soup is too thick, thin it with a bit of water. adding the poached chicken to the avgolemono soup before serving

Serve immediately, as the soup thickens up quite a bit as it sits.

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Avgolemono Chicken Soup with Rice

If ever there were a soup to banish the winter blues, it’s avgolemono, the classic Greek soup made with lemon and eggs.

Servings: 4 to 6

Ingredients

  • 1 pound chicken tenderloins
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup long grain white rice
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 3 sprigs fresh dill, plus 2 teaspoons chopped (see note)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, from 2 lemons
  • 2 large eggs plus 2 large yolks
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream, plus a bit more if necessary (optional; see note)
  • Freshly ground black pepper, for serving

Instructions

  1. Place the chicken on a plate and season all over with the salt. Let sit for 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large pot, bring the broth, rice, white pepper, dill sprigs, and bay leaf to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the rice is al dente, about 5 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat, add the chicken, cover, and let sit until the chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes.
  3. Discard the dill sprigs and bay leaf. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board, let cool slightly, then chop into bite-sized pieces.
  4. Using a slotted spoon, transfer about 3/4 cup of the rice to a blender. Add the lemon juice, eggs, and yolks to the blender and process until smooth, about 30 seconds. Using a soup ladle, transfer about 3/4 cup of the broth to the blender and process until smooth, 10 seconds (be sure to leave the hole in the lid open and cover with a kitchen towel to allow the steam to escape). Add another ladleful of broth to the blender and process again.
  5. Slowly pour the egg mixture into the pot, stirring until evenly combined. Add the cream and bring to a gentle simmer over low heat. Do not boil. (The soup will be a bit frothy at this point; don’t worry, the froth will settle as it simmers.) Taste the rice to see if it’s cooked through. If it needs a few more minutes, gently simmer the soup until the rice is cooked. Right before serving, stir in the chopped dill and the chicken, then taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. If the soup is too lemony, add more cream. If the soup is too thick, thin it with a bit of water. Serve immediately, as the soup thickens up quite a bit as it sits.
  6. Note: A sprig of dill is one “branch.”
  7. Note: Heavy cream is not traditionally added to avgolemono soup, but I like how it balances the tanginess of the lemon. It's fine to omit it if you'd like to make the soup a bit lighter and/or more lemony.

Pair with

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Calories: 428
  • Fat: 26 g
  • Saturated fat: 9 g
  • Carbohydrates: 25 g
  • Sugar: 6 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 23 g
  • Sodium: 1,048 mg
  • Cholesterol: 191 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Reviews & Comments

  • I have been searching for a good recipe for this soup for a long time. I have tried several with Jenny’s being by far the best, hands down. The directions are so easy to follow with beautiful pictures. It even tastes better the next day.

    • — Holly Scholz on January 28, 2021
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  • So good!!! Love love love this soup!!

    • — Greg on January 28, 2021
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  • I LOVE Lemon Avgolemono Soup! This version was Really good, and I appreciate the direction to salt the chicken and let it sit. So many recipes skip the “let it sit” part. I used black pepper as I didn’t have white but otherwise followed the recipe and it turned out delicious. Will make again – soon!

    • — Kim on January 28, 2021
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  • This was a total hit with my family! I’ve always been a little wary of using lemon in anything other than lemonade, but the acidity really balanced out the richness of the egg and broth. Dill is also an herb that I rarely use and I was hesitant to use as much as the recipe calls for. I did not regret it. Beautifully balanced recipe.

    • — Lorena on January 28, 2021
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  • This recipe is almost identical to my father-in-laws, a Greek chef for over 60 years! The heavy cream is the secret ingredient!! Delicious!

    • — Martha Lampros on January 28, 2021
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    • Great recipe! I appreciate the tip to allow the steam to escape when using the blender to avoid a mess! I am always looking for ways, other than dessert recipes, to use up my lemons.

      • — Anny Chang on January 28, 2021
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  • Couldn’t have been easier. Your recipes are so well written, even a newbie can be successful! Delicious! Thanks!

    • — Angie on January 28, 2021
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  • This soup is the perfect cold weather meal. It’s perfectly cozy comfort food. One of my favorites, and so way to make. I made extra to freeze and it freezes and reheats so well!

