By Kelly Michelakis
Kelly founded The Hellenic Odyssey out of a passion for food and a love for travel. A passionate home cook with Cretan heritage, Kelly hosts culinary travel tours to Crete and conducts Greek cooking classes and walking food tours in Melbourne. Always ambitious and a dreamer that believes all things are possible with enough time, effort and a little luck from the universe. Lover of desserts. Could talk about food and travel all day. Ideal place of residence would be any Greek Island, sipping on a frappe by the beach, eating fresh fruit and yoghurt from now until the rest of her life.
Dressed in our warmest clothes, we stand outside the church, with a candle in hand, waiting patiently for the holy light to arrive￼. Once the flame has been received we pass it from person to person, followed by a collective song, Christos Anesti, Christ has risen. We embrace one another and head to the family home for a midnight feast.
The table is already set with a generous spread of red eggs, koulourakia and kalitsounia. We warm up the magiritsa, (enjoyed more so by the elders) and the chicken avgolemono soup for the rest of us. After sharing a meal, the feast ends with the cracking of the eggs, warm tea with honey and a slice of soft tsoureki.
As our grandparents are getting older or are no longer with us, it’s so important to honour these family traditions and keep their legacy alive. I feel privileged sharing the recipes of my grandmother. It’s the most beautiful way to keep her in my memory and in my heart.
The Greek Easter feast for me symbolises family connection￼ through the sharing of food.
In this recipe I’ve used Salt Odyssey's Fleur De Sel fine sea salt available through Grecian Purveyor's gourmet online store, and created this nutritious and delicious comforting avgolemono chicken soup to share with you all this Easter!
Chicken Avgolemono Soup
1 whole chicken cut into 8 pieces
1/2 cup rice
Salt and pepper - Salt Odyssey's Fleur De Sel fine sea salt
1 lemon juiced
Wash the chicken pieces and place in a large pot with enough cold water to cover and season with salt and pepper. Place on high heat, put the lid on and bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer on low for about 1 hour. The chicken is ready when the meat falls off the bone. While the chicken is boiling, remove any foam that rises to the surface with a slotted spoon.
Once the chicken is ready, remove it from the pot and strain the broth. Place the hot broth back into the pot, add the rice and season with a little salt if necessary. Cook for 12 minutes and then take off the heat.
When the chicken is cool enough to handle, pull the meat from the bone, discard the skin and shred.
To prepare the avgolemono (egg lemon sauce), break the eggs into a bowl and whisk lightly until they start to foam up then add the lemon juice and whisk again.
Take a ladle of the warm broth and slowly pour into the egg mix, bit by bit and whisk quickly. Add one more ladle and whisk again. Pour the egg mixture back into the pot, whilst constantly stirring.
Place a few ladles of soup into each bowl, top with some of the shredded chicken and sprinkle with freshly ground pepper and more lemon if desired.
Planning a trip to Greece, looking to learn how to cook authentic Greek dishes or would love to try more of Kelly's dishes, if you answered yes to any of the above, head to The Hellenic Odyssey website to find out more: https://www.thehellenicodyssey.com