One of my husband’s favorite comfort foods is chicken soup with matzo balls. When we started dating almost 10 years ago I did not have a clue how to make it (poor guy.) Since then I have tried every recipe, asked a million different women how they make chicken soup and have come up with, what I think is the best recipe.
So here goes.
2 roasting chickens ( I prefer pasture raised because they are less fatty. This will save you time later.)
4 carrots (whole, un-peeled)
3 stalks celery leaves included
4 parsnips (whole, un-peeled)
1 onion cut in half (un-peeled)
1 head garlic, cut in half (un-peeled)
1 bunch fresh thyme or 1Tbs dried
1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley
1Tbs whole peppercorns
2Tbs salt (kosher or sea salt not iodized table salt, it makes it too salty.)
In a large stock pot combine all of the ingredients. Break the carrots, celery, and parsnips in half so they will fit in the pot. Don’t peel anything. The skins and peel help to add great flavor to the soup.
Fill the pot up with water so all of the ingredients are covered. Place on the stove and bring to a boil. Once the soup is boiling reduce heat and simmer for an hour. After an hour carefully remove the chickens from the soup and remove the chicken breasts (we don’t want them to get over-cooked.) Place the remaining chicken back into the pot to simmer for an additional 3 hours. Allow the chicken breasts to cool and place in the fridge for use later.
Take the pot off of the heat and let cool for a bit. Place a large bowl in your sink with a colander in the center. Pour your soup into the colander. You should have soup in the bowl and all of the chicken and veggie pieces in the colander. Remove the colander and set aside. Cover the soup and let cool on the counter until the fat rises to the top. Using a skimmer remove the fat from the top of the soup.
|Williams-Sonoma All Clad Skimmer|
I have tried several different methods to remove the fat from soup and this is by far the easiest way to do it (thanks Inga.)
Take your colander of chicken and veggies and save any of the meat and cooked carrots, parsnips that you want. My kids love it, the chicken and veggies are so soft and flavorful.
8 eggs separated
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup chicken stock plus two 32 oz boxes for cooking.
1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley chopped
2 tsp salt plus a bit more for the egg whites (kosher or sea salt not iodized table salt, it makes it too salty.)
2 cups Matzo meal (use PLAIN matzo meal, not the mix. If you do use the mix don’t add any salt.)
Combine the egg yolks, olive oil, 1/2 cup chicken stock, parsley, and salt in a large bowl. Add the matzo meal and stir until combined, set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer or hand mixer, add the egg whites and a dash of salt . Whip the egg whites until stiff. Add the egg whites to the matzo meal and stir until combined. Cover and place in the fridge for 30 minutes until nice and thick.
Bring the two 32oz boxes of chicken stock to a simmer in a large pot. To make the matzo balls, place a small bowl of water next to your matzo mixture, right next to the stove. Like a little assembly line. Get your hands wet, grab a golf ball amount of the mixture and QUICKLY, with very wet hands, form into a ball (thanks Marla!) Carefully place into the simmering water. Repeat until all of the Matzo meal is gone. Making sure they are not overcrowded in the pot. If you need to, do more than one batch. Let them simmer in the stock for 30 minutes, turning once half way through. They should be light and puffy when finished.
To serve add the shredded chicken breast, reserved chicken meat, and veggies back into the stock and warm on the stove. Serve over warm matzo balls.
To store remaining matzo balls place in a container with a bit of chicken stock to keep moist and cover tightly. The soup and matzo balls freeze wonderfully. Just be sure to freeze them separately.
That’s it! I love making this, everyone loves it and it makes the house smell wonderful.