How to make my Bubbe’s Matzah Ball and Chicken Soup- Jewish penicillin at its finest!
It’s a cold (read: 50 degrees) and rainy Sunday here in Austin. Brrr!! But could you ask for better soup weather? I think not. My Bubbe makes a killer matzah ball soup. It borders on magical- at the mere mention of sickness, Bubbe swoops in with her soup in hand, and all your sniffles just melt away. This recipe is just perfect- a flavorful broth and a light ball (hehe), as opposed to some heavier, dense matzah ball recipes. I went all out and made my own stock too- just like Bubbe. Totally worth it! But feel free to use substandard pre-made stock.
I didn’t think I could top the gross raw chicken photos from last week, but somehow I managed to do it! Yeah for me! Making stock is a dirty business.
You can add whatever goodness you see fit- parsnips and garlic would be two tasty additions.
First, put the chicken in a big stockpot and cover with water. Bring to a boil for 15 minutes, remove any white schmutz that floats to the top, and then reduce to medium-low heat and add the remaining ingredients. Cover lightly (with a vent) and simmer for 1 hour or until chicken is cooked.
Remove chicken from the pot and leave the liquid behind. Shred cooled chicken, refrigerate until ready to use, and put the skin and bones back into the pot. Simmer covered (with a vent) for an additional 2-3 hours uncovered, skimming off any white schmutz. Strain the stock and throw away the stuff, adjust with salt and pepper to taste.
Now that you have your stock, let’s make some balls!
Take 1/2 cup of the seltzer, and mix it with the eggs. Yummy. Now, the moment we have been waiting for. The matzo meal.
Then add in grated onions, oil (or schmaltz), salt, pepper, baking powder (the secret to light balls hehe) and matzo meal, dill if desired. Refrigerate the dough for about 30 minutes so it isn’t as sticky. While your mixture is chilling, chop up the veggies of your choice. Bubbe likes carrots, celery and parsnips. And what Bubbe says, goes. Why mess with perfection.
Just like Bubbe makes. Maybe even better, but don’t tell Bubbe I said that.
- 4-5 pound whole chicken with neck and giblets removed (they come that way, so don’t worry you don’t have to go giblet diving unless you’d like to)
- 4 quarts (16 cups) water
- 6 large carrots, cut into 1-2 inch size pieces
- 1 yellow onion, cut into eighths
- 3 stocks celery, cut into 1-2 inch size pieces
- 2 parsnips, cut into 1-2 inch size pieces
- 4 garlic cloves, smashed
- 1 bunch parsley
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon salt, plus more to taste
- 10 peppercorns
- Put the chicken in a big stockpot and cover with water. Bring to a boil for 15 minutes, remove any white schmutz that floats to the top, and then reduce to medium-low heat and add the remaining ingredients. Cover lightly (with a vent) and simmer for 1 hour or until chicken is cooked.
- Remove chicken from the pot and leave the liquid and other stuff behind. Shred cooled chicken, refrigerate until ready to use, and put the skin and bones back into the pot.
- Simmer covered (with a vent) for an additional 2-3 hours uncovered, skimming off any white schmutz.
- Strain the stock and throw away the stuff, adjust with salt and pepper to taste.
- 6 eggs
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil or schmaltz
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons seltzer
- 1½ cups matzo meal
- ¼ cup grated onion, dried well
- ½ teaspoon baking powder (this gives you light and fluffy balls. Add more up to 1 teaspoon for even lighter balls)
- ½ teaspoon salt (or ¼ teaspoon if using oil or unsalted schmaltz)
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 10 cups stock
- 3 carrots, diced or cut into rounds
- 3 parsnips, diced or cut into rounds
- 3 celery stocks, diced or cut into slices
- 1 pound chicken, cooked and shredded (from the broth!)
- Salt to taste
- Fresh parsley or dill for garnish
- In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, schmaltz and seltzer.
- Then add matzo meal, onions, baking powder, salt and pepper. Mix just until combined. Do not overmix.
- The mixture will be sticky, so refrigerate dough for 30 minutes or up to 4 hours so it is not as sticky.
- Bring the stock to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer.
- Shape the matzo mixture into 25 or so 1-inch balls, and place in the stock. Cover and cook for 30 minutes.
- Then, add carrots, parsnips, celery and any other veggies you choose and chicken, and simmer covered for an additional 10 minutes until the balls are cooked and veggies are tender and balls are cooked through.
- Add salt to taste and garnish with parsley or dill.