Thanksgiving is one of my favorite days of the year, but the day after Thanksgiving? That’s when the real creativity comes out. This year, I’ve been thinking about a new spin on turkey soup. My boyfriend, Charles Bililies, just added avgolemono -- the classic Greek egg-lemon soup with chicken and rice -- to the menu at his San Francisco restaurant Souvla, and I was struck that it would be such a comforting, homey dish for post-Thanksgiving. The bright zip of lemon and silky texture are just the right antidotes to chilly winter weather.
Making turkey stock the morning after Thanksgiving is a great way to get the most out of leftover bits from the day before: First, caramelize vegetable scraps in a deep pot, and then let them simmer alongside the turkey carcass, a big bundle of fresh herbs, and a few quarts of water for a couple of hours.
The key to making avgolemono is the slow tempering of the eggs, one ladleful of hot broth at a time, so that you don’t scramble the eggs or break the emulsion. Once the eggs and stock are combined, you’re ready to go. You’ll get a beautifully thick and heart-warming soup that is certain to be one of your new go-to comfort recipes. There's good reason why it's known to many as "Greek penicillin".
This is a big recipe for a rich soup: It will make at least a dozen full meals, or twice as many as an appetizer when paired with a simple salad. Charles likes to serve it with triangles of toasted pita or a big crusty piece of bread to soak up all the delicious broth at the bottom of the bowl.
Adapted slightly from Souvla restaurant
Makes 12 (or more) servings
6 quarts chicken or turkey stock
2 cups lemon juice
2 cups cooked white rice
4 cups cooked chicken or turkey, pulled from the bone in nice, big pieces
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
Olive oil for serving
Parsley for serving