Matzo Ball Soup requires great chicken soup and a perfect matzo ball. However that is determined by whoever is eating the matzo ball!
5 garlic cloves
2 quartered onions
3 ribs of celery (cut into 4–5 pieces)
2 peeled parsnips (cut into 4 pieces)
1/2 of a celeriac (peeled and quartered)
1 peeled rutabaga
1 leek (washed and cut into 4–5 pieces)
1 package dill
1/2 bunch parsley
3 carrots (peeled and cut into 4–5 pieces)
1 5 lb chicken approximately, cleaned and I cut out the backbone so that it fits in the pot better, but this isn’t necessary)
5 quarts of water
8 c plus 1T chicken broth (to cook matzoh balls in)
1 1/4 c matzoh meal
5 large eggs
1 1/4 t salt
1 T vodka
2 T club soda
1/4 c vegetable oil or schmaltz (chicken fat)
1/t t ground pepper
1/2 t garlic powder
1/2 t dill
1 T finely chopped parsley
Matzo Ball Chicken Soup
Place all vegetables in a big soup pot. Place chicken on top of the vegetables and herbs. Save the carrots until the end. Cover with about 5 quarts of water and add the peppercorns. Bring to a boil on medium heat, while covered. When water is boiling, skim the foam. Reduce heat to medium low and cover again.
After soup has been simmering for about 2 1/2 hours, add the carrots. You want this to simmer very slowly for about 3 hours. (The slower you simmer, the more clear the broth.) Strain chicken broth into another pot or container. (I use the chicken meat in chicken salad or add it back to the soup or if I’m feeling generous, I feed it to Freddie.) Save the carrots for garnish. Discard the other vegetables and bones from the chicken.
Chill the broth overnight. This allows the fat in the soup to rise to the top. In the morning, scrape the fat from the soup and now your soup is ready to be heated and eaten! I use the chicken fat to make matzo balls, but you can use it for anything that requires oil to fry in. This is called schmaltz and it gives great flavor to any food.
Combine matzo meal and eggs. Mix well. Add rest of the ingredients and 1 T chicken broth. Mix well again and put in freezer for 45 minutes. Use two tablespoons to form matzoh balls that are about two inches in diameter.
When you are ready to cook them, place them into simmering broth that is hot, but not yet boiling. Cover the pot and cook them for 40-60 minutes COVERED. Check to see if they are cooked through. By slicing a matzo ball in half you will see if there is still uncooked dough on the inside. I like them a little bit this way but if you prefer floaters you won’t want to see any uncooked dough!
From: The New York Times Passover cookbook
Makes: About 12-18 matzoh balls
Time to Make: About 15 minutes to make the mixture. About 40-60 minutes to cook
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