    • — Krista H on January 28, 2021
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  • Ohhhhhh my gosh
    This is so good. Made it more times than I can count
    We like heavily seasoned food so I Willy nilly used more garlic and cracked pepper. Once u was out of rice but had quinoa. Surprisingly it was very good. So easy too

    • — Connie on January 28, 2021
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  • Let me begin by saying I typically would not even read a recipe for avgolemono that was not Greek in origin. But this being Once Upon a Chef, there is a high likelihood that this recipe would be worth trying. So I did. And what I found out was, and want to convey to you aspiring avgolemono makers is: this recipe is the only one you will ever need to make a perfect version of this soup. The soup has the *perfect* amount of lemon, the *perfect* velvety texture. I left out the cream. You could make this without the chicken too, but it is a nice addition here and the cooking method is perfection. I reduced the rice to 2/3 c. because of low-carb eaters at our house. Anyway, review reader, make this. Make it soon.

    • — Julie on January 28, 2021
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  • So good and so simple. Whenever you don’t have much time but want something satisfying. This is a go to

    • — Renata on January 28, 2021
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  • My husband has Greek roots and said this soup reminded him of something his aunt used to make as a kid! I love when that happens

    • — Steph on January 28, 2021
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  • This was a yummy soup that was easy to make. I have a prolific lemon tree and I am always looking for recipes that let them shine. Definitely a keeper!

    • — Alyse Jacobson on January 28, 2021
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  • Delicious! I love the delicacy of this soup and the lemon adds a special pop of flavor. My new healthy comfort soup for a cold day. My husband is not fond of dill, so I substituted some finely chopped green onion, worked great. The only thing I could have used was a new iron pot to cook it in 😁. I Have tried so many Once Upon a Chef recipes and had never been disappointed in one of them.

    • — Ruth De Bruyn on January 28, 2021
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  • I made this last night and my DH really liked it. I thought it was just okay but I’m not sure why. It has some classic good Greek flavors & I expected to love it. I used leftover roasted chicken I had on hand and added it after the rice was done. I also used an immersion blender but I removed the bay leaf & dill first & added the chicken after the blending. I tempered the eggs in a small bowl before adding to the soup. I don’t think any of these changes would have altered the taste or texture much so maybe I’ll like it better when it’s reheated tonight?? Every other recipe of yours that I’ve tried has been a real winner!

    • — Patti on January 28, 2021
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  • This chicken soup was a raving success when I made it for my family. The directions, though unique, were easy to follow. And the result was so delicious, everybody said to make it again and again!

    • — Jody Spiro on January 28, 2021
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  • Delicious! I loved the tip of cooking the breast in the soup for 15 minutes, removing, cubing, and then returning to warm soup. It’s a great way to not overcook the chicken.

    • — linda on January 28, 2021
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    • Great soup it was very tasty and easily made. I especially liked “cooking “the chicken in the warmed broth. A very delicious soup recipe to add to my collection

      • — Chris Lynch on January 28, 2021
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  • I made this Keto friendly by replacing the rice with grated cauliflower. It was delicious with a delicate lemon flavor. I love your soups!

    • — Carolann on January 28, 2021
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  • LOVED the recipe. I’d seen it several times before I decided to make it one chilly day after preparing chicken broth. Delicious — shared with the girlfriends on our last Zoom get together.

    • — Kathy on January 28, 2021
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  • I love this soup…I’ve never blended part of the rice, but it worked. I just added some EVOO before serving and it was delicious. I’m not sure I’d blend the rice in again, but the white pepper is key…don’t sub in black pepper!

    • — sophie barbier on January 28, 2021
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  • Loved this recipe! I learned something new…. tempering the eggs in a blender! This made the dish decadent, creamy, velvety…. total comfort food for any night, especially a cold, rainy one!

    • — Susan R. on January 28, 2021
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  • I made this soup a few weeks ago and it was so yummy! And it saved well as leftovers — I always appreciate that!

    • — Heather Beam on January 28, 2021
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  • Made a vegetarian version without the heavy cream. It was DELICIOUS! Definitely going on the regular winter menu at my house!

