Romanian Chicken a la Grec Soup Recipe – Ciorba de Pui A la Grec

A blue bowl filled a yellow to white coloured soup in which you can see chopped dill and carrots. The bowl sits on a yellow tea towel and has a wooden spoon on one side

Chicken a la Grec Soup is a traditional Romanian ciorba, delicious and perfect to warm you up on a cold winter’s day. This recipe is very easy to make, ready in just a little over half an hour. It combines the tender chicken and vegetables with the slight sourness from the lemon, eggs and sour cream dressing. The texture of this soup is very creamy, and it has a delicate sour taste compared to other Romanian ciorba because it is dressed with lemon instead of bors.

Chicken a la Grec Soup recipe is a classic in Romanian cuisine, and it is inspired from the Greek “avgolemono”, which was usually made with lamb meat. This is where the name of the soup comes from as well, as “a la Grec” translates as “Greek style”.

Ingredients for this Romanian Chicken a la Grec Soup

Some of the ingredients for this soup arranged on a kitchen work top. There is a pack of chicken wings, 2 lemons, a pack of eggs, a celery and a container of sour cream

You don’t need many ingredients to make this tasty Chicken a la Grec Soup. You can use any part of the chicken that has bones, just not breast as it dries very quickly and it’s not suitable for this recipe. If you buy a whole chicken, use the back, the wings, and the legs.

When it comes to what vegetables you can use to make this soup, I like to use onions, carrots, and celery. You can also add other root vegetables such as parsnips or turnips, but I am not a fan of them so I leave them out.

This is a dressed soup, so you will also need egg yolks, sour cream and lemon juice. When it comes to the herbs in this soup, I think dill works the best, but you can also use parsley if you prefer the taste.

How to Make the Romanian Chicken a la Grec Soup

Two carrots on a chopping board, next to a purple bowl with cut celery inside it.

Making the Romanian Chicken a la Grec Soup is pretty straightforward. Firstly, you have to make the stock by boiling the meat in a pot of water. I used 1.5 liters of water for 500 grams of chicken. Once the water starts boiling, you will notice that a foam is forming on the top. Carefully scoop away the foam, so that the soup is clear and not cloudy when it’s finished.

Once the soup stops foaming, it’s time to add the vegetables to the pot. Let them boil for 15 minutes, until cooked through. Meanwhile, make the dressing for the soup by mixing the sour cream with two egg yolks, and then adding the fresh lemon juice.

Then, after 15 minutes have passed, remove the meat out and carefully remove the bones.

Dressing the soup is the most important step of making this chicken a la Grec soup. You can’t just pour it into the boiling soup, as it will split. Make sure you are using a big enough bowl. Turn the heat off and let the soup cool down for 5 minutes. Then, take a ladle of soup and pour it over the sour cream mix, whilst mixing continuously, as it cools it down. Repeat the same process 5 or 6 times, until the sour cream liquid comes to the same temperature as the soup. Then you can pour into the soup.  

Decorate with chopped parsley or dill, and serve hot.

Recipe Notes and Tips

A white bowl with pink dots with sour cream inside. Next to the bowl there is a ceramic bowl with two egg yolks, and a lemon cut in half
  • It isn’t imperative to debone the chicken meat after it’s cooked, but it does makes it easier to eat once you serve the soup.
  • Make sure you temper the dressing by adding hot liquid, ladle by ladle, whilst you mix it fast with a whisk. Because the dressing contains eggs, you don’t want to cook them and end up with scrambled eggs instead of a creamy, delicious soup.
  • This soup needs to be eaten within 2 days to be at its best, so cook it on the day you want to eat it. 
A blue bowl filled a yellow to white coloured soup in which you can see chopped dill and carrots. The bowl sits on a yellow tea towel and has a wooden spoon on one side

Romanian Chicken a la Grec Recipe

A delicious Romanian sour chicken soup, dressed with sour cream, eggs and lemon which makes is very cream. This Romanian ciorba is a must try
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Soup
Cuisine Romanian
Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

  • 500 gr chicken with bones
  • 1 onion
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 2 celery sticks
  • 50 gr rice
  • 150 gr sour cream At least 18% fat
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 juice from one lemon
  • dill or parsley to taste

Instructions
 

  • Place the chicken in a pot with 1.5 liters of water and bring to boil.
  • Once the water starts boiling, you will notice a foam forming on top. Carefully remove.
  • When the foam doesn’t form anymore, add the onion, carrots and celery in the soup. Meanwhile, wash the rice and let it soak.
  • After 15 minutes, add the rice and take the chicken out to debone the meat. Shred the meat and put it back in the soup. Add salt to taste. Turn the heat off and let it cool for 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, mix the sour cream with the egg yolks and the lemon juice in a big bowl.
  • After the five minutes have passed, take a ladle of soup and pour it over, whilst whisking the liquid fast. Repeat until the sour cream mixture comes at the same temperature as the soup. Then pour the sour cream mixture over the soup.
  • Taste to make sure it’s sour enough for you. If it’s not, add some more lemon juice.
  • Add chopped dill or parsley and serve hot.

FAQ

A blue bowl of soup, on a grey tea towel. Behind the bowl there is the soup pot, on a wooden board. You can see shredded chicken, carrot pieces and chopped dill inside the yellow-whiteish soup

Can you make the Romanian Chicken a la Grec Soup in advance?

I would recommend making the chicken a la Grec soup on the day you want to eat it. Because it contains eggs, it doesn’t last for a long time in the fridge.

How do you store Romanian Chicken a la Grec Soup?  

You can store the Romanian Chicken a la Grec soup for a maximum of 3 days in the fridge. Transfer it to a Tupperware container and store it in the fridge, sealed with a lid.

How to reheat the Romanian Chicken a la Grec Soup?

Reheating the chicken a la Grec Soup is a bit tricky. Don’t put the soup in the microwave, as it will split. Heat it in a small pot, on the stove, over a low heat stirring continuously, and don’t let it boil, this will prevent the soup from splitting.

For more traditional Romanian soups check out the below:

How to Make Romanian Chicken Noodle Soup

How to Make Romanian Meatball Soup

How to Make Romanian Easter Lamb Soup

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