Chicken Soup With Matzo Balls

Prep Time: 4 Hours

Yields: 6 Servings


I first discovered this recipe in "Celebration: The Book of Jewish Festivals" sent to me by my good friend Malcolm Taub of New York. Malcolm thought I should familiarize myself with the foods and traditions of cultures other than those of Cajun and Creole origin...and you know what, I think he was right.

Ingredients for Chicken Soup:

1 (4–5 pound) chicken, cleaned

1 gallon cold water

3 carrots, sliced

4 celery stalks, sliced

2 onions, peeled and quartered

2 cloves garlic, sliced

10 peppercorns

1 bay leaf

salt and cracked black pepper to taste

6 sprigs fresh dill

Method for Chicken Soup:

Rinse chicken under cold running water. Drain well. Cut into quarters and place in a stockpot. Add all ingredients except salt, pepper and dill. Simmer 2 hours, skimming surface occasionally to remove impurities. Strain soup and cool. Remove chicken and set aside for later use. Refrigerate stock until fat rises to top and can be separated from liquid, preferably overnight. Reserve 3 tablespoons of chicken fat for matzo balls. Once matzo balls are made, bring stock to a simmer. Add matzo balls and cook 30 minutes. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper if necessary. To serve, ladle an equal amount of soup and poached chicken meat along with 1 matzo ball into each soup bowl and garnish with a sprig of fresh dill. If you prefer not to serve the chicken in soup, consider using it in a chicken salad.

Ingredients for Matzo Balls:

¾ cup matzo meal

3 eggs, separated

3 tbsps reserved chicken fat

½ tsp salt

3 tbsps hot water or chicken stock

Method for Matzo Balls:

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk yolks until light and thick. Add reserved chicken fat along with salt and chicken stock. Blend well. In a separate bowl, whisk egg whites until stiff, but not too dry. Gently fold egg whites into egg yolk mixture. Once blended, fold in matzo meal with a rubber spatula. Refrigerate 1 hour or until batter is stiff enough to form balls. Remove a portion of matzo mix and roll into golf ball-sized portions.