About the Recipe
Great-Grandma Myra's matzo ball soup is sure to warm your tummy...and your heart! While schmaltz is the key to the most-chickeny of dishes, feel free to swap out for oil or another kind of fat.
for the soup:
2 ea carrots
3 ea celery ribs
1 ea whole chicken, with giblets, approx 2-3 lbs
1 lb chicken wings or parts*
2 Tbs kosher salt
½ tsp found pepper
for the matzo balls:
4 ea eggs
¼ c schmaltz, melted*
¼ c seltzer
1 tsp +1½ Tbs kosher salt
1 c matzo meal
1 lb thin egg noodles
tt chopped dill
Start the soup! Peel the carrots and cut in half crosswise. Trim the root of the celery and cut into thirds lengthwise. Add both to a large pot.
Remove the giblets from the chicken (if they are in a bag, take them out), and add both the chicken and giblets to the pot with the veggies.
Use a sharp knife to crack through the bones of the wings, then add them to the pot.
Season with salt and pepper, then add enough cold water to cover the chicken. Bring to a boil, then cover and lower the temp to a simmer. About 10 minutes in, uncover, and skim the foam off the top of the soup. Cover again, and cook another 20 minutes, then remove the carrots and celery and set them aside in a bowl in the fridge. Place the lid back on and simmer another hour.
While the soup is cooking, make the matzo balls. Crack the eggs into a large bowl, and whisk them together. Pour in the schmaltz and seltzer, and whisk just until combined. Season with the teaspoon of salt and gently whisk in. Add the matzo meal, and switch to a spatula to mix. Cover with cling film, and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
After the matzo mix has rested, remove from the fridge and prep a small bowl of water. Bring a large saute pan or another large pot of water to a boil with the remaining salt.
Dip your hands into the water to wet them thoroughly, then scoop a bit of the matzo mix out and roll into a golf ball sized ball. Place on a plate, and repeat, wetting your hands between each ball so they don’t stick.
Carefully drop the matzo balls into the boiling water, then cover and drop to a simmer. Cook the matzo balls for about 45 minutes until cooked all the way through.
About 15 minutes before the matzo balls are done, strain the soup. Use tongs and a large spoon or strainer to remove the chicken and placed into a large bowl, then use a strainer to scoop out the rest of the chicken parts.
Bring the chicken soup back up to a boil, and cook the egg noodles according to package instructions.
Retrieve the carrot and celery from the fridge, and dice into rough chunks. Add back into the noodle soup.
To serve, place one or two matzo balls in a bowl, and cover with noodle soup and lots of the diced veggies. If you’re like Taccara, finish with chopped dill!
If you can find them, you can also use chicken feet in place of the chicken wings for an extra flavorful soup!
If you can’t find schmaltz, try making it! Or, use a neutral oil like canola or vegetable.
If your matzo balls finish ahead of your soup, keep them warm in the pot by uncovering and keeping the heat low, so they don’t overcook.