Skip to Content

Homemade Chicken Soup – Chikhirtma

Cozy up with a piping hot bowl of our homemade chicken soup called chikhirtma, a Georgian chicken soup. Tart lemon, tangy dill, and creamy egg yolks create a velvety, smooth broth you’ll crave.

A single serving of homemade chicken soup.

WHAT IS CHIKHIRTMA SOUP?

Who doesn’t love a good chicken soup? Whether it’s a crisp, fall evening or you’re experiencing a seasonal cold, having a go-to chicken soup is critical. If I had to choose one, this homemade chicken soup, chikhirtma, would be mine!

Chikhirtma is a traditional Georgian chicken soup known for its rich chicken broth, thickened and flavored with tempered eggs. While each family recipe is a little different, the base remains the same, homemade chicken broth, tempered eggs, lemon, and bright herbs like cilantro. Like many recipes from Georgia (Georgia, the country, not the state), this famous chicken soup takes the most simple ingredients and transforms them into a complex and beautiful soup.

WHERE DOES CHIKHIRTMA ORIGINATE FROM?

The origins of chikhirtma are unclear (though most attribute it to the Persian empire). Now, the soup is prepared it homes all over Georgia as a light lunch with homemade bread and as a flu remedy, chikhirtma is known mostly for being a “hangover cure.”

WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE THIS RECIPE

  • Chicken Broth: I prepare homemade chicken broth using a broken-down whole chicken. Dill and cilantro stems add tartness and the garlic and onion round out the broth. It would be complete without spices like peppercorns, coriander, cinnamon sticks, cinnamon, red pepper flakes, and bay leaves.
  • Garlic: A whole garlic head cooks in the broth, and it becomes a flavor bomb for the homemade chicken soup.
  • Butter: A stick of butter may seem excessive, but it provides richness, and is a necessary ingredient for the roux.
  • Carrots: Carrots add bulk and a beautiful pop of color.
  • Flour: Create a blonde roux using flour.
  • Soy Sauce: Cut some of the acidity with umami-rich soy sauce.
  • Egg Yolks: Egg yolks thicken the soup and compliments the tartness of ingredients, like lemon and dill.
  • Lemon Juice: Fresh lemon juice lends a tangy traditional Georgian flavor.
  • Herbs: Garnish with fresh cilantro and dill.

HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE CHICKEN SOUP

For the Chicken Broth:

dill and cilantro bunches, stems only, for the stew

PREPARE THE HERBS – Tie the stems of the cilantro and dill bundles, and cut off the leaves; reserve ¼ cup each to garnish the soup.

Cut off and discard the top third of a garlic head, leaving the head intact.

chicken broth ingredients for chikhirtma

SIMMER – Add the whole chicken, cilantro stems, dill stems, and garlic head to a dutch oven, along with the remaining broth ingredients. Bring the soup to a boil and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer until chicken is tender, for about 1 hour.

chicken pulled from the broth and set aside for chikhirtma

Remove the lid and scoop up the garlic head; set it aside. Transfer the chicken to a rimmed baking sheet and shred it, discarding the skin, bones, and cartilage. Keep the legs intact if you prefer, but remove the skin.

STRAIN- Use a colander to strain the broth into a mixing bowl. Discard any solids.

PRESS – Squeeze the reserved garlic head into the broth using tongs, and whisk to combine. Set the broth aside.

For the Georgian Chicken Soup:

carrot and onion sauteeing for chikhirtma

SAUTE – In the dutch oven, add butter, carrots, and onions; set over medium heat and cook until the onions become translucent and soften for about 10-12 minutes.

adding the roux to chikhirtma

STIR – Add flour and stir for 5-7 minutes to build a blonde roux, then deglaze with soy sauce.

chicken broth re-added to the chikhirtma

ADD- Add 2 cups of the reserved broth; give it a quick stir, and simmer for 5 minutes.

eggs being tempered for chikhirtma

WHISK – In another mixing bowl, whisk egg yolks together. Continue whisking while slowly adding 2 cups of reserved hot broth.