    • — Lisa O'Boyle on January 28, 2021
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  • Everything in this soup sings in such beautiful harmony- nothing is overpowering and just the right amount of everything. The lemon gives it a slight zingy flavor, while the eggs make it so luscious and creamy. Chicken and rice in this soup make it a perfect meal, everything is perfect. I ran out of cream so I had just a little less , but the eggs hid that. If you have never tried this recipe before, you totally missing out.

    • — Hannah Sebastian on January 28, 2021
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  • Jenn Segal you are the best! Your avgolemono soup was excellent (and not difficult to make), my picky husband and i LOVED it and will make it again and again. I always go to your recipes (have countless recipes that i have printed out and made) or your cookbook when i want a five star, impressively perfect meal/dessert.

    Thank you for your hard work.

    P.S.: You should do another cookbook with as many recipes as possible from your blogs 🙂

    • — Colleen Westbrook on January 28, 2021
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    • ❤️

      • — Jenn on January 28, 2021
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  • delicious, my Greek husband said it was exactly like the one in Greece. I may try with orzo instead of rice next time. no leftovers!

    • — Emilie Kollias on January 28, 2021
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  • Amazing! I made this for company (I always trust Jenn’s recipes and know they turn out perfectly) and everyone raved and two left wanting the recipe. I used a rotisserie chicken and skipped the first couple of steps. So delicious.

    • — Shami Coley on January 28, 2021
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  • This is a wonderful soup for a cold, dark winter day. It was surprisingly easy to make and still tastes great after multiple reheatings. My only tweak to the recipe would be to add more rice – maybe use 1 C instead of 3/4 C and try to leave more rice in the soup when you remove to blend. I think it adds a bit more texture to the finished soup.
    Otherwise, don’t change a thing! Delicious!

    • — Pat on January 28, 2021
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  • Delicious! Will definitely make this again

    • — Liz on January 28, 2021
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  • This soup recipe is divine. It was a quick and easy meal to put together and I followed the recipe as written. My whole family enjoyed it and it was great for leftovers. I will be making this again soon.

    • — Carrie on January 28, 2021
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  • I love the texture of this super easy recipe. Similar to some other reviewers, added a bit of extra lemon (to my taste) and it was delicious!

    • — Kimberly Linton on January 28, 2021
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  • Another great soup recipe! My husband and I really enjoyed this one. It is a simple recipe to follow and requires very little work. It took longer to make than I anticipated it would, but it was worth it to wait for the broth to thicken towards the end. It’s a good recipe to multitask with because you set the timer quite a few times. We made it with the cream, but we plan to try it without the cream next time to make it healthier. Thanks for this one Jen, always grateful for more soup recipes to keep us warm in the New England winters! Will definitely be making this many more times.

    • — Kaylie on January 28, 2021
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  • This soup was so good it only lasted 2 days, with only my husband and I eating it. The recipe is extremely simple and I think the combination of using tenderloins as well as the salt seasoning sitting on the chicken for 10 minutes, really helped with the chicken flavor. The soup is light and filling! I will probably be making this at least once a month this winter. I think it’s important to note my husband strongly dislikes dill and he could not get enough. The flavor combination was outstanding.

    • — Danielle Ritz on January 28, 2021
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  • Very nice. Particularly appreciate the details of tempering process.

    • — Julie Miller on January 28, 2021
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  • Wow – this recipe is absolutely delicious! Mostly using pantry ingredients (and some shredded chicken) made it very straightforward. I didn’t have fresh dill, so I used dried, which seemed to work just fine. I made this for myself to enjoy as weekday lunches, and found myself looking forward to early lunches most days this week! One note on reheating: I found that by adding a splash of water and stirring it in prior to microwaving, it reheated more evenly and with a texture/thickness similar to the freshly-made soup. This one is definitely going into the recipe rotation!

    • — Amy G Lajiness on January 28, 2021
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  • Love this soup . followed the recipe but added a little more lemon

    • — Judy S on January 28, 2021
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  • I made this soup this evening, and it was delightful. I absolutely love anything with lemon in it, and it was a bright, refreshing treat on a cold winter day. It came together quickly, particularly because I had chicken already boiled from a previous recipe. The blended egg and rice mixture added a nice, creamy texture as well. Will be keeping this in my rotation – it will be great for springtime too.

