Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Chicken Soup with Matzo Balls from Scratch

I am tempted to say, "'nuf said." It is the first time I have ever, ever done this. When I tell you it took me many, many a month, will that make it sound more or less intimidating? In my brain, less. Anyone who does this over the course of merely a day or two has my undying admiration. Presenting the Noshing Timeline:

Ages Back
Made stock with my brother. We clarified and reduced some of the brown stock down, so that it needed to be blended with another liquid in order to be eaten, while adding complexity of flavor. Froze it in my deep freeze.

Made stock from the Turkey carcass and left over veg. Stored it in 1 qt plastic bags in deep freeze. Also, purchased WAY too much matzo meal in bulk, with the philosophy that the stuff never goes bad.

Over the Summer
Purchased Chickens that Ran Around and Happily Ate Bugs from Kristy's Barn. Ate some of them, froze the others whole.

Throughout the Fall
Accquired a variety of root veg from Denison Farms

Monday Night
Made a full bag of Frozen Peas for dinner. Aside from Dina, who ate them by the handful, most went uneaten. Placed in container in Fridge.

Tried Shop Rite for the first time (post to follow soon). Purchased baby portabellos in bulk, along with celery.

Roasted the chicken according to Suzi Goldman's fail safe method, substituting a light beer for sherry. Set in the fridge too cool overnight, in the hopes of usable schmaltz.

1. Chopped 1 large onion, 6-7 carrots, 5 stalks celery, 1-2 lbs mushrooms and set them sauteing in my soup pot with a good grind of salt.

2. Meanwhile - set to defrosting all broth/stock in a 2nd large soup pot (Total of about 4 quarts).

3. Took the meat off of the chicken, setting aside the meat in a bowl that traveled back to the refrigerator, the bones in a bowl on the counter, and the skin into a small skillet. Set the skillet on medium low heat.

4. When the stock was at a boil, and the veggies were softened, I deglazed the pan with the stock. I then added 2 bay leaves, a good tsp of whole black pepper corns and the bones from the roast chicken. I turned the heat down to a simmer, covered and let set cooking.

5. Meanwhile, allow the skin to cook like you would allow bacon to cook (Wrong crowd, I know). You are making gribenes. You are rendering out all the fat so that it can go into your matzo balls. Speaking of which:

6. Set that now empty pot where your broth was cooking full of PLAIN water. Let it gradually come up to a boil. You've got time, because:

7. You're going to make your matzo balls. Follow the recipe on the back of the Streits Box. Use your freshly made shmaltz, add an extra egg, a good tsp of nutmeg and a good tsp of ground ginger. Follow the directions and cook them in the boiling water NOT your soup. Handle them gently, like poached eggs, if you want floaters. Mash them together if you want sinkers. Let them cook until they're the same color the whole way through when cut open.

8. You're now ready to serve your soup. Add some chicken and some green peas to the bottom of a bowl. Add a few matzo balls. Pour your soup and veg over the top. Serve with a pinch of fresh parsley. Purrrrrrr. Share and enjoy.


  1. הרב נתן מאירNovember 3, 2011 at 3:24 PM

    You worked too hard at this. Consult with EEEMA, who tosses off a chicken soup with kneidlach (she'd never call them "matza balls") at least monthly without a thought.
    She probably has written out recipe, becuase kids ahve asked for it.

  2. I blame my yekke background. But, as they say, the proof is in the pudding, and mine tasted goooood.

  3. Flanken, check! We used roasted beef marrow bones and short ribs in the brown stock reduction. It really does add complexity to the flavor.