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Which Came First? Chicken and Egg Drop Soup with Rice

Serves 4

Warm your family with this hard to resist chicken egg drop soup with rice.


  • 2 large, bone-in chicken breasts
  • 1 carrot, peeled and quartered
  • 1 onion, peeled and quartered
  • 2 ribs celery with leafy tops, quartered
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 1 cup long grain white rice
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3/4-1 pound farm spinach, stems trimmed and chopped
  • 4 cups chicken stock (32 ounces)
  • 2-3 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup cream or milk
  • A few grates of nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (a couple of handfuls)


  1. Place the chicken in a pot with the root vegetables and season with salt and pepper. Add the lemon slices to the pot, cover with 1 1/2-2 quarts of water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer to poach the chicken until cooked through.
  2. Strain the cooking liquid; let the chicken cool to handle. Remove the skin and chicken bones, then pull the chicken into small pieces or chop and reserve.
  3. In a saucepot, combine 1 cup rice with 1 2/3 cups poaching liquid. Bring to a boil, stir, cover and cook to almost tender, 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and keep covered.
  4. In a soup pot, heat the EVOO over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and stir for a minute, then add the spinach and wilt. Add the remaining poaching liquid, plus the chicken stock. Bring to a boil. Whisk the eggs with cream or milk, salt, pepper, a few grates of nutmeg and the cheese. Drizzle the eggs into the soup with a fork – the eggs will look like puffy, irregular ribbons running through the soup. Fluff the rice with a fork; add the rice and reserved chicken to the soup.