Then, remove the dutch oven from heat and whisk in lemon juice and the egg mixture. Stir to combine.

chicken shredded and added back to the soup for chikhirtma

COMBINE – Return the chicken along with any accumulated juices to the pan.

tempered eggs added to the soup for chikhirtma

SERVE – Taste and season with salt and pepper. Garnish with fresh cilantro, dill, and red pepper flakes to serve.

SEARCHING FOR MORE LIKE THIS? 

If you love this recipe, we hope you will try one these tasty soups and stews!  

A single serving of homemade chicken soup.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS

  • Fresh Bread
  • Salad
  • Rice
  • Biscuits
  • Saltine Crackers

WHAT TO DO WITH THE LEFTOVERS 

  • FRIDGE – Homemade chicken soup will last in the fridge for 3-4 days.
  • FREEZE – To freeze, allow the dish to cool completely, then add it to a freezer-safe container or bag. The homemade chicken soup will freeze for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to eat, defrost it in the fridge overnight.
  • REHEAT – Warm leftover soup on the stove-top or in the microwave, and enjoy!

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can I make this homemade chicken soup in an Instant Pot?

For the Chicken Broth:

1. Tie the stems of the cilantro and dill bundles, then trim the leaves; reserve ¼ cup of each herb to garnish the soup later.
2. Cut off and discard the top third of the garlic head, leaving the head intact.
3. Add the chicken, cilantro and dill stems, and garlic head to an Instant Pot, along with the remaining broth ingredients. Bring soup to a boil using the saute mode. Secure the lid and set the Instant Pot to manual high pressure for 30 minutes with a natural release.
4. Remove the lid and scoop up the garlic head. Set aside.
5. Transfer the chicken to a rimmed baking sheet to cool. Shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces, discarding the skin, bones, and cartilage. Keep the legs intact if you prefer, but I remove the skin.
6. Strain the broth into a mixing bowl using a colander and discard any solids.
7. Squeeze the garlic head into the broth using tongs, and whisk to combine. Set aside.


For the Georgian Chicken Soup:

1. In the Instant Pot, add butter, carrots, onions, and salt; cook on saute mode until the onions become translucent and soften for about 10-12 minutes.
2. Add flour and cinnamon. Stir for 1-2 minutes to build a roux, and then deglaze with soy sauce.
3. Add two cups of the reserved broth; give it a quick stir and simmer on saute mode for 5 minutes.
4. In another mixing bowl, whisk the yolks together. Continue whisking the yolks while slowly adding the 2 cups of hot broth. Then, unplug the Instant Pot and whisk in the lemon juice and eggs mixture. 5. Stir to combine. Do not simmer once the eggs are added.
6. Add the reserved chicken and any accumulated juices.
7. Taste and season with salt and pepper, and garnish with fresh cilantro, dill, and red pepper flakes to serve.

Can I make chikhirtma without preparing my own chicken stock?

Absolutely, and it will decrease the cooking time too! If you go this route, use store-bought chicken stock to flavor the soup or Chicken Better than Bouillon and water. Since you’re skipping the broth-making process, add the cilantro and dill stems, garlic, onions, and whole spices to the soup while simmering so you don’t miss any of the signature flavors. I suggest putting them in a spice ball to avoid straining them later.

For instructions, skip to the- for the homemade chicken soup section. In step 3, cover the pan with a lid and simmer for about 20-30 minutes to develop the flavor and break down the garlic head.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE:

A single serving of homemade chicken soup.

