I love chicken soup and I may be a bit bold to say this, but I think my chicken soup is very good. I have been tweaking this recipe for about twenty years and I think I have just right. This is not a clear broth soup; it is a rich broth. My husband says, “This broth is rich enough to be a hedge fund.” Forgive me, he has a one track mind because of his startup company.
I won my husband’s heart with my soup and matza balls. I am going to be making a big pot for the seder next week. I always make the soup a day ahead so that the flavours will have time to develop.
I have to tell you that you should be very honoured that I am parting with my soup and family matza ball recipe :-). I hope you will make them with as much love as I do.
Chag Sameach everyone! Next Year in Jerusalem!
1 (1-1/2kg or #3 or 3lb) chicken
1-1/2kg (3lb) chicken wings or two turkey wings
1 large turkey neck cut into pieces
4 soup beef bones with meat on the bone (optional)
2 large yellow onions, peeled and cut in quarters
2 large leeks, cut into 1/2 inch (1cm) pieces
4 medium carrots, cut in to 1-inch (2.5cm) pieces
1/2 head of whole garlic gloves, peeled
2 sprigs of fresh thyme, rosemary and parsley
6 juniper berries
20 mixed peppercorns
Salt to taste
Put a generous amount of olive oil in a large soup pot and heat on medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion, leeks and garlic and sweat until softened. Add the carrots, juniper berries, peppercorns and fresh herbs. Then add the chicken wings, turkey necks and soup bones, and brown lightly, stirring constantly and being careful not to burn the onion, leeks and garlic. Finally, add the chicken and pour enough water to cover all the ingredients. Bring to a rolling boil and reduce the heat to a simmer, cooking for approximately 2-3 hours.
Remove the chicken, chicken wings, turkey neck and soup bones to a bowl. When cool enough to touch, pull the meat from the bones and discard the skin, bones, etc. Put in a container or ziploc bag and put in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Put the soup in the refrigerator overnight. The next day, skim off the fat, if desired, and reheat the soup, add the chicken and turkey meat back to the soup. How much is up to you and bring to a rolling boil to cook the matza balls (see below).
I always make the matza balls ahead of time and freeze them. Since my matza balls are a little different from most, I thought I would give you a step-by-step instruction in case you would like to try to make them.
This recipe has been handed down from generation to generation in my family. It is Westphalian and Alsatian. If you are afraid of using chicken fat, try half chicken fat and half olive oil.
2 medium white onions, chopped coarsely
3/4 cup melted chicken fat and/or goose fat
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 teaspoons salt, you made want to add more
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
7 eggs, lightly beaten with a fork
1/8 cup matza meal
Additional matza meal for rolling
Break the matzas into chunks and put into a colander placed in sink. Run water over the colander until the matza is moist, but not water logged. Let the water drain and let stand for one to two minutes. (Can be put into plastic bag and kept overnight in the refrigerator.)
Brown the onions in melted fat in large heavy frying pan over medium heat until "real brown".
Add the matzas and stir gently frequently. Most of the moisture has to evaporate. If mixture sticks to bottom, put lid on the pan for a few minutes to soften. Add the salt, pepper, parsley and nutmeg.
Cool until no more steam comes off the mixture because it must be cool enough so the eggs won't cook.
Add the eggs and gently stir in the matza meal.
Test the first matza ball by placing it in boiling water. Test that it maintains it shape and taste to check if more salt, pepper and nutmeg should be added.
Place a thick layer of matza meal on foil-lined cookie sheet. Use spoons or scoop to make balls, rolling very carefully into the size of a large walnut, using as little pressure as possible. Place on cookie sheet and roll in meal. If you prefer, wet your hands and roll in palm, but this requires scraping off hands and re-wetting frequently. Discard the excess matza meal. Leave on the cookie sheet in the refrigerator, covered with wax paper, or freeze on the sheet before packing in bags for freezer. They can be kept in the freezer for 3 months.
Bring chicken soup to a boil and add Matzo Balls (after they have been brought to room temperature) a few at a time. When they rise to the top, put the lid on the soup for 5 minutes. Serve and say AAHHHH loudly with each bite.