Matzo Ball Soup

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(Original Post Date:  December 11, 2010)

Once in awhile, I will have a craving for the Matzo Ball Soup from Brent’s Jewish Deli.  Their matzo balls are light and fluffy – and so good!  (Plus, they serve the soup with this wonderful cheese bread and pickles!)  The problem is that I don’t live anywhere near Brent’s anymore!  Sigh.

To satisfy my craving (since there is no way I can get a certain husband of mine to drive me 2.5+ hours to Brent’s) is to make my own Matzo Ball soup.  After several unsuccessful attempts, I think I have finally stumbled upon the perfect recipe and technique.  Make the broth the night before and refrigerate to make it easier to separate the chicken fat (schmaltz) from the broth.

Soup:

  • Backs and wings of 2 chickens
  • 1 c. baby carrots
  • 1 rib celery
  • 1 onion

Matzo balls:

  • 1 c. matzo meal (or 4 matzo)
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 T. chicken fat (schmaltz)
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt.
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 4 T. chicken broth

1.  The night before you plan to make your matzo balls, make the chicken stock.  Boil the backs and wings of 2 chickens (save the breasts, thighs, and drumsticks for another use) with several quarts of water in a large stock pot for 2 hours. Strain the stock and refrigerate overnight.  Pick over the bones when cool, and remove any chunks of meat.  Save the meat for the soup, and throw away the bones and skins.

2.  The next day, you will have a congealed mass of chicken “jello”, with a yellow layer of chicken fat on the top.  Immediately after removing from the refrigerator, remove the chicken fat and set aside.

3.  Chop the celery, onion, and carrots.  Bring them to a simmer in the chicken stock.  10 minutes before serving the chicken soup, add the reserved chicken meat.

4.  Meanwhile, bring another pot of water to a boil, and add 2 tsp. salt.  Pulverize 4 matzo crackers in a food processor until you have coarse crumbs.

5.  Mix the matzo meal, eggs, chicken fat, chicken broth, and seasonings.

6.  The mixture will be soft and gooey.  Refrigerate for 20 minutes, or until stiffer in texture.

7.  With wet hands, loosely form 1 inch balls.

8.  Place the matzo balls into the salted boiling water.  Reduce the heat and gently simmer for 30 minutes.

9.  Remove the matzo balls with a slotted spoon into a soup bowl.  Ladle the chicken soup over the top and sprinkle with parsley.  Makes about 16 matzo balls.

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