    • — Sara Neiswanger on January 28, 2021
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  • I had been searching for this soup recipe since having it at a Greek restaurant that I moved away from. Directions are super clear and made making it a breeze! Only thing I changed was I subbed the rice for orzo since that’s what I’m used to having in it. Delicious!

    • — Emira on January 28, 2021
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  • I found this easy to make (thanks to your great instructions!) and it had a nice velvety feel to it

    • — SusanS on January 28, 2021
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  • This is an awesome explanation of getting the eggs into the soup so that they do not curdle. I make it almost weekly in wintertime… YUM!

    • — dianne on January 28, 2021
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  • I made this soup a couple days ago and then cooled and refrigerated it overnight to have it then. It was terrific! Simple and yummy!
    I added an additional box (4 cups) of broth and kept the same number of eggs and lemon but feedback was I should’ve increased the lemons and it was loved as it was anyway. I loved how blending the eggs with the broth gave it such a creamy consistency along with only a small amount of cream.

    • — Amy Morris on January 28, 2021
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  • I had never tried this soup before or even heard of it. But the description made me want to try it and I’m so glad I did! It was comforting, flavorful and hit the right balance for me. The dill was not overpowering and the flavors were light and refreshing. I made no changes to the recipe.

    • — Tracy H. on January 28, 2021
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  • This was a quick, easy and delicious soup! I liked cooking the chicken tenderloins in the broth, very easy. Next time I would shred the chicken a bit more, I think my original idea of “bite sized pieces” were too large. I added some extra lemon juice to my taste. I also ate it the next day as leftovers and thought it was just as good.

    • — Marie on January 28, 2021
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  • The soup turned out really delicious. Super simple

    • — Kasia Engan on January 28, 2021
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  • This was a great recipe from one of my favorite Bloggers. I did use half and half and added a little more lemon juice. Really delish..!

    • — Alan Marshall on January 28, 2021
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  • Very yummy! Thanks for making it so easy.

    • — sharon f. kline on January 28, 2021
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  • As usual, Jenn comes through with precise easy to follow instructions! This one had a few steps but well worth the effort. The amount of chicken makes it a complete meal. I substituted plain non fat yogurt for the cream (not greek) with good results – gave it that creaminess without the calories and cholesterol for my husband who is on a heart healthy diet. Thanks for being my “go to” resource for wonderful foolproof recipes.

    • — Sandy Honeyman on January 28, 2021
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  • This is just the best chicken soup. It is great on a cold winter night for dinner. It does get thicker when it sits, but then it is more like a stew consistency and we still enjoyed it. I have shared this recipe with some friends and they all think it is terrific.

    • — Sheri McNally on January 28, 2021
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  • My wife and I fixed the Avgolemono Greek chicken and rice soup recently and loved it. We prepare a lot of soups year around and this was a delightful change of pace from the usual melange of meat, veggies, tomato, etc. Add the cream for sure, as it adds a silky texture without making the final product heavy. With Jenn’s caution about the eggs you might feel intimidated to try to make this but don’t. It really is easy to follow her suggestion and the soup is well worth the effort. We noted the pita bread in the photo and added that for a very satisfying meal!

    • — Larry Theis on January 28, 2021
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  • Delicious! I was looking for a winter soup for a cold snowy evening and this was perfect! I also used milk instead of cream and it was a great substitute since there are so many other rich flavors. While I don’t always love dill, it doesn’t overpower and is completely balanced with the lemon. I’ll make this again (and again).

    • — Leslie M on January 28, 2021
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  • I was delighted to see this recipe in my inbox; I used to make a variation of this recipe years ago, when my kids were younger, but they weren’t keen on the lemon/egg flavours. My son loved the idea of the extra protein with the addition of chicken pieces, so I decided to try your version….it was a hit with everyone, and my family declared it “ a keeper”! I have been attempting a new recipe every couple of weeks to keep my sanity during these times. Will definitely make this again. I did omit the cream, and doubled the lemon. The blender method for adding eggs and rice was awesome. Thanks, Jen.

    • — Ella on January 28, 2021
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