Homemade Chicken Soup – Chikhirtma

Tressa Jamil
Cozy up with a piping hot bowl of our homemade chicken soup called chikhirtma, a Georgian chicken soup. Tart lemon, tangy dill, and creamy egg yolks create a velvety, smooth broth you'll crave.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 20 mins
Total Time 1 hr 50 mins
Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine Georgian
Servings 8 bowls
Calories 348 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
  

For the Chicken Stock:

  • 2½ – 3 poundS whole chicken, bone-in, and skin on
  • 1 bunch cilantro, stems, and ends reserved separately
  • 1 bunch dill, stems, and ends reserved separately
  • 1 garlic head, end removed
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 large white onion, quartered
  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • teaspoon allspice, whole
  • ½ teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 bay leaves

For the Georgian Chicken Soup:

  • 1 stick butter, salted
  • 5 medium carrots, diced
  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 6 egg yolks
  • ½ cup lemon juice, about 2 lemons
  • black pepper, coarse ground, to taste
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • red pepper flakes, to garnish

Instructions
 

For the Chicken Broth:

  • Tie the stems of the cilantro and dill bundles, and cut off the leaves; reserve ¼ cup each to garnish the soup.
  • Cut off and discard the top third of a garlic head, leaving the head intact.
  • Add the whole chicken, cilantro stems, dill stems, and garlic head to a dutch oven, along with the remaining broth ingredients. Bring the soup to a boil and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer until chicken is tender, for about 1 hour.
  • Remove the lid and scoop up the garlic head; set it aside. Transfer the chicken to a rimmed baking sheet and shred it, discarding the skin, bones, and cartilage. Keep the legs intact if you prefer, but remove the skin.
  • Use a colander to strain the broth into a mixing bowl. Discard any solids.
  • Squeeze the reserved garlic head into the broth using tongs, and whisk to combine. Set the broth aside.

For the Georgian Chicken Soup:

  • In the dutch oven, add butter, carrots, and onions; set over medium heat and cook until the onions become translucent and soften for about 10-12 minutes.
  • Add flour and stir for 5-7 minutes to build a blonde roux, then deglaze with soy sauce.
  • Add 2 cups of the reserved broth; give it a quick stir, and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • In another mixing bowl, whisk egg yolks together. Continue whisking while slowly adding 2 cups of reserved hot broth. Then, remove the dutch oven from heat and whisk in lemon juice and the egg mixture. Stir to combine.
    Note: Do not simmer once the eggs have been added. 
  • Return the chicken along with any accumulated juices to the pan.
  • Taste and season with salt and pepper. Garnish with fresh cilantro, dill, and red pepper flakes to serve.

Notes

  • Adapted From: So many of the dinner recipes we make regularly at home come from Milkstreet, including the inspiration for this recipe!
 
  • Lemon Juice: Before squeezing the lemon juice, rub the lemons on the countertop with your palm; this will allow more lemon juice to release. 
 
  • Do Not Simmer After Adding Eggs:  Doing so will cook the eggs further rather than temper them in the broth.
 
  • Nutrition Disclosure: The nutritional information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for professional advice.
 
  • Web Story: Check out our web story for Chikhirtma!

Nutrition

Serving: 1 BowlCalories: 348kcalCarbohydrates: 12gProtein: 20gFat: 25gSodium: 1108mgFiber: 3gSugar: 4g
Keyword chikhirtma, homemade chicken soup
Did you make this recipe? Let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and follow @thejamilghar or tag #thejamilghar on Instagram!
Recipe Rating




Bianca

Saturday 16th of July 2022

Felt a little down the past few days and this soup was the perfect dish to get me back up again! So delicious, just pure comfort food!

Tressa Jamil

Saturday 16th of July 2022

Oh, I feel the same way! I am happy it was able to brighten your day!

Fede

Saturday 16th of July 2022

This soup is a proper comfort food, taste delicious and it is easy to make.

Tressa Jamil

Saturday 16th of July 2022

It's our go-to soup for that reason; I'm so glad you enjoyed it!

Giangi

Friday 15th of July 2022

I love earthy, rich soups, and your recipe is all of that. I will try it this weekend. Thank you for sharing

Tressa Jamil

Friday 15th of July 2022

It's light, tasty, and still so filling. You'll have to let me know what you think once you've made it!