One of my favorite soups is Avgolemono, a Greek egg lemon orzo soup. It is light tasting, gets raves and made with only four ingredients. It literally couldn’t be easier to make.
So when I was on the hunt for a healthier, lighter chicken dish with tons of flavor, obviously the gears started spinning in my head and the answer was right in front of my silly face. I would turn this magnificent soup into a delightful sauce for the perfect chicken dish – done so simply in the Instant Pot!
And get ready, folks because if you love lemons and chicken and orzo, this one is a masterpiece.
Here’s How I Made It! (scroll to the bottom for the fully-written recipe):
Take some flour along with a few sprinkles of salt, pepper and garlic powder and mix ’em together in a bowl.
Then, take some chicken cutlets and dredge (coat) them in the flour mixture on all sides.
When done, set aside on a plate.
Now, go to the Instant Pot, add in some butter and olive oil and give it some heat.
Once the butter’s melted and the oil’s heated, in batches, add in the chicken and sear on each side for about a minute or so until lightly browned.
Repeat until all cutlets have been seared and the end result looks like this. Set aside on a plate for the time being.
Now, add in a little more butter…
…add in some shallots…
…and deglaze the bottom of the pot from any flour that may have been caked-on while browning the chicken.
Then, pour in some broth…
…and add the chicken back into the pot.
Pour in the orzo (a rice-shaped pasta)…
…and then smooth it out so that it’s submerged in the broth around the chicken.
Lastly, add some baby spinach (if you feel like it), secure the lid and cook at high pressure.
While the chicken’s cooking, crack and egg into a little bowl or measuring cup…
…and add in some lemon juice.
Mix together until well combined (and don’t mind my messy self)
Once the chicken’s done, use some tongs to remove it from the pot…
…to a serving plate. It’s fine if some spinach clings onto the chicken while transferring. Just make sure to leave the broth and most of the orzo in the pot
Now, pour in the egg mixture while constantly stirring. The sauce will thicken perfectly.
If you wish to add some Parmesan, now’s the time to do it!
And look at that. The most luscious lemony, parmesan-y, orzo-y sauce ever!
Drape it all over the chicken and serve.
Try it out…
…and kiss the fingers.
A simple, light, lemony masterpiece indeed.
- 2 pounds of boneless/skinless chicken breasts, sliced about 1/4″ thick into cutlets
- 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour (with a few pinches of garlic powder, black pepper and kosher salt mixed in), for dredging
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons salted butter, divided
- 2 shallots or 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 1 3/4 cups chicken broth (1 3/4 cups water + 2 tsp of Chicken Better Than Bouillon)
- 1/3 cup orzo (rice-shaped pasta)
- 1 egg
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 5 ounces baby spinach (optional)
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional, but suggested)
- Dredge the chicken cutlets in the flour mixture so they’re fully coated and set aside on a plate.
- Add the olive oil and 1 tbsp of butter to the Instant Pot and hit Sauté and Adjust to the More or High setting. Allow to heat for 3 minutes and until the butter’s melted.
- Add the chicken to the pot in batches and lightly brown for about 60-90 seconds on each side. Remove with tongs, set aside on a plate and repeat until all chicken is lightly browned.
- Melt the other 1 tbsp of butter in the pot. Add the shallots and sauté for another 2 minutes. Deglaze (scrape) the bottom of the pot from any flour that may have been caked-on from browning the chicken.
- Add the broth to the pot along with the chicken and orzo. Smooth the orzo out so it’s submerged in the broth and around the chicken. Top with the spinach (if using) but DO NOT STIR. Just let it rest on top of everything else.
- Secure the lid, hit Keep Warm/Cancel and then hit Manual or Pressure Cook at High Pressure for 6 minutes. Quick release when done.
- Remove the chicken with tongs to a serving dish (it’s fine if a lot of the spinach gets transferred with the chicken, but leave the liquid and orzo in the pot).
- Add the egg and the lemon juice in a measuring cup or bowl and whisk together. Pour it into the sauce in the pot while stirring. You’ll see it thicken up perfectly with a few egg ribbons forming. If you’re using the Parmesan, stir it in now too.
- Spoon the sauce over the chicken and enjoy with a side of your choice! (My Mashed Potatoes are a great fit here!)
I think the orzo ratio to the sauce is perfect as is (remember – the chicken and sauce are the stars of the dish, not the orzo) But if you want more orzo, add up to 1 cup total. Just make sure you add 1 3/4 cups broth per 1/3 cup of orzo (so 3 1/2 cups of broth for 2/3 cups orzo and 5 1/4 cups broth for 1 cup of orzo). And that also means to add the juice of another lemon + 1 more egg per additional 1/3 cup of orzo + 1 3/4 cup broth to balance the consistency and flavors out. If adding Parmesan and/or spinach, up that accordingly as well (or to taste).