You will need
1 1/3 cup Matzo Meal
4 Large Carrots
4 Celery Stalks
1 Large Onion
5 Cloves of Garlic
1 small can of Stewed Tomatoes
1/3 cup schmaltz (rendered chicken fat)
1 tbsp baking powder
Whole Pepper Corns
Salt and Pepper
3.5-4lb Whole Kosher Chicken
Cheesecloth or Canvas Spice Bag
~Roughly cut the vegetables into large chunks and set aside
~Rinse Chicken and place in Large stock pot. Add Chopped Vegetables to the pot and fill with cold water until the chicken is covered. Cutting off a small handful of dill, 4 sprigs of rosemary, and a handful of parsley add the herbs to the cloth bag and tie tightly. Place the bag in the water using a spoon to push it down into the water, rather than floating on top.
~Over medium-high heat bring to a rolling bowl to make stock (approximately 2 hours)
~Around hour 1 open the pot to check the chicken. If you’ve got schmaltz (this is Grandma Valerie’s method) you know it’s time to start making your matzo balls. Schmaltz is the rendered chicken fat that appears at the top of the boiling water.
~To make your Matzo Balls crack the eggs in a medium bowl and beat well. Beat in schmaltz and 1/4 teaspoon of salt and ground pepper along with the baking powder. Fold in the Matzo Meal and stir well until well blended. Cover with Plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes (Thanks 2nd Ave Deli and Grandma Valerie!)
~At 2 Hours your chicken should be cooked through. Using a colander carefully pour the stock into another large stock pot so that the chicken, herbs, and veggies are contained and the stock is reserved in the clean pot. Taste the stock and adjust the seasoning and bring the stock to a simmer over medium-low heat. You may notice there is still schmaltz in the stock, skim off the fat and keep stock at a low simmer.
~Break off approximately 5-8 whole parsley leaves and set aside near a working surface. Remove the matzo meal from the refrigerator and wet your hands. Using a small ice cream scooper or tea spoon spoon matzo meal into one hand sort of flat and place a parsley leave in the middle. Form the meal into a ball approximately 1 inch in diameter. Don’t worry if they’re a little large but know they will double in size when they cook. Continue forming balls with the parsley center until you’ve used all of the meal.
My matzo balls with the parsely center
~Carefully drop the matzo balls into the simmering stock and bring heat to medium. Cover the pot. Simmer matzo balls for 25 minutes. The Parsley Center adds a little extra to the Matzo Balls, thanks to Mirs’ Grandmother Valerie for that addition to the recipe.
The Jury is still out on what goes in Matzo Ball Soup. For me personally, I like to break off pieces of the chicken and chop up the carrots and celery to add to the stock and matzo balls. Other just like the Matzo balls with stock, still others like small pasta with the Matzo Balls and stock. Whichever way you like it, do it! Just enjoy!
**You can make this recipe vegetarian by making a vegetable stock. If I were making vegetable stock I would double the garlic, carrots and celery. Add 3-4 onions, and for fun possibly radishes, leeks, or parsnips. Doublee the herbs as well to get a great flavor. Instead of schmaltz use Seltzer for the matzo balls.