Sunday, January 19, 2014

Matzo Ball Soup

It's cold season in more ways than one. And one of the best cures for the cold is chicken noodle soup, or some version thereof. I still have yet to get my hands on my Grandma's chicken noodle soup recipe, but in the meantime, I came across a close comp - Bubbe's Famous Matzoh Ball Soup

1 store-bought Rotisserie Chicken
16 cups of water
6 carrots, washed and peeled
6 stalks of celery, washed
1 onion, peeled
3 parsnips, washed and peeled
1 Bay leaf
2 Tablespoons of Salt
1 cup Matzo Meal
3 eggs
3 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
1/4 teaspoon of pepper

Important - cook and prep time will make this just shy of a 6-hour process, but it is so well worth it! Plus, most of that time is just letting the liquid do its own thing, so find a good movie to hunker down on the couch in between steps.

Separate the chicken meat (white and dark) from the bones and skin. Place the meat on a plate and put the bones and skin into a large dutch oven or soup pot.

Pour 16 cups of water into the pot. While it may seem like a lot of fluid, the liquid will evaporate throughout the boiling process, so go with it.

Cut up 3 of the carrots, 3 stalks of celery and the onion. Size and shape doesn't matter, this is just for flavor and the vegetables will be discarded after the stock is formed. Add the veggies to the pot of liquid. Add the Bay leaf to the pot and 1 Tablespoon of Salt.

Bring the liquid to a boil, cover and simmer for 1 hour. Then uncover and continue to simmer for 2 hours.

Place a similar size pot in the sink (pay attention, you're not straining pasta, the liquid is the star here) and top with a colander. Pour the stock into the colander to strain the bones, skin, and vegetables. Discard the solids and put the chicken stock back into the original dutch oven or soup pot.

Set aside 1/2 cup of chicken stock to cool in a medium sized bowl, or even cool the stock in the refrigerator (this is important so as not to prematurely cook your eggs).  Then add 3 eggs and whisk together.

Add 1 cup  of Matzo Meal, 3 Tablespoons of Olive Oil, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Blend together (ideally using your hands, or use a fork). Let cool in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Bring the stock back to a boil on the stove. Take the Matzo mixture out of the refrigerator and shape into medium sized balls. Note: The balls will slightly increase as they cook in the soup.

Once stock is boiling, add the Matzo balls, reduce to a simmer, and cover for 10 minutes.

Cut 3 carrots, 3 parsnips, and 3 celery stalks into rounds or half moon shapes. Add the veggies to the pot and simmer for another 30 minutes. 

Add the chicken to warm, the remaining salt to taste, and serve it on up! 

This recipe, slightly tweaked, is courtesy of What Jew Wanna Eat, a great blog by Amy Kritzer.