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Walnut Creek Magazine

A CLASSIC RECIPE: MATZO BALL SOUP

CLASSIC CHICKEN SOUP

From the book: THE GEFILTE MANIFESTO By Liz Alpern and Jeffrey Yoskowitz

Let the chicken, vegetables, spices, and water simmer slowly for hours. It only gets better with time. And don’t worry too much about the exact recipe measurements. If you only have three celery stalks, you’ll be fine. Also, dill is an optional ingredient, as it can sometimes dominate the flavor of the broth. If you’re short on time, grab a couple of roasted rotisserie chickens from the grocery store and cut them up.

INGREDIENTS:

(Serves 6-8)

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

3 pounds chicken parts

3 medium onions, quartered

4 carrots, peeled and sliced

4 celery stalks, chopped

4 garlic cloves, crushed

9 to 10 cups cold water

3 dried bay leaves

1½ tablespoons whole black peppercorns

4 sprigs fresh parsley

4 sprigs fresh thyme

3 sprigs fresh dill (optional)

1½ to 3 tablespoons kosher salt

DIRECTIONS: Remove skin from the chicken. In a large, heavy-bottomed soup pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add chicken in batches and brown for about 10 minutes, until golden brown. Cut into pieces, set aside. Add onions, carrots, celery, and garlic and cook, stirring, until onions become slightly translucent, about 10 minutes more. Add chicken to pot. Pour cold water into the pot; enough to cover chicken and vegetables. Add bay leaves, peppercorns, parsley, thyme, dill (if using), and 1½ tablespoons of salt. Cover and simmer over low heat for at least 3 hours, occasionally lifting lid and skimming off any foam that rises to the surface. Ladle steaming soup into bowls, add matzoh balls, garnish with dill or parsley, and enjoy.

RUSTIC MATZO BALLS

(Makes 10)

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup matzo meal

2 large eggs

¾ teaspoon kosher salt, plus 1½ tablespoons for boiling water

½ cup chicken broth at room temperature

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

3 quarts water

DIRECTIONS: In a bowl, whisk together eggs, ¾ teaspoon of salt, broth, and oil. Gently fold matzo meal into egg mixture, stirring to combine, but don’t overmix. Cover with a plate or plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. In a wide soup pot, heat water with 1½ tablespoons of salt. Remove matzo meal bowl from fridge and stir until mixture is integrated. Place a bowl of cold water nearby, and using clean, wet hands, form small balls from a heaping tablespoon of matzo meal mixture and place them in the boiling water. Cover and cook over medium heat for 25 minutes. (Don't lift the lid!) Add fluffy balls to soup.

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